Gender Issues in Cartoons Essay

646 Words 3 Pages
Gender Issues in Cartoons

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
…show more content…
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 dancing or homemaking skills.

The cartoon also portrays the femme fatale theory. The woman lures the man and then causes his downfall. In the cartoon, Dee Dee entices Dexter into playing some game. She then uses one of Dexter’s own creations to destroy or hinder him. Usually, she turns him into a giant or even a girl with the use of his experiments. As Dee Dee is wallowing in her victory over Dexter, he is plotting an idea to get revenge. His revenge usually leaves Dee Dee crying or running to their parents for help. This writing shows that Dee Dee is unable to solve her own problems, unlike Dexter. Dee Dee is being the stereotypical emotional female who needs help from others to resolve her issues. Dexter is "being a man". He
Open Document