9. No Doubt Encouraging Traditional Gender Roles

May 1, 2009

While our textbook does not have much to offer in the way of gender roles in music (not music videos), it does have something to offer for The Role Of Magazines. SPIN is a music magazine with no exclusive gender audience, but that doesn’t mean it is free from gender bias.

Chapter 13 says, “magazines targeted at male and female interests [tend] to contain articles that encourage maintenance of traditional, stereotypical roles” (p.364). So while SPIN is for lovers of music, and not exclusively men or exclusively women, it still can encourage “traditional” roles.

Just look at the cover for SPIN’s May 2009 issue:

Reminiscing of Blondie’s Parallel Lines, No Doubt looks pretty good together–or is it only because of Gewn Stefani? On the cover, Tony, Tom, and Adrian are well-dressed, corporate, and blend in with the background well. Gwen, however, has entirely more sex appeal and stands out.

Even on the cover, their feature article advertises: “Gwen Stefani is solo no mo’: ‘I felt like I was cheating on them!’ ” This points to the woman’s dependence on men in their lives in order to be stable, be happy, or be important.

While I’m sure Gwen would be one of the last people to promote a woman’s dependence on men, her stark sex appeal and her gendered role have been prominently displayed on the cover of SPIN.

SOURCES: Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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