Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Essay #1 - Gender Roles

Ramirez, Yolanda
Professor Dinsmore
English 114B
May 16, 2012
Living Up To Society’s Standards

Question number 4 explores gender roles in both the “Gamer” and/or “The Surrogates”. The movie “Gamer” addresses how women are viewed and used. I will attempt to explain how this topic sets standards for people and why they feel the need to use avatars to interact with each other instead of themselves. In addition, discovering the reason why people choose to be different genders while utilizing an avatar form. Lastly, will compare both “Gamer” and the “The Surrogates” and explore their theory and similarities with gender roles.
The movie “Gamer” deals with people who are wealthy and use avatars to do things they don’t usually would do themselves. Video games play a big part in this movie since everyone who is wealthy spend most their free time playing them. One of the public’s favorite games is Society, this game allows the player to control a real person and make them do whatever they desire. The “characters” of this game, are usually poor people and they do this as a job.
In this movie, women are usually viewed as inferior to men. For example, men usually decide to play a woman avatar and make her do nasty things, they dress them with not much clothing and make them hurt themselves or do things women usually would not do in their right minds. They also make them have sex with women and men. Also, when the avatar gets hurt, the player does not feel the pain, only the avatar. The avatar feels the pain but since they are being controlled, they cannot do anything to stop it.
The movie also projects how people are anti-social since they prefer to interact with each other through avatars instead of actually meeting each other in real life. Are people really scared of how another person is going to think of them? Obviously they are, because another factor I noticed throughout the movie is that every avatar is beautiful. They fit the standards society has for them. Usually, the people controlling the avatar are completely opposite. People are so scared of what society would think about them that they rather hide behind a computer and pretend to be someone else. Another factor that also plays a big part in gender roles is the fact that people want to feel beautiful. Society sets “standards” that everyone has to fit in order to be socially acceptable. That is one of the main reasons why people use women as sex toys. Women have to be beautiful in order for people to like them. When men choose to play a woman, they choose someone who is sexy, not someone who is not considering being “beautiful” by society’s standards. Every avatar woman you see on the game is beautiful. This video game called Society had become part of people’s lives.
 “The Surrogates” is a book that also focuses on the topic of gender role. In this book people also use their avatars to do what they would normally do in their daily routines. People have gotten so used to use their avatars all the time that they have completely forgotten what is like to interact with real people. One of the main characters in this series is Victor/Victoria. He is the creator of the avatars yet he also wants to destroy them. He takes a double identity, as a woman and a man. It seems like being a man did not satisfy his needs therefore he decided to create a female image of himself.
After watching the movie “Gamer” and reading the book “The Surrogates” what I learned from both works is that people seem to hide who they really are behind these “machines” because they are too afraid to be themselves. Society makes people believe that they can be happier if they play by its rules, using other people in order to be happier with their own life sounds like a much more interesting way to enjoy living. What they do not realize is they are society and can change the rules of the game. By using avatars they are living a lie, they are not being themselves therefore cannot make themselves happy because they are not satisfying their desires but someone else’s.
These are just a few great examples of how people actually view themselves. Although women have obtained a higher position in today’s society they are still portrayed as the weaker sex. Women feel like they still have to impress society and they want to feel “socially” acceptable in every way possible, they would change their image and the way they act in order to fit in. They work harder than men because they still feel like they have to prove themselves “worthy”. Men also feel like they have to follow certain standards to keep being on top, but what they do not understand is that they are society. They set their own standards and even though they do not agree with them, they do not do anything to change them because they are afraid of change and the fact that someone might go against them. If they would only express how they feel, they would all understand that everyone is on the same page and maybe instead of hiding behind avatars, they would interact with each other and create a better society.

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