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Gender Issues in Cartoons

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:16 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.1 
  • Words: 686
  • Essay Grade: 4,00 /5 (1 Graders)
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Gendered roles are evident in all forms of the media. For my research, I decided to view the gender construction in cartoons. After viewing the Cartoon Network for a day, I decided that Dexter’s Laboratory would be the best show to document the gender roles and common ideologies of men and women in society.

Dexter’s Laboratory is based on the tale of a child genius. A small, red-headed boy genius, Dexter lives in a quiet suburban neighborhood with his mother, father, and older sister Dee Dee. Quite often, Dexter slips away to his fully-equipped bedroom laboratory to solve problems ranging from saving the world to defeating schoolyard bullies. Dexter is sometimes left struggling to fix or clean up the damage done to his laboratory by his older sibling.

Dee Dee does not share Dexter's passion for science, preferring instead to be an adorable ballet dancer. Dee Dee often times throws a monkey wrench into Dexter's great plans. She breaks into Dexter’s lab and always seems to cause trouble because of her lack of knowledge in the science field. Dexter tells Dee Dee "don’t press that button Dee Dee, you don’t know what you are doing". When the characters are shown in a school environment, Dee Dee, who is older than Dexter, is always shown in the classroom with Dexter’s young classmates.

This cartoon illustrates some common roles that men and women are put in by the media. First, the boy, Dexter, is smart, and is pursuing a career in science. Dee Dee is shown to be the dumb blonde, who’s only ambition is to be a ballerina. Her lack of intelligence is also shown by her being in the classroom with younger children. This construction of the character’s abilities is central to the views of women being inferior and simple-minded, versus men who are smart and use their skills in a more efficeint manner. This also implies that men are better at math and science, while women are best suited for...


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  1. GrEaT
    • Dec 19, 2007 - Evaluator: (lewisx3)
    • This essay was awesome! It really helped me figure out which way I wanted to go with my essay. Thank you!!!