Cross Dressing Gender Rolls Thesis

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Gender

Billy Wilder's 1959 film Some Like it Hot playfully explores gender, sexuality, and gender bending. Marilyn Monroe plays Sugar Cane, a stereotypically dumb-witted blonde with no real aspirations beyond finding a man to take care of her. Sugar Cane is the archetype of socialized femininity, as she is passive, soft, sweet, and submissive. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play Joe and Jerry, two musicians looking for work in tough times. As the only jobs available are in an all-female traveling band, Joe and Jerry become Josephine and Daphne, respectively. They both fall for the sexy Sugar Cane. Joe assumes yet a third identity as a millionaire named Junior. As Junior, Joe woos Candy while conforming to traditional gender roles. Switching between their multiple identities, Joe/Josephine and Jerry/Daphne at once substantiate and subvert gender roles and stereotypes. Therefore, Wilder's Some Like it Hot offers a lighthearted view of gender, but without significantly challenging gender stereotypes or social norms.

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Marylin Monroe's character Sugar Cane is not appreciably different from Monroe's persona as an actor. The blonde bombshell talks with a cute, girlish voice. Her main desire in life is to meet a good man to marry. She continually downplays her own intelligence, once even referring to herself as "dumb." Sugar Cane does not lose her temper; she has a gentle temperament. Although she lives her life according to the proscribed gender roles, Sugar Cane is depicted as being independent. She has her own singing career, travels freely, and generally feels empowered to make decisions regarding her sexuality and choice of mate.

TOPIC: Thesis on Cross Dressing Gender Rolls Assignment

Josephine and Daphne are the other two major "female" characters in Some Like it Hot. The two transvestites assume the stereotypical role of female when they fulfill their Josephine and Daphne act. For instance, Josephine and Daphne have a different type of friendship than Joe and Jerry. When they are with Sugar, Josephine and Jerry offer relationship counseling and speak softly. When Joe and Jerry are just Joe and Jerry, they talk to each other differently and are willing to argue with one another. Their different attitudes and roles in their friendship illustrate the prevailing gender roles and norms of the 1950s.

When Joe and Jerry are cross-dressed, they walk like females, talk like females, and to a large degree act like females acted when Some Like it Hot was made. However, Josephine and Daphne are spunkier and stronger than Sugar Cane is; their gender allows for a certain degree of mutability in terms of personality. Josephine and Daphne also offer counterpoint to Sugar Cane's exceptional femininity.

Joe and Jerry play roles that in some ways fulfill the roles of typical men. For example, they pursue women, talk about golf and they take the upper hand in pursuing romantic interests. Their assertive personalities contrast sharply with Sugar's submissiveness. Joe and Jerry's masculinity is never seriously called into question[END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Cross Dressing Gender Rolls.  (2009, November 15).  Retrieved July 27, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/cross-dressing-gender-rolls/4753

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"Cross Dressing Gender Rolls."  15 November 2009.  Web.  27 July 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/cross-dressing-gender-rolls/4753>.

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"Cross Dressing Gender Rolls."  Essaytown.com.  November 15, 2009.  Accessed July 27, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/cross-dressing-gender-rolls/4753.