Gender in the Media: “Supergirl” #12

How does the TV show Supergirl represent gender? Part #12

In last week’s blog post, I talked about how Kara (Supergirl) met her match at work when her boss, Cat Grant, hired another assistant, Siobhan. This week, I will further discuss the relationship between the two women and how it plays on a certain gender stereotype.

In the first clip, we see Kara and Siobhan at work, and it is clear that they do not like each other. Kara makes a comment inferring that she is superior to Siobhan, because she gets more serious tasks at work. Then, we see Kara successfully attempt to get Siobhan fired. When Siobhan leaves, Kara makes another rude comment towards Siobhan, letting her know that she is the reason she was fired.

Then in the episode after, Siobhan calls Kara a “four-eyed bitch in a kilt” and “blonde mean girl,” and proceeds to say “I hate her. I hate her. I HATE HER.” She then tries to get Kara fired, but fails.

The gender stereotype in these two scenes is the two competing women. From the moment Siobhan is hired, there is an immediate rivalry between them. They both feel pressured to be better than the other, and constantly make comments to make the other feel worse about themselves at work. They both decide that only one person can be Cat Grant’s assistant, so they each invade each other’s computers to get the other fired. When Siobhan gets let go, Kara also shows no sympathy for her. She feels triumphant when Siobhan is fired because she succeeded in coming out on top, as Cat Grant’s favorite, and now, only assistant.

The stereotype of competing women is seen in many movies and television shows, and it is based on the belief that women are always comparing themselves to other women. Whether that be who has the best clothes, hairstyle, makeup, boyfriend/husband, or occupation, women judge themselves based on what other women have. They see these beautiful and successful women in magazines and on TV, and they wish they could look like them or be like them. Another example would be beauty pageants for women, where they compete against each other’s physical beauty, accomplishments, and talents. These beauty pageants attract many viewers, and not only may this hurt the self esteem of the women in these competitions, but also the women watching at home or in the audience. Ultimately, the clips above perfectly exemplify the stereotype of women competing against other women.

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