Thursday, 4 February 2016

9 to 5 comedy sitcom

9 to 5
9 to 5 was an American comedy sitcom in the 1980's. It ran from 1982-1988. It has sexism and gender issues within it. It is a reinvention of the 1980's film called '9 to 5'. The narrative of the comedy show is about three woman who are seeking fairness in the workplace and are working for men who are sexist. 
Throughout the series, the woman are portrayed as useless and not able to work, even as office assistances, which could be considered as easy jobs. They are constantly being looked down upon by the men and are made to feel that they are inferior to the males in the workplace, despite them both working for the same company. This is a good representation of American culture of the 1980s because it demonstrates what the era was like for women and gender equality.   
It is interesting that the sitcom is a comedy, because this suggests that the attitudes of people in the 1980s were different from previous eras. The fact that its a comedy indicates that the 1980s viewed gender equality as not a serious issue, as they were making comedy from serious issues and debates at this time.
However, at the same time, it does also show that gender equality and sexism was a serious matter, because there was a sitcom made, which provided people the chance to laugh at how women were treated before, especially in the work place. This indicates that peoples views changed on women and the workplace, suggesting that women are capable at having a job. This is why a comedy was made about gender and sexism.
This clip demonstrates a lot of sexism, and comedy around the women office workers inability to do their job, just because they are a woman. The first 40 seconds of the clip is interesting, because it has an African-American in it, who is being sarcastic to the woman. This indicates that in the 1980s, woman were considered less important in the work place, than African-American men. Moreover, the people at the highest roles in the sitcom are white males. This indicates that during the 1980s, men earned more money than women, especially white men.
Another key moment in the clip, is when the man in charge is discussing his dental appointment. He acts as if he needs an assistant, and thanks her, but then he behaves as if she is incompetent. The mans general attitude towards his assistant is degrading and humiliating.
The sitcom also seems to illustrate that the men are the most important people in the work place, who are doing the serious work, whereas the woman are only there for entertainment purposes, since there is the notion that they are not capable of working as what is considered as a 'professional' or 'career' job.
This image indicates that in the 1980s, the wage gap between men and woman did get considerably less. In 1984, for women, its at 24, for men, its 26. As we get later into the decade, it gets better. As in 1987, for men it is 31, and for women, it is 30. There is a breakthrough in relation to the wage gap between men and women, because in 1988 men and women earn the same for doing the same job. What is interesting is that at the end of the 1980s, women are actually being paid more than men for the same job. These results are for a number of reasons such as better opportunities for women in education, but most importantly, the belief that women had a future in the workplace was a significant factor in why the wage gap between men and women, during the 1980s, had decreased.
The image itself illustrates that the 1980s was a time where women were making progress, despite many set-backs. The woman are shown as superior and better than men, because the man is tied up, and the women are drinking champagne. It suggests that there was hope for women and gender equality in the future, as a result of the 1980s.

Another interesting point is that all the woman appear working-class and are white. This indicates that during the 1980s in the United States, the issue involving gender in the workplace was only apparent among the lower social classes. It signifies that the upper-class women could achieve the same as a man, and not get sexist remarks in the workplace.
Grace La Traille

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