How does the TV show Supergirl represent gender? Part #13
The scene below is taken from the first episode of Supergirl‘s second season. Prior to the episode, there was a huge buildup for Superman’s first appearance in the show with numerous promos. As you can see below, when Superman enters the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO), there is heroic music playing, and everyone in the building immediately stops what they are doing to greet Superman. All while this is happening, Kara (Supergirl) is very cheery and happy, but everyone seems to be ignoring her. She also notices this and is surprised by everyone’s reactions.
The scene is an example of gender stereotypes because the man in the situation is being taken more seriously. Superman is portrayed as being superior to Supergirl, even though they have the exact same powers.
Superman’s demeanor is also the stereotype of a man, because he has a straight, serious face. Meanwhile, Supergirl shows the stereotype of a woman because she is very excited, and smiling.
Another stereotype is the tension between the two men, Superman and J’onn J’onzz. J’onn is the director of the DEO, so he may feel intimidated by Superman’s presence, since it seems his DEO employees look up to him so much. It is a stereotype that men are always in competition with one another for power, and I think the tension between them is an example of that.