The Representation of Men and Women in the Media on Desperate Housewives Essay

Wisteria Lane heats up this season on Desperate Housewives with liars, cheaters and murderers taking the stage. I don’t know if I’m just speaking for myself here but it seems the more I despise the characters the more I enjoy the show? Desperate Housewives is a show about five women who all live on the same street and deal with a variety of problems. There is scandal, death, cheating and lying. You have five completely different women who come together and form this unbelievable bond and through all the trials they each come across, they choose to stick by their friends no matter what.

To me the women of Desperate Housewives are the “typical” stereotypes of women today as there is the gold-digger, the greedy man-stealer, the perfect home-maker, the air-head and the super-mum trying to do it all. It’s a spoof that blows up the myths that try to categorize women into “types”. The gold-digger is now frumpy and poor, the perfect home-maker is psychotic and her family is falling apart, the man-stealer keeps losing the guy to his wife, and I’m sure you know the rest. In other words it’s a television satire, not a reality show.

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Every female character on Desperate Housewives struggles with her attempt of achieving the perfect, ideal image of a family throughout the series. This struggle is deliberately shown to serve as a source of comfort to the audience of mothers who are also trying to accomplish such families, although in reality it’s almost impossible. The producers could have made the show about the ideal family but then no one would want to watch it because no one can relate to having a perfect family.

People find comfort in knowing that they aren’t the only ones struggling and they find satisfaction in seeing that other people also have problems and that some are more extreme than their own, even if it’s only on television. I also feel that the show did in some ways disturb women, for example the name of the programme, Desperate Housewives. I don’t think any woman wants the word “desperate” as a title, which is why it draws my attention and I’m sure many other people’s attention as well. Many over tired and under ppreciated mothers and wives may in fact feel desperate at some time in their lives. They may feel desperate for help, attention, appreciation, love, and respect, which is why I think so many women have found this show so appealing. It takes four everyday women living on a picture perfect suburban street and transforms them into sexy, mischievous, and attractive females who, like the viewers at home, have problems too. Desperate Housewives empowers women who may feel that their youthful days are over and that they are just there of their husband’s and children’s needs.

I feel that this show shows strength in women and serves as a message to worn out mothers and wives everywhere that they are not alone. I feel that in this case the stereotype works in positive way for women as it shows how impressions are often based on the superficial level rather on the deeper and more honest level. It also works for the women where as, most stereotypes work against them in idealising perfect but unrealistic lives in a serious way. The humour involved in this show pokes fun at the myths of suburban living and that is why many people all over the world including me find this show so appealing.


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