Gender and Sexuality in Crime Tv

In: Social Issues

Submitted By maryanne
Words 2243
Pages 9
The portrayal of gender and sexuality in crime television has evolved over the past six decades. Some aspects stayed the same while others have changed for various reasons, ranging from changing stereotypes to the media. Indeed we are living a new era, one in which women are gradually moving away from their gender role, strongly depicted in the 50’s and 60’s. However, the media's power lies in its popularity and the palatability of what it presents to the audience – ratings and financial gain matter more than change. In the past women in crime television series had never been portrayed as the heroes who save the day, but as either the woman who stood behind the male police officer, a paralegal or secretary who helps out with the investigations, or, most commonly as the victim. In the same way, homosexuals and transgenders were hardly ever depicted in these crime television dramas and if they were, they were dramatically stereotyped for comic effect or portrayed as promiscuous and having addictive tendencies. Times change and so do the content of the shows we continue to watch. I plan exploring the portrayal of women in the crime television dramas, CSI: Miami (2002) and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) (1999). Although women have come a long way since the late nineteenth century in changing the way they are perceived at home and in the workplace, sometimes some people cannot help but automatically link a woman to subservience.

Once upon a time, a woman involved in solving crimes was usually the wife of the commissioner, the widow of a slain relative of the main character, or an elderly woman who solved crimes between knitting projects—just for fun. These women could also be oddities, Julie from The Mod Squad (1968) had been homeless and the daughter of a prostitute, while the women of Charlie’s Angels (1976) left their respective police departments in…...

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