Ever since we can remember, we’ve had this idea of how a certain gender should be. Whether or not we notice, Gender Roles seem to have a huge impact in the society we live in. In advertisements we see the masculine male, who is handsome, buff, which is related to strong. If he is with a woman, the woman is usually beautiful, tiny, and delicate, which can be related to weakness. In Disney movies, we’ve always seen the same old plot that a handsome prince comes and saves a damsel in distress. But it’s not only in Disney movies in which we see that. In movies that are out today we sometimes see that the huge role that gender roles partake in. Even in real life, outside from movies we see that gender roles have a huge influence. Women are usually seen as the caring, who provide warmth and love while men who are usually seen as the strong, “macho”, and the breadwinner. In the 1950’s and even in the present, we see this. In the 1950’s a lot of women stayed home and were the housewife and took care of the kids and had a home cooked meal for the family while the husband was away at work. Today, we still see this, but it’s not as present as it was back then. Gender Roles has also influenced us on how we live, on popular culture, such as movies and even in books. Even in advertisements we see gender roles. The graphic Novel, the Surrogates uses gender roles that are similar to how gender roles are viewed in society in real life.
In the graphic Novel, the surrogates we are taken to a society where people from the comfort of their own home operates as surrogates. These surrogates are robots who look how one wants them to look. This allows the owner to do normal day-to-day errands or activities without leaving the comfort of their own home. We are introduced to the main character a man named Harvey Greer, who is on the case to find the person who is trying to kill off these surrogates because of these surrogates, people are forgetting what is real and they would rather be lazy and not enjoy life and they let vanity control their life. Harvey Greer, is a policeman, that seems to be strong, and in the end comes to his senses on the dangers of surrogates, and seems to be strong. In the novel, we are introduced to Harvey’s wife Margaret. Margaret is so consumed with her surrogate because it makes her young and feels beautiful. She can’t stand the fact that she is aging and when her husband Harvey tries knocking some sense into her, she won’t budge. The gender role that is being exemplified here is that while the man has common sense, he tried telling her that she didn’t need the surrogate that he wanted to see the real her, she wouldn’t listen. It showed that women could only care about how they look. At the end of the novel, Margaret commits suicide after the surrogates were disabled. Also, another gender role that were seen in the book was the creator of the original surrogate actually was a woman named victoria who changed her name to Victor. The reason why she chose to change her name and gender was simply because a woman could not be taken seriously and men could, so in order to be taken seriously because she was a woman, she had to change. It showed that for some reason women were untrustworthy and maybe even delicate. We’ve always had an idea that strength is by how big are a man’s muscle. In the novel, the gender role that were perceived is that men were strong and the rational ones, while women were untrustworthy and vain.
Women tend to be viewed as vain because of how the media portrays us. In real life, we see magazines and it’s women usually beautiful celebrities trying to sell us a product. If you pay close attention, you will see that the product that they are trying to sell us is a beauty product. We also see how a women’s role is viewed as vain in the shampoo section or the hair product section at target, or Wal-Mart. Shampoo and conditioner is a unisex product, but it seems to be appealing more towards women then men. You do see the shampoo that does say “for men” but those are very limited. Because women care more for beauty product, companies try to get their attention more. It just shows that many think that one of the many roles that a woman can play is being vain. Or in television shows, they always make a joke about how a girl must always go shopping in order to be happy, or we see in a show or we’ve all encountered a friend that can’t go out because they have no make up on. It is a sad reality that we have this idea on how women are supposed to look or how man is supposed to look because of the gender role that we’ve came to know. In the book, Margaret was so vain that she would rather commit suicide when her surrogate who was younger was disconnected. She did not want to see herself nor accept the reality that we all age and we all grow up that beauty is not only in youth, but as we grow older too. Another juxtaposition from the novel and in real life is when the creator of the surrogates’ name is Victor, but in reality it’s actually victoria. She chose to do this because she as not taken seriously as a woman. Maybe because they’re not viewed as smart as men? Or is it because they are viewed as weak? Whatever reason it may be, she decided to change her name to a manlier name. It just in a way proves that many believe that in order to be successful, you must be a man. A case like this that happened in real life was in S.E Hinton’s life. The author of a great book, “the outsiders” decided to change her name because probably many thought that a woman could not write a book about gangs the way she did. In order for her books to sell or get published for that matter, she had to change her name to make it seem like a man wrote it. Which isn’t fair because women can write a book just as good as a man, but because of gender role and the perception many have, it just makes it difficult for a woman to be taken serious at times.
The gender roles that are found in the surrogates can be easily related to the gender roles that are in real life. Many have this view on how women should be or how a man should be. It was showed how Margret was seen as this woman who just loved beauty more than her husband and wasn’t happy because she wasn’t young. And Victoria becoming Victor just to be taken seriously. We see this in real life because how the media can sometimes portray women, as women who are more bout their beauty more than anything else, or women have to change their name in order for their book to be published. But it’s not only in the book industry that this happens. Many women will not be taken seriously in a job that is only male dominant because they are viewed as weak. Gender role is everywhere. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about it.