Though many of these artifacts were difficult to think of or come across, I thoroughly enjoyed finding gender representations in contemporary culture. While I still maintain that many interactions do not derive solely from gender, I now have a much broader understanding of how big the role of gender is.

Many of my artifacts come from things I’ve read and seen on YouTube, and while I do repeat some concepts a few times, they are spread across several different mediums.

Because I’m mostly interested in literature and music, many of my findings come from song lyrics, music videos, novels, comics, and reviews. Most of the time, it was difficult to come up with accurate corresponding concepts from the text. Our text does not have a section for gender representation or roles literature, nor does it have anything about song writing or songs outside of music videos. A few of my entries ended up pulling references from multiple parts of the text across several chapters.

I also pulled references from some of my favorite TV shows, movies, and YouTube clips that I enjoy that I happened to find by accident. It could be argued that my artifacts are all, in some way, media-based, but each of them has other components that connect them to other concepts such as workplace, classroom, relationships, genderlects, social movements, and power roles.

Regrettably, there are some artifacts that I was unable to cite.

Few artifacts completely conform to, or completely defy, concepts from the textbook. It’s made me more thoroughly understand that not everything in the real world is as black-and-white as the text illustrates. Where the text will state that “the fighting man” is “aggressive and willing to risk everything” (p. 271), that concept is not true for all men, nor is it true for some men all of the time, and it is not linked to men only. So even though the textbook can make sweeping generalizations about gender, my artifacts (and subsequent analyses) demonstrate that not all parts of all concepts apply, and not all parts of those concepts are defied.

The real world provides a grey middle area that the text does not always account for.

Because many of my artifacts defy what the text claims to be “normal” or “true,” I find myself questioning both the validity of the text’s ideas and the validity of absolute statements. Because gender is individual, there cannot possibly be umbrella theories that accurately describe all gender representations in all people, even if you target only Americans.

This blog is about as diverse as gender representations are. Though it only touches the surface on many textual concepts, I now have a much better understanding of gender roles and gender representation, especially in how they are executed, understood, and defied.

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