Gender Stereotypes

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If you want to understand gender-based stereotypes, look at the examples found in the movie “Pretty Woman” starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. The stereotypes are foundational to the movie and furthermore they are mutually dependent. This is often the case with heterosexual stereotypes.

First, we have the sex object, the hooker played by Julia Roberts. She is sexy and a master of serving men sexually (bringing joy). She also has a “heart of gold” which is a key part of her stereotype.

However, we can’t have one stereotype without the other mutually supporting stereotype which is the “Success Object” character played by Richard Gere. The Success Object is wealthy and powerful, but alas heartless.

She needs money and status and he has money and status. He needs heart and joy, and she has heart and provides joy. A match made in heaven! (or at least a match made for the screen).

The movie doesn’t really address the issue of predation.

The male stereotypes predate on women’s sexuality (i.e. sees them as objects that can gratify their perceived sexual needs).

The female stereotypes predate on men’s money (i.e. sees them as a provider of security and status).

None of this is particularly healthy, but there you have it.

 

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