Fathers in America. Dummy or Just Dad?

Fathers aren’t always dummies, although we have our moments, movies and television shows over exaggerated and glamorize their antics and behaviors. I myself am a father of two girls. I can relate to fathers in pop culture because what happens to them does happen to me. It doesn’t happen everyday, but I have made a crude comment that would get some laughs and I have slipped, fallen and hurt myself. On the show Home Improvement, Tim Allen ends up in the emergency room so often that they know him by name and he knows what the caferia is serving on any given day. He constantly is screwing things up, but he has his own T.V. show. Each day of his life is a new and exciting adventure or at least that is what we see. No man lives his life like this, but they have had moments like this in their own lives. They can relate, therefore causing; interest, amusement and entertainment.


Why are fathers portrayed as bumbling idiots? My view of a father growing up was someone who was responsible and took care of his family. He was smart, educated and generally a friendly person. Is that too boring for people? In Hanna Rosin’s article, The Evolution of The Doltish Dad, she talks about the rules of fatherhood and how they are changing. A man can be unemployed and stay at home. He is smart enough to handle school lunches, pick ups and drop offs as well as being a loving husband. Is it now being played out on T.V. and the movies because that is what is accepted in society now? Michael Keaton became a stay at home Dad in the 1983 movie Mr. Mom. He didn’t know how to do laundry, cook or clean and couldn’t find his way through a grocery store. All be it funny and amusing, I am quit certain most men are capable of taking care of the home while his wife is at work. This clip I found on YouTube that should shed some light on his character. It also supports the idea of the Doltish Dad character as well as show that a father is strong in mind and can take care of his family.

Mr. Mom Tribute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIkHMGxyN34


I watch this show Life in Pieces. It is a multi-generational family that lives within the same community. The characters include newly weds, first time parents, children and grandparents. This show plays on some of the funny antics as for mentioned. However it is modern, keeps up with pop culture trends and introduces social media into fatherhood.It shows successful fathers but still with that goofy edge that we have seen in my other examples.


Conculsion: I am glad to see that fathers in popular culture are being seen as successful members of a family. Despite the humor they provide the fact that they are productive in a family setting and support and rear their children shows men are not just idiots and bumbling fools. They are important and their antics are only present for laughs and so other can relate to what they are watching.




Learning Moments: My main learning moments consisted of; the blog and research process, the close to heart subject matter and my classmates feedback and suggestions. It was very helpful to see how others were working through there blog process and it helped me when I was having issues with my thesis statement. Through my research process I wanted to focus mainly on the movies and television. I did however find articles that helped me personally for the enrichment of me being a better father. I found it interesting to read and learn about what others thought about being a father as well.












Works Cited

Wind Dancer Prods. Home Improvement. Sept. 17, 1991 – May 25, 1999. Television

Rosin, Hanna (25 June 2010). “The Evolution of the Doltish Dad” http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/06/what_to_expect_and_up_all_night_the_doltish_dad_on_screen_is_changing_.html

Loring, L., Shuler L., Spelling A. (Producers). Dragoti S. (Director) (1983). Mr. Mom. United States. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.

Kapital Entertainment. Life in Pieces. Sept 15, 2015-present. Television.


Making The Cut

Approximately 6 months ago I took on a lot of responsibilities and minimized my social outreach. For several months prior I would slick my hair back into a ponytail everyday because spending 30 minutes to make the “natural” curls behave was too much trouble. I quickly decided it was time for a change, and cut off my shoulder-length hair. During this project I decided to look at how media portrays other woman with short hair. In my research I discovered that women with short hair in action films are masculine, victims, or sexual deviants. The three films that I watched were V for VendettaCatwoman (2004), and Mad Max: Road.

The first film I watched was V for Vendetta. I chose this film for my research because when it came out in there was a lot of news about film star Natalie Portman and her on camera head shave for the role. I have included a link to the scene in the film for anyone who is unfamiliar with it. The clip shows the haircut scene of her and the other female character that has their head shaved during the film.

It is very clear that Natalie Portman’s character, Evey, is portrayed as a victim during the time of her haircut. During the scene she is in prison scrubs, she is in a very muted environment with a faceless individual shaving her head. During the entire time Natalie Portman’s head is being shaved she is crying and looks terrified. The second woman getting her head shaved, actress Natasha Wightman, is having her head shaved for the same reason; removing the identity of the individual, and psychological torture. The difference is that Natasha Wightman’s character, who only has a brief voice over, is a person who has grown up facing severe diversity. She is a lesbian who was disowned by her parents, and was disowned by her first love. She was different in a society that demanded normalcy. Although her head shave is to victimize her, her character is calm, and collected because it is a non-issue comparatively to the events she has previously experienced in her life.

I was frustrated with the attachment that Natalie Portman’s character had with her hair. After being water boarded, and starved, and beaten. The first comment she makes after having her head shaved was “You cut my hair”. For cinematic reasons I want to give the film the benefit of the doubt because she lists the terrible things that were done to her in the order they happened, but if someone tortured me I could not care any less about how much hair was on my head. Below is a clip from an interview that Natalie Portland had after her role in V for Vendetta, specifically about the head shave experience, with IGN. She doesn’t talk about the societal opinions about women with shaved heads, but about how “cool” rain feels on a shaved head and how that experience was of note to her.


The second film I watched for this project was Catwoman (2004), starring Halle Berry. As a teenager when this film came out, I was SOOOO excited for it. Look at this film with a badass chick in it! How cool is it to have a superhero/antihero film starring someone who wasn’t white and blonde. The adaptation rocked my world, and I felt like I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. Fast forward through High School and my early 20s and just generally a lot of personal growth. When I re-watched the film for this course, I was extremely uncomfortable. It was honestly hard for me to get through.

With new eyes I saw a film that touched on an adaptation of an antihero that was, in my opinion, distasteful and embarrassing. Halle Berry’s character starts out as a shy meek, presumably uninteresting woman with long limp curly hair. She wears oversized sweaters, and risks her life to save a cat. Later after seeing something she isn’t supposed to see, she is murdered, and the cat she saved returns the favor and brings her back to life. This time though, she is different, she is confident, she is poised, and she is all about being sexual and sassy. During her transformation, the first thing she does is cut off all of her hair. See the clip below for her transformation. Like the first film, this was a real haircut that was caught on film.

Catwoman as a character in this film is very sexualized. I think out of all the adaptations that I’ve seen of Catwoman in a film or a show, this one fell short. The Film Review Article in The New York Times by A. O. Scott tells viewers that they are more likely to be entertained by the Garfield film that came out around the same time, than they are to be dazzled by Pitof’s interpretation of Catwoman (2004). Scott even goes to say, “Watching [Catwoman] is like paging through a fat European fashion magazine at high speed in the lobby of a sleek hotel. Through the haze of moody color, you can occasionally glimpse the flicker of an idea about female sexuality or the manufacture of beauty, but these themes are ornamental flourishes in the pretty, kinetic emptiness”, and I couldn’t agree more. When films have shots like the gif below of female characters with ample cleavage and see-through panels of mesh everywhere, including their butts, it is hard to take the films, or its message seriously. In the end this films felt more like soft porn than a cinematic masterpiece about powerful women.


The third film I re-watched for this project was Mad Max: Fury Road I picked this film originally because I knew that Charlize Theron had been nominated for, and won several awards for her role in this film, and also because she is my favorite actor. When the film began I remembered the premise and felt justified in using it as one of the three main sources for this blog post. For those of you unfamiliar with this film, Theron plays a character named Furiosa, who is the only female soldier under villain Immortan Joe. She ends up betraying him and stealing his war-rig in order to free his 5 slave-wives. Unlike the first two films, we meet Furiosa with a short buzzed haircut. She wears masculine clothing and wears war paint on her face much like the “war boys” she is in charge of.  Later in the film we get to find out a little bit more of Furiosa’s past, and can make assumptions of what she has been through and why she was willing to give up her leadership under Immortan Joe in order to save other women. Below is the clip of Furiosa reuniting with the people she originally belonged to before being captured by Immortan Joe as a child.

From what we know about Furiosa in the clip above, we can formulate that she fits in two of the categories listed in the beginning of my post. She is a victim. She was captured as a child with her mother. Her mother died within 3 days of their capture and she survived, losing part of her arm along the way, and gaining the trust of the leader of the ban of men that captured her as a child. We can assume that her masculine appearance might have to do with this broken upbringing. It might also have been the reason why she outlived her mother. She is clearly a fighter and is in it for the long hall. I included a clip below that includes part of Theron’s experience with shaving her head, and how it affected her. I think it is important to note that the director of the film was speechless when Theron offered to shave her head, further proving how interconnected our values of female hair length is.


After watching all three films to get a perspective of how women with short hair were portrayed in the media, I took the time to read articles that related to real life women who have short haircuts, in order to relate it to the pop-cultural representations of women with short hair. I was especially touched by this article in Cosmo by Leah Carroll, a woman who went through a few years of her life with short hair, and then started experiencing cat-calling once her hair started growing out again. This article felt relevant to me because like Evey in V for Vendetta part of the reason Carroll cut her hair in the first place was because she was a victim of a crime. Her head was not shaved in part of a systematic dehumanizing process by a vigilantly proving a point. She chose to get it cut after a man had used her long hair to his advantage to mug her, pulling it to keep her from getting away. Carroll discusses the traps she fell into when first deciding to cut her hair, and the guilt she felt when she finally decided to start growing it out again. She discusses the real social anxieties that are created when a woman cuts her hair, and with this I related quite deeply. “I walked back to the office feeling 10 pounds lighter and like I had lost a limb. I stared at myself in every reflective surface” (Carroll 2015). It is a huge change, to cut your hair and stop caring what others think. At first it felt like I was sacrificing my femininity for the convenience of short hair.

Link to Leah Carroll’s Article for those of you interested

I read an article today that I am sneaking into my final blog post about a haircut that Katy Perry recently shared with the world at the IHeart Radio Music Awards on March 5th 2017. The article is titled Katy Perry Reveals a Radical New Breakup Pixie Cut on Instagram. 

The article goes on to say that Perry’s haircut was purely in correlation to a break-up she had earlier that week on multiple occasions, the article is very leading and doesn’t give room for any other reason why Perry chose to get a haircut. “What better way, then, to mark a fresh start than by cutting a past paramour (or, for that matter, fried ends) right out of her hair? Perry’s shorn undercut, which was finished with choppy side-swept bangs and captioned “I wasn’t ready till now,” is a punkish followup to her bombshell bob, offering the hair equivalent of an extra stroke of suddenly-single eyeliner” (Schulte-Hillen, 2017). I decided to include this article in my research because I thought it was important to add in a piece that was extremely relevant and recent. It is another example that a woman is depicted as cutting her hair due to some sort of mental instability; coping with a break-up. I think she looks killer, and it is important to note that not all haircuts are because women are upset with boys.


I think that women in action films with short hair meet very specific criteria. This is clear by the films I studied in order to come to this conclusion. One thing that I do not agree with though, is that these action film norms are anywhere close to why the majority of women with short hair decide to make the cut. This is a pop-culture identity that is vastly stereotyped and I think it is damaging to women with short and long hair alike, by placing expectations of what having short hair will be like, and why it is done. Thanks for a wonderful term all.


Works Cited:

V for Vendetta, Lily Wachowski & Lana Wachowski, James McTeigue, Grant Hill, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EWnPG_yKYk

Catwoman, Pitof, Denise Di Novi, and Edward MCDonnell, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV26YLAHza8

Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller, Doug Mitchell, P.J. Voeten, https://youtu.be/hEJnMQG9ev8

“No sex for women with short hair?; Talking Points.” Sunday Times [London, England], 7 Dec. 2008, p. 12. Academic OneFile, go.galegroup.com.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=s1185784&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA190172318&asid=3a8688e75e55abc86d5cf919f7cdc508. Accessed 25 Feb. 2017.

“Why Women Choose to Cut Their Hair Short.” UWIRE Text, 17 May 2015, p. 1. Educators Reference Complete, go.galegroup.com.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/ps/i.do?p=PROF&sw=w&u=s1185784&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA414228760&asid=30ad0178b6de7a15f6c97a4138541c29. Accessed 25 Feb. 2017.

“My Short Hair Made Me Feel Invisible” Cosmopolitan, 10 September 2015, Leah Carroll, http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/a46100/short-hair-pixie-cut-invisible/

“Katy Perry Reveals a Radical Breakup Pixie Cut on Instagram” Vogue, March 3rd 2017. Sophie Schulte-Hillen. http://www.vogue.com/article/katy-perry-haircut-blonde-pixie-chris-mcmillan-instagram-orlando-bloom-breakup



The Modern Day Geek


When I began studying at Portland State University I noticed a trend. Many of my classes, from math to chemistry, seemed to have pretty balanced demographics, but then when I went to my computer science classes they were overwhelmingly dominated by white males. I became curious, what factors made it more likely for someone like me to end up in this class than someone of a different gender or ethnicity. Looking ahead to the career that I hope to have in the future I looked towards many of the biggest companies in the field to see if they were facing the same gender and ethnic deficits that I see in my classes, and it was quite clear that they were. For my looking in the mirror blog post I chose to look at how modern programmers are portrayed in media, specifically in the movie The Social Network and the television shows Silicon Valley and Mr. Robot. Popular culture largely depicts programmers, software engineers or “tech savvy” people as males, and this portrayal has far reaching implications in our society. 

The Social Network:

The Social Network is a movie that is loosely based on the creation of the social media platform Facebook, and also on some of the lawsuits and controversy that came from it’s inception. The main character Mark Zuckerberg, who eventually creates Facebook, played by Jesse Eisenberg, displays some of the characteristics that we see in older nerd tropes including being an introvert, problems with communication, and being very smart. Where there were some surprises for the portrayal of programmers is in the supporting cast. Justin Timberlake plays Sean Parker, the creator of the music application Napster, Andrew Garfield plays Eduardo Saverin, the cofounder of Facebook, as well as Armie Hammer who plays the Winklevoss twins, two fellow students of Mr. Zuckerberg who would end up sueing him for stealing their idea. All of these characters brought a different view of programmers and software developers as members of select fraternities and privileged groups, generally living a life of glamour and being a part of the “cool crowd”. Ying-bei Wang points out in Facebook, Made in Harvard: Youth, Stereotypes, and Exclusivity in the Information Age that “The Social Network does an outstanding work transforming a computer geek into a hero of the Information Age.” and how “with the arrival of the Information Age, geeks have enjoyed more positive evaluation because of their computer skills.” This is a new light that we see programmers, techies, and geeks being portrayed in, but it still carries some of the same tropes from earlier years.

Silicon Valley:

My next artifact that I chose to use was the fourth episode of the HBO series Silicon Valley, Fiduciary Duties. The episode revolves around the main character, Peter Hendricks, having issues with explaining his vision for the future of his company, Pied Piper, and what his software will actually do. Already this synopsis is similar to established tropes for tech-types, trouble putting a concept into words. There is a host of awkward conversations throughout the episode, from the character Peter Gregory’s address to the crowd, with the untimely inflections to his abrupt conclusion of his welcome speech, to the Pied Piper group’s conversation with a couple of paid actresses who are hired in order to get conversations going with guests at the event for members of the software development community in Silicon Valley, directly making the joke that to get these people to talk, you literally have to hire someone to coax them into it. There are plenty more jokes on physical characteristics, such as the character “Big Head” being unable to simply toss a hacky sack higher than a few feet. I do understand that Silicon Valley is meant to serve as a platform for discourse on some of the ridiculous facets and stereotypes of the tech industry in Palo Alto. While the show does bring some of the valley’s glaring deficiencies to light, it still falls back on aged jokes about the nerdy programmer for it’s main punch lines.   

Mr. Robot:

My last artifact was the pilot episode for the USA series Mr. Robot. The episode centers on the character Elliot who is a quasi hacker vigilante. He works at a cyber-security firm called All Safe by day, but uses his hacking skills to turn in individuals to the police who deal with things such as child pornography or cheating husbands to their wives. Elliot exhibits some of the same characteristics as characters from the other artifacts: antisocial, trouble communicating with others and most obviously being he is a male. Where Mr. Robot differs is that the show’s lead character is of a minority background. I found this very surprising as, to be honest, I had assumed he was another white man. With few exceptions, programmers in TV shows and movies have been white males. While the narrative of the programmer being an introvert was told in all three of my artifacts, I was surprised to find there was some truth to this. In the article Personality Types in Software Engineering, Luiz Capretz states that “(his) research found more introverts (57%) than extroverts (43%)” and that “the software field is dominated by introverts, who typically have difficulty in communicating with the user.” Even though these characteristics are present in the real industry I believe popular culture exaggerates it past what you would typically see in the real workplace, thus distorting the audience’s view of programmers.

Implications and Observations:

I think one of the most interesting details about the over representation of the group of people I belong to, male programmers specifically that are white, is that the over representation of them in popular culture is reflective to what is present in the industry. Looking at the recent diversity reports from Facebook, Intel and Google, three very large software companies, it becomes very apparent that this is true. In the tech related jobs in each company males make up well over fifty percent of the workforce, while white males make up the majority of that percentage with Asian males relatively close behind. If from a young age kids only see groups of people doing certain jobs, represented in specific ways, then I think it is safe to assume that they will only associate those types of people with that job. This seems to be one of the problems with how programmers and really any “computer-oriented” jobs are represented in popular culture, as far as movies and television shows are concerned they have almost solely been portrayed as white men with few exceptions. I think this is partly why we see such large gender gaps in the industry. This is supported by Lori Kendall’s statement in White and Nerdy: Computers, Race and the Nerd Stereotype where she says “people seeking to hire computer programmers often look for signs of nerdiness as proof of intelligence” and that “After several years of gains for women and minorities in computing education and occupations, those gains seem to be reversing.”  It is my belief that if pop culture devices can include more people from varying backgrounds then more people with diverse backgrounds will be inclined to become programmers.


In conclusion, I believe that many of the old tropes of programmers, techies, or people who like computer stuff really, are still present. Themes of weak physical aptitude, anti-social tendencies and awkward personas continually get brought up in popular culture. While these themes are still prevalent, there are new themes that are being brought to audiences. Sexual appeal, glamour and prestige are a few new characteristics being attributed to programmers in movies and television shows. Personally I can identify with some of the characteristics attributed to programmers, but I can still get a laugh out of the jokes that may come at my own expense because I know that they are overly exaggerated. What I see as a serious issue though is that while some  movies and shows have made leeway representing underrepresented groups, such as Mr. Robot having a minority lead character, there is still a long way to go in order to make the field more inclusive.  

Learning Moments:

The two biggest learning moments for me came during the research analysis worksheet and the annotated bibliography. The combination of these two assignments achieved what I believe to be one of the larger goals of the looking in the popular culture mirror blog post and this class as a whole. The research analysis worksheet gave me insight into how people such as myself get portrayed and often stereotyped in popular culture. It taught me how to approach a media device by not taking it at face value, but by asking critical questions as to its purpose. On the other hand the annotated bibliography led to a wealth of information confirming that there are many problems with the media’s portrayals of programmers, and then how these portrayals have larger second and third order effects. I learned more on how to use available tools for research and analysis. Where I think the looking in the popular culture mirror blog post is a good chance to share my findings with others, the research analysis worksheet and the annotated bibliography are what allowed me to make the connections between the representations of programmers, why those representations exist, and the effects of they have.


Personality Types in Software Engineering, Luiz Fernando Capretz, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 58, Issue 2 February 2003, pages 207-214

Facebook, Made in Harvard: Youth Stereotypes, and Exclusivity in the Information Age, Ying-bei Wang, Selected works of Ying-bei Wang, Bowling Green State University, Spring February 22, 2014

“White and Nerdy”: Computers, Race and the Nerd Stereotype, Lori Kendall, The Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 44, Issue 3, June 2011


“Ditzy Blonde”

Over the course this term I have learned a great deal from researching some of my identities such as young blonde female in the media. I wasn’t surprised by my research because it was a stereotype that I was already familiar with, the “ditzy blonde”. Not only have I learned how my identity is portrayed in the media and how others with the same identity feel about that, I have also learned excellent ways to find sources. Through watching young blonde females in media then reading studies and reviews on the media revealed the stereotypes that follow those identities.

Learning how to navigate the Portland State University library was helpful and where to go within the site to look for a specific type of source. An assignment that we completed in mentor session that I actually found extremely helpful was the Search for Resources Library Tutorial. It walked through each type of source you may need for a research paper and how to find it through the libraries site. This was helpful because before I would just search some key words and then what type of source I was looking for, for example “Blonde Stereotypes Peer reviewed journal”. Through taking the tutorial I also learned that there is a more effective way to search and use key words for example capitalizing AND to separate two key words, and placing parenthesis around words that should be searched together.

Another important concept that I learned was primary and secondary sources and why they are both important. A primary source would be data such as a chart and then a secondary source would be analysis of the chart. A secondary source for my identities would be this article analyzing a primary source, which was an IQ test.


The article is going over the results of an IQ test that was done on people of every hair color the primary source (the IQ test) stated that blondes averaged an IQ of 103.2, brunettes a 102.7, redheads with 101.2 and people with black hair come in last with a 100.5. The article goes on to analyze the first source as to explaining that this is possibly why blondes are the chosen identity to play the “ditzy” person. It hypothesizes that the reason that blonde wear the chosen hair color to play the ditzy character was because they were truly the smartest hair color. This is a secondary source because it is making assumptions based off the evidence that the primary source had presented.

The next source that I looked at was one that was actually recommended to me in a comment and that was legally blonde. In case you have not seen this movie it is about a young blonde that fits perfectly with the typical stereotypes of that hair color, superficial, ditzy, doesn’t’ work for what they have. But after her boyfriend Owen breaks up with her before leaving for grad school for being too dumb, she defies the stereotype and goes to law school while using her social butterfly personality to her advantage in school. This was a fun source to look at because it is one that addresses the typical stereotypes for someone with the identities of a young blonde female but then also shows that same female rising above and accomplishing great things.

This movie spoke volumes because it magnified some sterotypes but used them in a positive way. Elle woods, the star of Legally Blonde wears pink glitter everything, and even carries her chiuaha in her purse, she loves to have fun and can come across as materialistic and dumb. After being told that’s not enough she shows young women that you can be pretty and be smart.


This image is a clip from the movie and it is an excellent example of the stereotype that blondes are into pink and glitter and heels. At the same time it is deifying the stereotype of the ditzy blonde as she is standing in a power pose as the lawyer in the courtroom in a case, which she won in the movie based on her knowledge of makeup and beauty.

After Elle wins big and proves that you can be smart blonde and pretty

I found a review of the movie by someone that blogs by the name of “the rogue feminist”. http://theroguefeminist.tumblr.com/post/113358128353/legally-blonde-feminist-review-and-analysis She discusses how Elle Woods the lead in the movie is a role model to young women. After being dumped for being “too blonde” she rose up and proved him wrong. She goes on to review how this movie puts many aspects in a positive light such as female friendship; Elle supports her friend and encourages her to leave her abusive husband. The first time watching this movie I did not notice this until I had read the review and it got me thinking about it. When looking at the two females they seem opposite in appearance, but regardless Elle encourages and helps another female, even though women are typically known for being caddy.

Another film that sends a similar message to legally blonde would be House Bunny. When a playboy bunny gets kicked out of the mansion some sorority girls allow her to stay there so she will help them become more sociable to create more pledges to the home. The message is again that extensive knowledge of makeup and beauty can be used to either win a case or in this instance help some young girls save their sorority home.HouseBunny_2lg.jpg

The concept of the dumb blonde also has a negative effect on the way men think of women. Dara Greenwood and Linda Isbell wrote a journal on a study of Men and Women’s reactions to dumb blonde jokes. They revealed that after listening to dumb blonde jokes men the men found them more funny and less offensive than women and this also correlated with them being higher in hostile sexism. Presenting the stereotype of the dumb blonde as funny and a joke teaches men that it is okay and humorous to be offensive. This journal demonstrates why it is a bad idea to place negative stereotypes around an identity; it teaches society that these people are less because of their appearances.

Overall I noticed that my identities of a young blonde female are not represented very positively in popular culture. Blondes are typically played out as the ditzy materialistic character and their the only hair color with e category of jokes dedicated to it. Through movies such as legally blonde teaching girls that you can love to be beautiful and pamper yourself but also go to school and be success at the same time.




Legally blonde. Dir. Robert Luketic. N.p., n.d. Web.

Theroguefeminist. “Legally Blonde – Feminist Review and Analysis.” The rogue feminist. N.p., 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Waghorn, Mark. “Ever used a ‘dumb blonde’ cliche? Science has something to say about them.” Mirror. N.p., 23 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Women Career Stereotypes

Berlynn Deluna

Popular Culture

Big Picture Blog Post

Final Draft

Women Career Stereotypes in Popular Culture

I found a lot of interesting information for my topic on women career stereotypes. My primary sources taught me a lot about people’s attitudes towards women, gender roles and equality. This topic is significant to me because I personally want to pursue a career that is generally known as a “masculine career.” I would feel discouraged knowing that I’m treated differently because I am a female. A woman can do a job just as efficient as a man. In popular culture, women career choices are “predictable”. There are so many gender inequalities when it comes to career choices. I enjoyed completing the research analysis assignment and annotated bibliography because I found many different perspectives on women career choices. I also learned how these choices affect our popular culture. I used movies, TV shows and articles to get the best possible sources for my topic.


women fire fighter

G.I. Jane

The most reliable source I used was a movie called G.I. Jane. Demi Moore plays Jordan O’Neil, the main character of the movie. Jordan wanted to become a sniper for the military. The men laughed at her because they all thought there was no way that she would make it through the intense training. They tried to lessen the intensity of the training because she was a female. Jordan fought to be trained equally just like the men. She didn’t want to be treated different. I found it surprising how Jordan decided to shave her head to prove that she isn’t any different than the others. I also found it revealing how she decided to move in to the guys barracks. She refused to be treated differently. Jordan showed the men her dedication and willingness to be part of the combined reconnaissance training team. In my opinion, Jordan is a strong women that shows her audience how brave she is. She never gave up or let anyone stand in the way of her passion. This shows that all women are capable of doing anything they set their mind to.

Chicago PD

Another source I used was from a TV show called Chicago PD. The sergeant on the show promoted a female patrol officer to detective in the intelligence unit. Her new partner kept belittling and doubting her commitment and strengths because she is a woman. This show give examples of stereotypes based on women’s abilities when it comes to career choices. This episode was intended to prove that women can succeed in a dominant male position if given the opportunity. This episode was surprising to me because the patrol officer Burgess proved herself to the intelligence team that she is a super hard working female that could get the job done. The sergeant promoted Burgess because he also realized her strengths and abilities. Burgess’s new partner who has been a part of the intelligence team for a long time, doesn’t feel that she will be a good asset because she is a woman. He kept giving her a hard time until she proved she was the strong and capable police officer that she is. This shows the audience some struggles that women might have to face in order to be excepted. In my perspective, Burgess is a passionate women that earned her way up to become part of the detective team.

Chicago Fire

The last TV show I used for my topic was Chicago Fire. This episode was about a woman EMT promoted to become a fire fighter. Although she was already part of the fire station, the other fire fighters were doubting her abilities because she’s female. It was really hard for all the men to get used to having a female on their team. Once they noticed her drive and passion for the job, they opened up to her. This episode was very interesting to me because it made me really think about how many double standards there are when it comes to women career choices. I was surprised to see that Dawson, the female firefighter had to prove to the fire men that she was capable to do the job. They all noticed her drive and committed to become a firefighter when she was a paramedic but they still didn’t welcome her until she proved herself. I also found it surprising that even he fiance, the lieutenant doubted her abilities. He felt she should continue being a paramedic. This episode on Chicago Fire has opened my eyes on what women have to deal with in order to be considered equal.

I noticed a lot of similarities between all three of these sources. All of the women had to prove that they could do the job in order to be accepted. They were all treated the same at the beginning. These women have a similarity that they are passionate to help make the world a better place and nobody was going to stand in their way.

I also used a couple of articles online to back up some my evidence that I gathered from my topic. The article that stood out to me the most is called, “Untangling Life Goals and Occupational Stereotypes in Men’s and Women’s Career Interest.” This article focuses more on which careers women and men choose to pursue. The occupational aspect part of the article states that both men and women choose their careers based on gender stereotypes. Women generally like to stick to careers that are categorized for women such as a nurse, receptionist or a teacher. Men like to pursue a masculine career type such as fire fighter, construction worker or police officer unless the feminine career pays more. This article relates to my primary sources because it has to do with women career choices. While my main focus is how people make career stereotypes, this article differs because it talks about how women make career choices based on these gender inequalities. Although, it is not entirely the same topic, I really enjoyed reading this article because it is in comparison to my topic.

Another article I chose to use as a secondary source is called, “How Stereotypes impair women’s careers in science.” This article was very interesting to me. It talks about career stereotypes between women and men. They did a study based on an arithmetic task to see the difference in gender performance. Both genders performed equally. I found it interesting to find out that men are more prone to talk highly about their skill abilities.  Talking about previous career performance does help to lower these gender stereotypes but doesn’t eliminate it completely. I was shocked to find out that both men and women are more likely to hire men. This compares to my primary source because it gives me a lot of information about women stereotypes. This article confirmed my beliefs and ideals on career inequalities. My topic is focused more on women choosing more of a masculine career and the stereotypes that it comes with.


I found my topic very intriguing. To this day, there are so many career gender inequalities. Many women have to deal with these problems all the time. I don’t think it is fair how these stereotypes are still a huge issue in our society. Many people watch these shows such as both men and women that are interested in our criminal justice system. This audience could draw two types of conclusions from these sources. They might realize that these stereotypes need to change. They also might agree with the gender inequalities. I feel these shows could help improve the mindset of this audience’s views based on gender career issues. On the other hand, how will this improve by portraying the same stereotypical messages in the media? Everyone is created equal and should be treated equally.



Learning Moments:

I really enjoyed our looking for researches assignment. With this only being my second quarter at Portland State, I had never used the PSU Library to research. This assignment was very helpful. The steps and instructions to help us navigate through the online library was very efficient. Now that I’ve completed this assignment I feel confident to research information for future classes. I also really enjoyed our weekly discussions. This is my first online course I’ve taken. I was little nervous to take this course online but I found it very helpful that these discussions kept me engaged throughout our discussions. One blog post that really caught my attention was about advertisements. I learned a lot from this discussion. The videos and articles about advertisement really caught my attention. We had to watch and analyze the Adidas advertisement that involved many different celebrities. After this blog post, I’ve noticed myself analyzing many different advertisements. I also enjoyed reading all of the interesting comments on everyone’s opinions about this topic.



Work Cited
Reuben, Ernesto “How stereotypes impair women’s careers in science” 2014, 25 March. Web.



Barth, Joan “Untangling Life Goals and Occupational Stereotypes in Men’s and Women’s Career Interest” 2015. Web.



Wolf, Dick (Producer). Michael Brandt, Derek Haas (Creators). 2012. Chicago Fire.


Dick Wolf (Producer). Michael Brandt, Derek Haas (Creators) 2014, 8th January. Chicago PD.



My Final Blog Post: Groups And Most Importantly, Racial Groups, Diving Deep Into My Own Stereotype.

I think about life and how we are each divided into little groups since the first day we take our first breath to the last day where we close our eyes and see nothing again. I believe a lot of people think about this too, but my question for you has to be, why are we put in these groups in the first place and how can we break free from them? Especially these racial groups that divide us so much and make us so “different” from one another. The one I want to use as my example throughout this essay is one that I have lived and had all my life, Hispanic and more specific, Guatelamateca, which is a word used to call people from the country of Guatemala. As I go throughout my examples I want everyone to think about the stereotypes that others have put upon you and to think about how popular culture makes you look in front of everyone and the reasons why they do that to everyone.

At first when I was younger, about seven years old I never thought I was very different, I had just moved from Guatemala, a country where I had been born and had lived and loved for 6 years to a country that was cold and rainy, and salty and I wasn’t too sure what everyone was saying. Then I learned and understood and figured out that really people did think I was different because of the way I talked and the way I acted. Throughout this term, I really was able to reflect on that as I studied the articles given to us to read and did my own research about my topic.

One of the first things that really helped me realize that stereotypes, like me being Hispanic, really are something that we do every day, with and without really thinking about it was growing up and having people say “what part of Mexico are you from” without really giving me a chance to say that I actually was from somewhere else. As I have looked at things during class I also noticed that even though I don’t mean to, sometimes I do the same thing. For example on of the things that we learned about was how to analyze and article/ an image without putting our opinion on it before giving it a chance. During this process I really had to check everything off as a list because I would start writing my own opinion of what I thought was right and wrong and try to say what I saw and what I felt but we weren’t supposed to do that so it took a lot of rewriting in order to try to get it without my opinion but just real analyzes showing me that stereotyping and looking at something and think about something else that you feel “relates” to it is something that comes naturally into our minds and we can’t or don’t always control it.

This lead me to consider how I was going to look at the topic of what I was researching and try to understand it not because I have gone through it but because I want to learn why the popular culture sees me and other Hispanics the way they do and don’t really give it a second thought. As I did my research I really took to heart the conversations I had with my family and friends as well as the recommendation from my Professor and my peers and the wonderful comments they made about their own stereotypes during our conversations online. As well as how the articles and subjects we read about helped me understand how to look at the points I choose. I think that with that combination it really lead me to understand that we can’t really truly break free from stereotypes but we can help them change for the better and lead them to be more of a positive interaction instead of and ignorant and negative way of thinking about people.

The first example I decided to analyze really was how people moved to the USA and why most people generalize that if you are Hispanic you must be from Mexico and the newest trend you must be from Guatemala. Something I learned long ago in one of my History classes when I was in High School that has stuck with me for a long time was that around the 1800’s the USA took over half of Mexico’s land which lead to the first Hispanics in the USA, making them USA Citizens because of the USA taking over something that wasn’t theirs to begin with, but really what can you do? that is what happens when there is a war. Things change and people learn to live but that is also how stereotypes begin, there is a change and that change brings questions and leads to assumptions. In this case, it leads to people seeing Mexicans as the only Hispanics that lived in the USA. Which leads me to analyze that this is where most people got their idea about everyone that is Hispanic must be from Mexico. Something that is most recent though is a new trend that has started putting one more culture into this assumption and that is people from Guatemala. Which just started because it is a growing population in the USA, but still very small and for the most part they are assumed to be Mexican anyway.

Throughout the process of research, the another example that showed me how people view and feel about Hispanics was a new TV show called American Housewife. It is a show that talks about a regular American family today is the modern world. It is a show that has a lot of different stereotypes but the one I am addressing is how it shows Hispanics. Even though this show is mostly whites and one Asian and one black person, again with their own stereotypes, they show the Hispanics it is for a very brief moment and it is how they have put them in many shows. They are the cleaning ladies and they look chubby and dark and with strong accents that don’t always allow use to recognize what they are saying. In the episode I watched the boy that the “American housewife”   has named Oliver has a side business with this Hispanic maid and they are talking about how he owns her her money and he is acting like he is smarter than her and saying, look I know what I’m doing trust me, I’ll get us more money, this in itself is sexist and racist because he is a white, male, middles school kid, treating this older Hispanic woman like someone that doesn’t know or understand what money means. Well, that happens and she tells him to get her her money because she wants to go back to her country. So by the end of the episode he learns and understands that he needs to give her her money and he goes and says “so you can go back and see you family in Guatemala” putting a stereotype on her without really asking where she is from, and she looks at him and says “I’m from El Salvador”, Now I want you guys to look at this like you were someone foreign that moved into this country and what would you think if you saw this? I can tell you looking at the facts that it is obvious that the kid didn’t pay any attention to the person he is working with, and second, he doesn’t really care because to him she is just a worker. In the end, he even says whatever and thinks he has made this right by the mere fact that he gave her the money he owed her anyway. The show made it seem like that was the most important part and that Oliver learned and a valuable lesson but really looking and analyzing it further you see that the skip over the fact that he is still disrespectful to the older woman and doesn’t care that really she is a person that has more to her then every show is willing to show in their TV shows.

This leads me to my next example which is another comedy TV show called Last Man standing. This is a show about a Dad that has three daughters and a wife and he works as the publicist of and outdoor company. In this show, there is a lot of sexist and political and racial jokes and one of them, but what I want to analyze is something different. Mike, that is the dad’s name, and his wife Vanessa decide to hire a cleaning lady, and what race is she? She is Hispanic of course and again the way she physically looks is chubby, dark-skinned, dark hair, with a strong accent. Now the reason why I am very keen on mentioning how she looks and how the  other Hispanics looked on the TV show American housewife is because the way they

Blanca Serving Mike salted peanuts in Last Man Standing show Hispanic is very similar all the time. It doesn’t matter what country they are from or anything, to the people creating the shows, they always put a Hispanic as dark skinned, strong accent, dark hair and the only thing that varies is whether they are skinny or chubby based on the fact of what the show is about. For example In the TV Show Modern family the only Hispanic show there is Sofia Vergara who played a Mexican woman that married an older man that is rich. The way she looks is very important, she is always wearing very skin tight clothing that shows all her body and curves. Compared to the poor Hispanics shown in TV shows are shown as all the same basic facts they use expect that they are chubby. Something that I noticed while looking at all the facts was that really when it comes to everything that is Hispanic based they don’t really care about looking into it further than what is common on TV, even studies are more based on what people have seen then what people really know.

As I was looking at the library resources and everything on the web and around me was that the titles really said it all. When I looked up Hispanics, and more specifically Guatemala, everything was generalized. No matter how specific I was, I always ended up with the same thing, Mexicans, and Why poor Hispanics are obese, and why Hispanics do drugs and why Hispanics are addicted to alcohol it was never something good about Hispanic but instead it was always something negative about them and assumptions that because they group they studied was prone to that that all Hispanic must be the same.

In Conclusion:

I was truly hoping that I would be proven wrong about stereotypes and especially the stereotypes about Hispanics and that my life had just been a confusion and really I was a one in a million at being thought of as a stereotype, but instead I was proven right that stereotypes are something we are born with, since the first breath you draw to the very last one.  Which leads me to really see that yes it is going to be hard to change these stereotype that I have been born into and most people are probably going to continue thinking that I am from Mexico and really I will live as a maid and not get too far with my life but hopefully as I go throughout the rest of my life I can show them that there is something more I can offer and that I am not just the newest trend of Hispanics, but that I am me and me is amazing at being different. If anything this research showed me how really Hispanics are all put under the same categories but I hope one day that changes and during a test I will be able to put Guatelmateca or when someone asked me where I’m from they don’t just jump to the conclusion that I must be from Mexico. I never thought that my research would lead me to a deeper understanding of who I am by showing me who people think I am but who I really I’m not and, I hope all of you have discovered who you are and take that with you as you go throughout the rest of you lives.

Work Cited:

S2 Episode 10, “The Help”, Last Man Standing, Jack Burditt, ABC. 2011

watch on ABC or online.

S1 Episode 11, “The Snow Storm”, American HouseWife, Sarah Dunn, ABC. 2016

watch on ABC or online

Modern Family, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, ABC. 2009

watch on ABC or online

Bergad, Laird W., and Herbert S. Klein. Hispanics in the United States: A demographic, social, and economic history, 1980-2005. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Acculturation and drug use disorders among Hispanics in the U.S.(Report), Journal of Psychiatric Research, Feb 2013, Vol.47(2), p.226(7)

Google and google scholar to see what came up in general for every time I typed in Hispanic, Guatemala, Latino, TV, Books, Studies, woman etc.

The portrayal of relationships of young adults in movies and television


For my blog post I chose to analyze how pop culture portrays the relationships of 20’s somethings in movies and television. My reason for choosing this specific trope is due to the time period I am in my life and how it corresponds to the kinds of media I consume on a daily basis. The three primary sources I have chosen to help me with my analysis are Scott Pilgrim vs The World, How I Met Your Mother and the hit television show Girls. All three sources have completely different show dynamics but all have central themes that are quite related.

My findings were fairly interesting, on the surface the shows portrayed the relationships of the main characters with their friends/families/lovers as self-fulfilling, selfish, and tumultuous. The deeper I dived into the sources and the secondary sources I found an interesting trend. The way 20’s somethings relationships are portrayed in movies and television has to do with the transitional stage that being in your 20’s causes.


Scott Pilgrim vs The World: Dealing with the past.


In the film Scott Pilgrim vs The World, the main character Scott Pilgrim, meets a beautiful delivery girl named Ramona Flowers. At the time Scott has no idea that this girl he has fallen for has a slew of ex boyfriends that she has left with little to no closure. Of these ex boyfriends (the 7 evil ex’s) she has cheated on each one consecutively.

It is clear in the portrayal in the film and the comic from which it’s based that Ramona is free spirited, hence the colorful hair that she changes every week and a half. She recently moved to Toronto to start over, hoping to escape her past. This is typical of people in their 20’s to do. Most are have yet to gotten married or have kids so the roots that they have set down could be as simple as a few ex boyfriends that they need to get away from to start over.

Like most movies that Michael Cera stars in, he needs the help of his friends to win the girl. This movie is no different. Scott Pilgrim is a lazy slacker who is selfish and doesn’t want anything to do with anything complicated. It is because of this that he is dating a high schooler by the name of Knives Chau. His immaturity causes him to essentially be a free loader living off of his friend’s good graces. He is stuck in a loop until he is forced to progress or transition to something more.  Insert Ramona Flowers. A very complicated girl for whom Pilgrim must defeat all 7 of her evil ex’s to date her.

Their relationship- both Scott and Ramona are similar in the way that they deal with their past, they run from it. As one of my secondary sources points out, “Scott bundles up all of his guilt and negative memories and crams them away in hopes that he can forget them and be able to live with himself. Ramona on the other hand, ends every relationship the same way: she runs away as far as she can, as fast as she can.” (http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/04/learn-this-scott-pilgrim-vs-world/).  Scott can’t seem to get past the idea that Ramona is his ideal “Dream Girl” and doesn’t notice that she has very real problems. Likewise, Ramona can’t get past the fact that Scott may have been cheating on her with Knives Chau. The idea that they both have an idea of what the other should be like as opposed to how they actually are is something that is very common in relationships. Especially newly formed relationships, this as you can see can be a serious problem for someone in their 20’s to deal with emotionally because they have yet to have developed the maturity of say someone twice their age.

How I Met Your Mother: The importance of friends


In the television series How I Met Your Mother, the show follows main character Ted Mosby as he navigates relationship after relationship trying to find his future wife. There is one constant throughout the show for Ted, his friendships with Marshall, Lilly, Robin and Barney. While the title of the show may denote how Ted finds the future mother of his children, it is much more about how important friendship is as one transitions through their 20’s and all the problems that arise from such an important phase in life.

The relationships-

Ted and Marshall: The two of them are best friends who use to be dorm mates back in college. Marshall is someone who Ted can always count on, more importantly Ted will model what his ideal relationship will be like based on Marshall and his wife Lilly. Marshall always seems to be able to call Ted on his stuff when he is acting like a moron. There are various points in the show when Ted falls for an obviously bad choice and Marshall is there to support Ted even when he knows Ted will end up getting hurt.

Marshall and Lilly: The ideal relationship. Marshall met Lilly back in college while rooming with Ted. The three of them become great friends and end up moving to New York together. While they have their moments, for the most part they have a solid relationship and are both there for Ted when he needs them.

Barney, Ted and Marshall: Barney can be over the top. Sometimes he may get ted or Marshall into some trouble but in the end he always seems to pull through. While he met the two of them later after Ted and Marshall have already been friends for so long, he soon filled the outsider dynamic that counter balanced the relationship.

Robin and Ted: Robin was Ted’s dream girl. You could call this a best friend romance, which is worse than a regular romance because that there’s so much on the line. The two of them struggled to draw boundaries after they initially split up because the two of them still had feelings for each other. Without spoiling the ending things all work out.

This show reflects how important friends are during your young adult years. While there are ups and downs everything always works out because they have each other. This can be represented in their favorite meeting spot, the bar below Ted and Marshall’s apartment. This is where the whole group usually meets and you really start to understand the different dynamics that are prevalent in large groups of close friends, especially in this age group. As Emily Yahr points out in her article  “Overall though, “HIMYM” offered a much more valuable lesson about the importance of adult friendship, as the intense bonding in post-college years means that those friends essentially become your family.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2014/03/28/why-how-i-met-your-mother-connected-so-deeply-with-the-younger-generation/

Girls: Building a relationship with yourself 

Girls blogpost tv show

The show Girls may not seem to be unique to outsider observing, but what makes this show so great is because it focuses on a group of girls being unapologetically themselves or at least what they think is themselves. Girls focuses on the 4 girls you see above you, but what you don’t see above is the trials, abortions, job losses, the sexuality, the failed relationships that come and go, the friendships lost and gained. “It feels like this smartly aging show—which still has so much (sometimes too much) to say about friendship, love, and the slow-yielding benefits of self-acceptance—deserves a nudge back into the pop-culture nerve center. It’s time to re-embrace Girls, for all its complexities and frustrations. Maybe it’s even time to start arguing about it again.” https://www.wired.com/2016/03/girls-conversation/

We all know in order to maintain good relationships with our friends we need to have good healthy consistent relationships with ourselves…well this is quite the opposite for these girls and quite the opposite for any young adult. That’s what makes this show so good! Here’s a bunch of girls that everyone that’s in their 20’s can relate too. With each season, each character gains a little more insight of their own personality and with that comes loss, pain, success and triumph. That’s what life is all about.

Conclusion: or the big takeaway

Each of the shows/movies I chose, uses comedy to portray growing up in your 20’s, which for me is exactly why I chose them. Being in your 20’s is a huge transitional time. You start out being granted independence from your parents, you also dabble with knowing your supposed to be doing something productive like hold a steady job or continue your education, all while trying to find yourself. These shows allow us a break, they give us an outlet to feel relieved that some horrible situation can be relatable and with a little theatrics their even funnier than our real lives. And to be honest, they help contribute to making my life a little more “doable”.

Learn From This: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Harris O’Malley, Paging Doctor Nerd Love, http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/04/learn-this-scott-pilgrim-vs-world/

Why ‘How I Met Your Mother’ connected so deeply with the younger generation, Emily Yahr, director,The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2014/03/28/why-how-i-met-your-mother-connected-so-deeply-with-the-younger-generation/

Girls Is the Best Show No One’s Talking About Right Now, WIRED, Brian Raftery, https://www.wired.com/2016/03/girls-conversation/