Who's to Blame for Fueling Pop Culture's 5 Worst Female Stereotypes?
#5 Women Are Backstabbers
Loving and supportive we are not, at least not towards each other. The Myth of the Backstabbing Bitch has been entertainment fodder for ages. According to one linguist, a woman’s tongue has been her primal weapon throughout the ages. While men fought with their fists to claim territory, women talked their way into battle in order to keep the social pecking order in line. For those inclined towards intelligent design, Eve was the first to blame her husband for her own sin. Either way, cultural myth has determined that women trash-talk to blame others, only to end up maligning their own character along the way.
#4 Women Are Hyper-Emotional
The typical male response to “men are idiots” involves depicting women as emotional nutcases. While mood swings are usually accompanied by hormonal imbalances normally associated with certain cycles (that’s the verbose way of saying, despite what my feminist friends may think, women do suffer PMS), we are, in general, relatively normal and thoughtful creatures. Perhaps too thoughtful at times. But, thanks to the few women who made it big (Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath) before and during First Wave Feminism, any time we shed a tear we’re simply two steps from sticking our head into an oven.
Of course, any good screenwriter will tell you that success relies on drama and drama relies on conflict. In other words, the reason Donna Reed and Mrs. Cleaver aren’t big news on television anymore is that their placid nature is simply, well, boring. In fact, most women in the movies and on television in the golden age were fairly calm, completely collected, and quite in charge most of the time. I don’t recall an emotional nutcase entering the scene until the dawn of Method Acting, aka Emotive Gymnastics. (Even then, the early portrayals were more closely tied to mental illness than womanhood. Move over, Virginia Woolf.)
While I doubt you’d ever put Kim Kardashian into the same category as Joanne Woodward or Natalie Wood (seriously, don’t, or I’ll have to hurt you), she definitely knows how to make a scene. In fact, she’s great at taking cues from Seinfeld when it comes to making a scene about nothing.
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