After watching these two documentaries there were a few things that really, stood out for me. The first thing was the idea that women can only be “strong” women while still following the constraints that have been put on them by current societal norms. As seen in “Dreamworlds 3” it is almost impossible for women to ever really do what they want when it comes to sexuality. There are notions that women can regain their sexuality and are actually empowering. There are definitely flaws in this theory. Women can be “choosing” to dress skimpily and be their own sexual beings and this can be viewed as empowering, but is this really? Or are the women actually subtly still following the expectations society places on them. “Dreamworlds 3”, when referring to how Madonna would liked to be viewed, “assertive, independent and powerful and have to do so in the conventions of the dreamworld when it comes to highlighting their sexuality.” As the documentary goes on to continue that is near impossible because women are supposed to be passive. A female artist can be strong and independent but also needs to stay within the confines of the feminine definition and remain sexual and submissive. This pretty much sums up Beyonce. She is seen as empowering and a feminist. But yet she still participates in many of the norms society has set in place for women. At what point does Beyonce singing on the beach, with her husband, and in a bathing-suit type attire about their sex life stop being empowering and actually Beyonce fulfilling society norms for a female artist? Female are artists are stuck in a double-bind of either being conservative and risking not making as much money, or selling out and using sex appeal.
In comparing men and women based on “Dreamworlds 3” and “Tough Guise 2” it is no wonder our society sees men and women the way they are typically viewed. As already stated women are meant to be submissive and quiet while “Tough Guise 2” teaches us that men are meant to be strong, powerful, and in charge. The two go hand in hand with each other, being the opposites. Something interesting is that it is not just peers policing boys to be “men” it is also their fathers and male figures. In so many TV comedies and movies there is the reoccurring theme of a boy being bullied and the father or male role model stepping in and, despite the mother’s disapproval, teaching the boy to stand up for himself and fight the bully. Something I think that is often missed is that those are two different statements and would include two different actions. Standing up for yourself is different then fighting but according to our current gender roles for males those two would go hand in hand. “Tough Guise 2” also addresses the idea of violence against women. Katz discusses how men are not apart of the conversation and this is seen as a women’s problem instead of a men’s action. But the documentary continues to state that is women, or men of color are fighting that is also in the head line; but for white males their type-A category seems to be absent from the story (Lorber).
There is this notion that women are submissive and that men are dominant and that is just science and can’t be questioned. When people believe science or genetics are involved it almost becomes outside of the realm of question and just becomes fact. Many people, honestly, don’t understand many parts of science and therefore believe they wont understand any other part of science. Many people also believe that all science is objective and there is no reason for a scientist to lie or be subjective. But after watching these two documentaries it is clear that these “gender traits” are taught from a young age and are not inherent in somebody’s sex.