Traditional Gender Roles In I Love Lucy's

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Traditional gender roles are a relic of their time—when many women were forced to remain working in their homes, and told to listen to their husbands. Women were often subjugated to men, and sometimes treated in misogynistic ways. Women were not allowed to work, and were often told that their role was to be a homemaker and a mother. Men were also forced to conform to society’s idea of them: a strong, emotionless He-Man incarnate, the bread-winner and the head of the family. While society’s view of men was not as nearly restrictive to that of women, the two sexes were still forced to fit into gender “molds”, greatly inhibiting creativity and personalities. Following the 1950s, gender roles were starting to become widely criticized by feminists…show more content…
A good way to evaluate societal progress and norms is through television, which is transmitted to virtually every person in America. What is seen as taboo and risqué one decade might seem laughable and overly conservative today. Because of this, many television shows from the past seem outdated because of their use of traditional gender roles. One of these shows is “I Love Lucy”, arguably one of the most influential comedy shows of all time. It broke cultural barriers, with Desi Arnaz becoming the first Hispanic network television star. It also influenced the way in which sitcoms were filmed, becoming the first show to film with three different cameras, and in front of a live studio audience. While this show paved the way for many shows that came after, it seems to suffer from its employment of traditional gender roles. Comparatively, contemporary comedy shows such as “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation” broke comedy ground of their own. Apart from societal views on what is funny, modern television shows are able to remain funny and showcase a wider array of characters, both male and female, all without the use of traditional gender…show more content…
These comedians did things that people still stuck to traditional views of women found offensive and not “lady-like”. Roseanne Barr shocked many people because she did not fit their idea of what a woman should look or act like: overweight, foul mouthed, and a more than slightly obnoxious voice. Today, we have the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two Saturday Night Live alumni who have made waves in both film and television. Their shows, “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation”, have made very little use of traditional gender roles, and instead chose to focus on the personalities of the characters within the show. On “30 Rock”, Fey plays Liz Lemon, a self-described “geek” and socially inept TV writer. Fey’s character loves Star Wars and eating, but is not interested in stereotypical female interests, such as fashion. Meanwhile Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, Deputy for the Parks and Recreation Department for the city of Pawnee, Indiana. Poehler’s character is extremely optimistic, hardworking and ambitious. She has photos of her idols in her office—people such as Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Madeleine Albright, and Larry Bird. Knope’s optimism and leadership cause her to become accidentally naïve often. Both of these shows have male characters that do not fit the traditional gender “mold” for men. In “Park and

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