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iAm aWife

I still love iCarly and watch the show, but I did notice in the episode where Carly's brother is teaching her how to draw a bunny and Sam and Freddie are having to share a locker one of the jokes involved Carly asking her brother and Sam asking Freddie independently "When did you become my wife?" in a critical and frustrated tones. So girls were insulting boys for their perceived whiney or bossy behavior by calling them "wives." (iMust Have Locker 239)

To me,
That's saying that "wife" is an insult.
That's saying that young girls who will most likely grow up to be wives think being a wife is a negative thing.
That's saying that girls and boys watching the show laugh at the idea and have the idea reinforced.

I know I'm over-reacting and generally I'm against rampant political correctness. It just kind of jumped out at me.
I'm not a big time women's lib activist; my early dreams in life centered around being a stay-at-home mom who baked brownies for PTA meetings and volunteered as a den mother for scouts. Heck, maybe that's why I don't like the idea of "wife" as a bad term because it was one of my main goals in life.

Anyway, still watching the show. And I'm still in love with Spencer. :D He can be my wife any time.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
zarathud
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
I have zero interest in watching this show, but I wonder if it could be taken differently. Instead of reading it as "you are bossy, therefore you are behaving like a wife," you might also read it as "you are bossy, and I will not tolerate this from someone who is not my wife."

Regardless, the bossy wife is a well-established (and well-instantiated) stereotype. Many stereotypes regarding male and female behavior in marriage are so entrenched that nontrivial numbers of folks tend to fall into them. Some are harmless, some are very negative.

In this case, sure, enough folks are going to read it as you have, possibly making this a case that propagates an unhealthy stereotype. However, it seems to me to be a fairly minor thing. It's a joke. Often humor is used good-naturedly in a way that can help to defuse such stereotypes.
madladyred
Jan. 10th, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
repeat to yourself "I should really just relax"
I knew I was overreacting, that's why i wanted to make sure to used that word in my post. :) I definitely appreciate how humor can be used to defuse stressful situations and reframe thoughts and opinions. :) Plus, how could sitcoms exist without stereotyping and miscommunication?

I would have understood the girls asking "When did you become my mom?" since they are teenagers. And I do like the idea of them meaning "I will not tolerate this from someone who is not my wife." EDIT as that's a slightly better context, at least, though it still buys into the bossy wife stereotyping. :) It just didn't feel like that to me.

Sam is pretty aggressive in the show. She beats up on Freddie quite a bit (slaps him, plays pranks on him, embarrasses him) which annoys me - but she's over the top about it. She's kind of a wild and unpredictable force that doesn't necessarily realize putting someone in the tiger pen at the zoo could cause them permanent harm. The whole show is over the top and often rather silly.

With the school locker they were supposed to be sharing (through a ridiculous competition where Freddie scientifically calculated the correct number of snack cakes in a tube and Sam just knew how many based on how much she liked that brand of snack cake) Sam had taken over the entire locker and put up flat screen TV and guitar hero and stereo system set-up. She was being completely unreasonable about sharing. When he complained, she asked in a derogatory tone about him being her wife. Later she sold him her half of the locker for $200; after taking the $200 she told him she missed her old locker which was near her best friend and was moving out anyway; then her mother, who just had laser eye surgery and was now driving to the high school to pick up Sam, crashed a car through the wall destroying the locker completely. Sam hurled some of the debris out of the way, climbed in through the truck, and rode off. The principal arrived and busted Freddie for the damages.

I suppose I should have been more upset about him being abused than being upset about the idea of "wife" as insult.

Or possible I should be embarrassed that I watch the show. :)

Edited at 2011-01-10 04:49 am (UTC)
alex
Jan. 10th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
I don't think you're overreacting. It's annoying.
madladyred
Jan. 10th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
Zarathud made some good points in his comment.

But I appreciate your comment, too.

On the one hand, recognizing and laughing at stereotyping can be a tool to bring it to light and get lesson it's power. On the other hand, it can be quite hurtful. I suppose sometimes that can depend on how one is feeling that day!!


(And as a side note, I have learned a lot from reading your journal. I don't know if I've thanked you enough - but you have definitely widened my viewpoint. :)
sarahtoalaska
Jan. 10th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
I think it would annoy me too. I love being a "wife" and taking care of my husband. I always wanted to be a house wife, taking care of the kids and my husband.

I've seen a lot of shows treating the "wife" idea as not only something you shouldn't want, but as a very negative thing. There are a lot of negative male stereotypes (bad at buying gifts, can never remember dates), but not as many "husband" stereotypes. It's almost as if a man who's married is wonderful, where a woman who's married is a nag, a gold digger.

Sometimes an over used stereotype can be harmful.

Should I feel guilty for being a house wife? Am I using my husband? I get the weirdest reactions if I tell people I'm a house wife without explaining the back thing.

I remember when I got engaged all anyone cared about was the ring. Did a get a ring and how big is it? It's something we see on TV all the time. You got engaged?!! OMG! The ring is beautiful. We've learned this is the important part of getting engaged, not the promise to spend forever with one person.

Not that Zarathud didn't have good points, but I've noticed this trend myself and it annoys me.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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