Opinion Post: Modern Family

posted 2 years ago in College
  • poll: Do you think Modern Family has sexist undertones and promotes traditional gender roles?
    yes : (10 votes)
    24 %
    no : (26 votes)
    62 %
    slightly (elaborate in comments) : (6 votes)
    14 %
  • Post # 2
    371 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2000

    Timshel:  I think expecting up-to-date reflections of society from a primetime sitcom is like expecting to get an amazing Confit de canard at McDonalds. 

    Post # 3
    6048 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    First Claire has always “worked” it’s hard raising 3 kids.  Second Claire does work now on the show, for her dad’s company, and she is being groomed to take over.  Also Cam didn’t work when they first adopted Lilly….. so that kind of throws that out the window as far as gender roles.  Gloria did work as a hairstylist while she was raising Manny.  They show her aparment and her shop in one of the episodes.  Gloria also gets laughs by setting up Jay for some things, so what does that say about the older wealthy white guy being portrayed as the idiot, kind of like Claire’s husband gets treated like an idiot who functions on the same age level as his middle school aged son.  I think Lucy & Ricky played the reverse of that “stereotype” where she was the idiot and he was the straight man. 

    Post # 5
    2798 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    You do have some traditional gender rolls, but I think for everyone that the show points out, they give a counter balance. Claire in one episode meets up with an old work friend who “has the life.” The great promotion that Claire had her eye on when she was working, meetings with different lovers, fabulous vacations. Then the show actually hits on how hard it is to be a stay at home mom with arguing children, a dirty house, and no family member ready to lend a hand to her. I think this is much less the “traditional” sterotype of a stay at home mom who has it all together and dinner on the table at 6:00 promptly.

    Post # 6
    6171 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    claire was fortunate enough that she could be a SAHM while she raised her children.  but she was very active in their schools and community and even tried running for city counsil or something.  but now she is working for her father’s company, she definatelty had a business background.  i don’t remember if they mentioned what she did before children.

    as PP mentioned, Cam also wasn’t working for a period of time.  then he had a few different jobs before becoming the football coach.

    but also this is a comedy (an exaggeration of real life) so you need the funny one and straight one to make it work.

    Post # 7
    3249 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Misswhowedding:  “traditional gender rolls”

    Mmmmmmmm. Traditional gender rolls.

    Post # 8
    273 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I don’t think it promotes traditional roles at all. With Claire she may be a stay at home mother that is considered the nag, but she also has an education and makes her own strives to earn money and do work in the community.

    Gloria doesn’t seem to work simply because she doesn’t need to work, her husband is able to provide her with a more than comfortable lifestyle and her past wasn’t necessarily the most glamourous so no one would blame her for not wanting to go out and work. I also don’t feel she is the butt of cheap racist laughs because of her accent and language difficulties – she gets more than her fair share of cracks against other people and sometimes the miscommunications that arise from a language barrier can be amusing, I’ve never felt like they’ve made fun of her.

    I think also the fact that the show has a gay couple who don’t necessarily conform to either parental slot is refreshing, both Cam and Mitch seem to switch between your typical “mother” and “father” roles when it comes to raising their daughter.

    I feel like they’ve effectively been able to display what a modern family can be seen of today, and if the modern family still falls into traditional gender roles then that is life!

    Post # 9
    4827 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

    Timshel:  OMG. Not even joking, I am teaching this very unit to my juniors as we speak(I teach HS Spanish but this unit it culture, so it’s in English). We are having a very interesting debate about Gloria and other latinas in the media. PM me if you want me to share my Google Presentation with you. (I don’t have Microsoft office available to me but you should be able to view the Presentation)

    Post # 11
    5162 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Timshel:  You  know, it had never occured to me…but yeah, I guess so.

    I’m not going to comment on sexist, because in an accademic setting that word takes a lot more thought that I’m going to put into this reply.  But it certainly reinforces/helps to normalize many gender stereotypes. (And gay stereotypes too).

    Post # 12
    5162 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    HisIrishPrincess:  “Claire’s husband gets treated like an idiot who functions on the same age level as his middle school aged son”

    I think that’s one of the pervasive and annoying stereotypes we see on TV all the time these days.  A co-worker of mine calls it the “clueless white dad.”  I think it’s sort of this perverted version of feminism that is (maybe?) really pushed by advertisers.  You constantly see women being portrayed as the underappreciated super mom and dad being portrayed as useless.  I think that mesasge is damaging to men, women, and families in general.

    Post # 13
    1287 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    Timshel:  I think this show is quite far from tailoring to any specific roles, whether it be gender, or sex, or what have you.  

    Some points that came to mind:

    * Phil works, yes.  Claire stayed home to raise the children, yes.  Now that the kids are older, Claire went back to work, yes.  She also was active in the kid’s school life, in local politics, and totally and completely wears the pants in that relationship.  So, traditional in the SAHM stance, yes?!  Traditional in being submissive?!  NO!

    * Mitch and Cam:  Mitch is the bread winner, clearly.  Cam is the stay at home dad, for the most part.  Mitch tried being the stay and home parent, and hated it, while Cam hated being in the workforce, because of their personalities, etc.  And, they struggle – in a pretty realistic fashion – of being two gay parents, in such a way of how the public views them, their family, and sometimes the parenting roles they fight to have “Mother” vs “Father”, and still wanting to be ‘the man’ in the relationship!

    * Although Gloria does not work, and they have a MAN-ny, that to me is just highlighting a lifestyle Jay has offered to her, especially since she came from ‘nothing’.  I love their age difference, and what it presents on the show, and their culture difference, and how it is perceived on the show as well.  Bottom line is where Jay has provided all of these things to her, and is older, I would expect a traditional dominant role in his character.  But again, she totally wears the pants in the family, and calls all the shots.  There are many episodes that really define that for her!!

    All in all, I believe Modern Family paved the way for a ‘newer’ generation of modern day comedies.  Sure, there are jokes made on each character’s behalf, because it is a comedy, but I feel it completely defies stereotypical roles of Mother/Father, Sister/Brother, Aunt/Uncle, and parents.  HECK, the maternal grandmother (Mitch and Claire’s Mom) is non-existant on the show, leaving Jay (pretty traditional in his views) as the paternal front runner of this family.  Watching him ebb and flow, and getting used to these ‘new’ ideas has been awesome!!  (I clearly LOVE IT!)

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  OUgal0004.
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