'The Fosters:' Groundbreaking Or Reinforcing Typical Gender Roles?

'The Fosters:' Groundbreaking Or Reinforcing Typical Gender Roles?

The "damsel in distress" act is getting old.

'The Fosters:' Groundbreaking Or Reinforcing Typical Gender Roles?
christian today

Has anyone else noticed "The Fosters" on FreeForm is romanticizing the fights between Brandon, Liam, Wyatt, AJ, or whomever for Callie? The network is reinforcing the idea that women are prizes to be won. If you look at current movies or television shows, there has been an increase in leading ladies who, frankly, don’t need a man to save their ass from some horrible situation anymore. The idea that women need men to save them or do the dirty work for them is bull since the women can do it themselves. "The Fosters" is a show known for pushing boundaries and letting people be who they are, but the show may be reinforcing some typical gender roles in the process.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the show and believe it is truly groundbreaking -- from covering controversial topics such as school shootings to showcasing homosexual characters to increasing the complexity of the characters (i.e. Jude) -- but the show is still following the formula of those who came before it when it comes to the whole “damsel in distress” trope, which circles back to reinforcing typical gender roles. With an increasing amount of people voicing their opinion on feminism and the oppression of women, one would think that a show dedicated to breaking the mold like "The Fosters" would want Callie (played by Maia Mitchell) to step up and speak up for herself when it comes to guys fighting for her love, but that is not the case. Callie Jacobs-Foster is a strong, intelligent woman who has survived on her own, bouncing from foster home to juvie and back again. Though it seems like the writers of "The Fosters" have forgotten this since Callie has to have Brandon, or some other male character, come to her rescue every time she is in a spot of trouble.

It comes back to monkey see, monkey do. If people see that Callie, who is arguably the main character in the series, has to have a male character come to her defense to get her out of trouble, these gender roles will subconsciously be reinforced. Viewers may see Callie and think that, by extension, other females cannot get themselves out of trouble because they aren't strong enough or smart enough to do so. "The Fosters" wants to break typical gender roles but, when observing the situations Callie gets into and how those situations are resolved, "The Fosters" proves to be not as groundbreaking as it claims.

It is truly sad to see a fantastic show fall victim to the overused "damsel in distress" idea which reinforces typical gender roles. The show is sending a message that females are prizes to be won and that having two people fight over you for a slim chance at love is romantic. Having two people fight over a female is not romantic at all; it’s disgusting and degrading. If "The Fosters" wants to continue to break boundaries, they should not show characters treating women as prizes to be won and should show that women can stand up for themselves and do not have to depend on men to fight their battles for them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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