Gender Roles In Night To His Day

3679 Words15 Pages

Hannah Fagioli
Gender in Our Genes
In Lorber’s “Night to His Day”, the main concept is how gender is socially constructed, meaning the components associated with each gender are framed by society from the moment a person is born. These components can be similar or different among men and women and can range from the clothes they wear, to how they talk, to the names they are assigned by parents, to the types of occupations they may pursue in the future, to even the way they walk (Lorber 14). To demonstrate these components surrounding gender, I am going to use examples from the movie, The Seven Year Itch, starring Marilyn Monroe as “the girl” and Tom Ewell as Richard Sherman. An examination of this classic 1955 film will show how ideas about …show more content…

From the very beginning of the movie, the men are shown to be the more necessary or important ones in a household because they are the ones who have jobs outside of the home and bring in the money, therefore they cannot go away for the summer. On the other hand, the women are assumed to only have jobs inside of the home, whether it be taking care of the children or cooking for their husbands, and do not bring in any additional money, therefore they can go away for the summer. This not only demonstrates that women have to rely on men for certain things, like income, but also is a prime example of Lorber’s idea of gender as a stratification system, men will always be ranked over women, or women will always be ranked below men. We see these ideas, big and small, come to life in The Seven Year Itch multiple times. The first and most obvious example of this is when the men of Manhattan send their wives away for the hot summer, but they stay back and work. A few other smaller examples I analyzed in the film were about staying cool with air conditioning and the ability to open a champagne bottle. One of the first meetings between “the girl” and Richard Sherman was when “the girl” was returning home with a small fan, in hopes it would keep her cool in her non-airconditioned apartment above Sherman’s. Later that day, “the girl” was watering her plants and Sherman was sitting outside reading a book recommended by his doctor about how all men are driven to have martial affairs during their seventh year of marriage, which coincidently he and Helen were in. While outside, one of “the girl’s” tomato plants fell from her upper deck onto the chair Sherman was sitting on. From here, Sherman invited “the girl” down for a drink, just as any friendly neighbor would do, or so he thought. After getting all glammed up, as any girl would at this time, she

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