Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jon and Kate Plus 8 and Gender Roles

I think I might watch a bit too much television as a grad student, but it's just one of my vices. I never watched as a kid - maybe why I was so good at school, but now I watch a bit more than I should.

Regardless, I just have to talk about how much I love this show, Jon and Kate Plus 8, a show about a family where they have a pair of twin girls who are 7, and then sextuplets who are 3 years old. It is absolutely fascinating, the kids are soooo cute, the family is soooo insanely crazy (because of the circumstances, they're not crazy themselves), and I just love it. And I find the relationship between the mom and dad fascinating. They're cute and it works, but their relationship is sooooo different than mine and Mr. PhizzleDizzle's relationship, our lack of children notwithstanding.

The mom, Kate, is a "city girl" and so super...female, in all the stereotypical ways. She doesn't like dirt. She doesn't like bugs. She doesn't know anything about sports, technology, or anything like that. Jon is the stereotypical man; he thinks of the golf course as his "safe haven" and is the one to handle all the man stuff. He once said [paraphrase], "I don't like how feelings make me feel." It's classic.

I just think it's so funny. Kate at one point was like, "Me? No....I never put gas in the car. Isn't that normal? In our house, it's like the unspoken rule: the men take out the garbage, and the women do not put gas in the car." Mr. PhizzleDizzle and I looked at each other and laughed and laughed because it just tickled us silly.

But the more troubling aspect to their clear gender delineations is the effect it will have on the children. I always always BRISTLE inside when people say stuff like, "Well, girls are just like that and boys are just like that," especially when the "like that" involves traits that are commonly found in scientists and engineers. I will have NONE of that attitude in my house when we spawn some baby engineers in this place. My kid is going to LOVE linux by the age of 6....muhahahahaha.

1 comment:

JLK said...

I also love that show, but haven't seen it in awhile.

I get a kick out of the fact that Jon is portrayed as this total male airhead, while Kate is like this super Type-A, keep-it-all-together gal. It takes a certain kind of personality to have that many children and not lose your freakin' mind!