How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days

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Media has a big influence in how gender is socially constructed. For example, in the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Andie bets that she can lose a guy by acting needy while Benjamin bets that he can win any girl’s heart. This movie gives misleading messages to an audience of young adult women into believing that there has to be a certain way in how they should behave. By examining the presentation of gender in the scenes from the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, this essay will explore how the media impacts gender messages, which negatively affects the audience in the end. To start, many women are controlled by gendered ideologies in the workforce. Andie Anderson, played by Kate Hudson, gets undervalued in the type of work that she does. Andie, a journalist for a women magazine called Composure, had to settle with writing how-to articles on girly things such as clothes and makeup. This is disappointing considering the fact that she went to grad school. She wanted to write about interesting things like politics, but the magazine did not want anything to do with it because it was not about what women are into. Having the capabilities of writing something powerful like politics, but settling for stereotypical writing suggests to the audience that women are still oppressed in gaining opportunities to be respected in the job industry. In the article, “Sex Segregation in the U.S. Labor Force” Christine Bose and Rachel Whaley pointed out that jobs are gendered where women are forced into lower skilled jobs where many women felt that these types of jobs “did not allow them to utilize all their skills and felt they were overeducated to receive these lower skilled jobs” (Bose and Whaley 200). This article as well as the scene in the movie gives the impression that women cannot speak up for what they believe in and would rather just give in when they are shut down from opportunities. Next, this movie punishes those that do not abide to the gender norms. This can be seen by the way Andie acted in order to try to get Benjamin, played by Matthew McConaughey, to not want to date her after ten days of dating. She tried to push Benjamin away by acting too needy and too clingy. This gives a negative connotation to the female viewers watching this movie because it criticizes women’s actions. This message could lead women to not want to speak up for themselves in their relationships because of the fear of being labeled “needy.” For instance, Andie smothers Benjamin by calling him all the time and leaving at least seventeen voicemails. This action exaggerates women’s actions and deters women from performing these actions. Women have different personalities, and for the movie to pinpoint what actions are not okay for women to perform puts all women in a box. Rather than try to be duplicates of each other, women should be praised for their personalities and flaws. Also, the movie fails to show that a woman can be interesting and desirable not because of her physical beauty but because of her personality, intelligence, and interests. For instance, the way that Andie had to hide her true self in order to succeed in her work suggests that women should be discouraged from acting out of gendered norms. If one would describe the real Andie, she would be known for her humor, intelligence, and her love for basketball, yet one would realize that she intentionally hid these characteristics from other people. The message that Andie is giving here is that relationships are formed through false ideas of the opposite sex and a distrust of the opposite sex. Moreover, the movie shows that women on top are cruel, which can be seen by Andie’s boss as well as two female co-workers of Benjamin. To start, Andie’s boss is an example of this stereotype because she is a driven woman who had gotten into a job position that many people would associate with men being the ones on top. She is stereotyped as the boss who did not care about the feelings of her workers...
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