"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tuesday Gender in Comics: Stereotypes and Double-Standards

MmmmMm...Canned Soup and Waffles...
First up, Calvin's dad provides the model for the supposed 'typical' dad, when faced with preparing dinner:
Gender stereotypes are interesting, especially when they feel sort of rooted in reality. Men aren't encouraged to learn to cook as much as women are (unless you get to the 'chef' level of cooking, and then there are more jobs for male chefs than female chefs, and a lot of sexism from higher-ups, apparently). But of course lots of men do love to cook, and lots of women are happier making soup and waffles. My stepfather loves to cook, and my mother (like me) doesn't like it so much. It works out great for both of them, because she often cleans up (and enjoys his meals!), and he gets to do what he thinks is pretty fun (I don't get it), and make meals.

Growing Fat and Love Handles
A 'classic' For Better or For Worse spells out a double-standard pretty clearly:
It's interesting to note that this 'classic' strip is probably 15 years old, at least (rather than just retire outright, Lynn Johnston has opted to do some new strips and some 'flashback' strips), so it may be slightly dated, but still mostly holds true. I think things are changing in this regard, at least in the realm of the pressures of advertising. Men are more and more encouraged to buy products that help them appear/feel younger-looking, thinner, hairless and the like. I would be happy that things are evening out if it weren't for the fact that they are evening out in the 'wrong' direction; instead of people of all genders being happier and healthier at various sizes, men are becoming (to some degree, anyway) objectified in ways that will likely not be good for their self-value.

It's Just That Simple
Mutt 'n' Jeff sum it up:

Men like to read. Women like to shop. Enough said!
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