Gender and Gender Stereotypes Essay

Submitted By Niicoleeeli
Words: 1035
Pages: 5

Boy meets girl. He likes her and she loves him. They date, they fight and they makeup. They get married and have kids. The end. Here is the typical plot line for modern day chick flick romantic comedy movies, always a “lovey-dovey” happy ending but never really realistic. However, Scott Neustander and Michael H. Weber’s (500) Days of Summer brings around a whole new point of view with a much more realistic story of the “boy meets girl”. In fact, in this version, the boy is the one madly in love and running after the girl instead of the lady, who actually is more cold-blooded and rational. Also, the ending does not finish happily for both of them unlike the usual fairytale ending. The movie (500) Days of Summer shows the switch in the traditional gender roles between the leading male and female character, Summer Finn and Tom Hanson.

Summer Finn, this seemingly beautiful and lovely young girl who has a rather blunt and unpleasant personality, breaks the gender stereotypes by being the more like the one wearing the pants in the relationship. She is originally from Michigan but decided to make a change in her life and move to Los Angeles. Even though her name “Summer” portrays an image of bright and sunny warmth, when people start talking to her, she is the complete opposite of it. She has a rather cold personality and she is also very blunt. This really distinguishes her from the typical romantic comedy lead females as she does not seem to possess the same kind of comforting and soft side most do. Then, she breaks away even further apart from the female stereotype when she describes her views on love as something that does not exist and is only a fantasy. For her, she dislikes the feeling to belong to someone and possesses a rather strong sense of independence. This differs from the usual females who like it better to find a special someone they can lean on and depend on. She has her own bubble of security compared to other women who search for protection under a men’s shelter. Another thing that really makes her seem more like the male stereotype than the female is how her take on a relationship is that she does not want anything to get to serious. In other words, she is almost saying that she only wants to have fun and enjoy sex but not necessarily build a healthy emotional connection. This thought of hers is typically male as the stereotypes of men revolves more around the idea that they enjoy the physical attraction more than the emotional attachment. Thus, the character of Summer Finn deviates far from the stereotypical woman in romantic comedies and takes a rather masculine role on her views on relationships.

Tom Hanson, smart and handsome young man who truly believes in finding love, breaks the gender stereotype of the typical male by being the softer and more submissive one in the relationship. He is this sweet and sensitive guy who writes cheesy greeting cards. Already there, he does not conform really to the male stereotype that normally has a rather manly job instead of being surrounded by hopeless romantic ladies every day. The reaction he has when he meets Summer for the first time demonstrates how he is more feminine than the usual male lead. He becomes flustered and dumb to the point where he has trouble following their conversation. For example in the exchange about Summer’s cat’s name, Tom asks her for the cat’s name even after that she just told him that the cat was named after Springsteen. Also, when she breaks up with him and tells him that they should stop seeing each other, she takes on a more masculine role as she actually thinks and analyzes situations compared to Tom who is more inclined into following his feelings instead of his brains. These characteristics are ironically