The following piece is an assignment for Media and Culture class. The assignment was to follow an aspect of popular culture and keep a blog account each week. I chose to write my entries on American television dramas; I focused on that of the ABC medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy.
We’ve talked about how Grey’s Anatomy portrays the women in the show (smart, independent, insane)but what about the men? Anyone who has watched, or even heard of Grey’s Anatomy knows of the obvious requirement of the male surgical residents at Grey-Sloan:
Although we may like to watch the ground breaking medical miracles, we would rather watch hunky doctors perform them. Why? We are physical creatures and therefore the media that we consume reflects that.
Men are LITERALLY being Objectified More than Women
Rob Lowe recently commented on the objectification of men in the media in an interview with Vulure this week.
Lowe states, “People go on and on about the objectification of women, and rightly so. But what about the objectification of men? When was the last time you saw Grey’s Anatomy?” In this interview, he talks about his new comedy show The Grinder, in which he portrays an actor who starred as a lawyer in a legal drama for years, before quitting the show in part because he felt objectified. Now anyone who has seen Rob Lowe knows that he has LITERALLY been the face of sexualized men since his first media exposure in the 1980s.Is there a double standard?
Rob Lowe’s co-star from Parks and Recreation,Chris Pratt, commented on the objectification of men in media in an interview last June.. Pratt states, “I think it’s appalling that for a long time only women were objectified, but I think if we really want to advocate for equality, it’s important to even things out.” He continues to say, “Not objectify women less, but objectify men just as often as we objectify women. There are a lot of women who got careers out of it, and I’m using it to my advantage. And at the end of the day, our bodies are objects.” To say that our bodies are objects is to say that we are physical beings with completely physical desires, not to connect the term with “objectify” which refers to the division between subject and object. The objectification of female bodies is more problematic than the objectification of male bodies because of our history of thinking of women as nothing more than sex objects. The article titled, “Sex Roles,” by Sarah K. Murnen states, “The image of men emphasizes muscularity…the portrayal of action figured across time and found that they have become unrealistically muscular over the last 20 years. It is possible that media images of muscular men encourage men to have larger, more muscular bodies and are contributing to men’s dissatisfaction problems.”
Madeleine Holden, writer for “The Creators Project” at Vice Media, comments that, “The male nude is having a cultural renaissance.” As opposed to the last few centuries or so, Ancient Greek and Roman societies adored the male body as a part of art and culture. “The modern woman is decreasingly reluctant to express her sexual desires…” But why is this? Holden explains that, “We’re still up against ancient attitudes that dictate that women should be desirable, but keep our own desires quiet for fear of being the kind of slutty, uncouth women who speaks openly about what turns her on.”
Is the objectification of men any less important or demeaning than that of women?
Although the objectification of women is more common, there seems to be an increased emphasis on the objectification of men across time. This is not saying that the objectification of men versus women is more or less important, just different. Women are typically more emotional in nature than men who are typically more physical beings; so when men objectify women it seem more primal and aggressive, as opposed to when women objectify men, it seems more innocent or playful. This can be seen in the obvious differences in men versus women in strip clubs, an example being the idea of, “Ladies Night!”
I am Woman Hear Me Roar!
According to the Objectification Theory, “The body is the basis for the distinction between the sexes.” But there is a constant battle between what is a bigger influence, biology or environment?
“Feminists and others have been understandable suspicious of perspectives because of their deterministic flavor, and perhaps for this reason the body has been largely ignored in nonbiological explanatory schemed for gender distinctions, which tend to focus more on sociocultural influences. Feminist and other sociocultural perspectives, for instance, have done a great deal to illuminate the was in which many gender differences have little to do with the biological body, and much more to do with the differential socialization of boys and girls, and, perhaps even more profoundly, with the different social status and power held by women and men in society.”
It also needs to be taken into account the consumer appeal. About 62% of the ABC audience is female (CBS is the next more female-skewed at 57%), with Grey’s Anatomy having an audience that is just under 76% female based. Given these statistics, of course the creators of Grey’s Anatomy are going to feature copious amounts of smart, gorgeous, shirtless doctors. I for one won’t complain about it!
Now I’m Going to Fall into the Objectification and Post Pictures of These Drop Dead Gorgeous Doctors
Since there are too many beautiful men to talk about individually, here’s a Buzzfeed link showing The Definitive Ranking of Male Doctors on Grey’s Anatomy!
The OG dreamy doctor in Grey’s Anatomy. Let’s start from the beginning, he was introduced into the show because he had a one night stand with Meredith Grey; little did they know that the next morning, they would each go into work and find out that he was actually her new boss! From that iconic moment on, every fan of the show lusted for a steamy work relationship like “MerDer.” Their relationship was so ridiculously complicated, from finding out that Derek was still married to Dr. Addison Forbes-Montgomery, all of Derek and Meredith’s respective daddy issues, to gun-men, plane-crashes, and bombs, “MerDer” always kept us on our toes. I mean think about it, how much better could a guy be?
1) Completely unattainable and inappropriate
2) World class neurosurgeon, no big deal though
3) Adorable husband and dad
4) Never a hair out of place! Here’s a link that gives a few more reasons why I love Dr. Shepherd
As if fans of Grey’s Anatomy thought that the there was nothing better than “McDreamy,” Dr. Shepherd’s best friend and world class plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark Sloan became the talk of the hospital in no time. “McSteamy,” became a staple character on the show, infamous for his egotistic, bad boy demeanor
To give a little background, Mark hooked up with Addison, who was Derek’s wife at the time, the two had a falling out, and upon his introduction into the hospital, Derek punches him square in the face. Throughout his time on the show, viewers see Mark’s love life escalate and travel throughout the entire hospital…
By his death at the end of season 8, Mark had found out of a love child from when he was younger, had fathered Dr. Callie Torres’s baby, and eventually declared his love for Dr. Lexi Grey as she dies from the impacts of a plane crash, which would eventually kill him as well. Here’s a link further explaining how perfect Mark Sloan is!
Dr. Richard Webber, the bearer of Alzheimer’s disease, can be seen as the father of the hospital. Being that Meredith’s father left when she was younger, Dr. Webber is often seen as the closest thing that she has to a father. T
Throughout his career in the show, he has…
Had an affair with Dr. Elis Grey (deceased)
Married Adele Webber (deceased)
Held a Chief of Surgery position for some time
Found out about a love child (Dr. Maggie Pierce) between him and Eliss
Married Dr. Catherine Avery (Dr. Jackson Avery’s mother)
And provides as a father figure to the entire hospital.
Dr. Alex Karev, is the OG bad boy, asshole of characters. From his start on the show in season one, viewers have seen him go through copious amounts of female characters; eventually he settles down with Dr. Izzie Stevens (only to have her leave after her cancer), followed by Dr. Wilson. Why do we love Alex? He is your typical bad boy; he hooks up with numerous women in the show, acts as if he doesn’t care about anyone else, has a hidden heart of gold, and we want to fix him! Viewers love Dr. Karev for his bad boy demeanor filled with family complications, emotional baggage, and eventual exposure of his genuine compassion in his love for pediatric surgery. Here’s the LONG list of Alex’s work place relationships
Dr. Jackson Avery…how does one begin to explain Dr. Jackson Avery. Rich, gorgeous, brilliant plastic surgeon, rich, surgical prodigy, rich…rich…rich. And those EYES!
Let’s face it, Jackson could sure patients with just one look!Here’s a link explaining some more reasons why I love Dr. Avery!
Dr. Preston Burke was the typical dark, mysterious incredible cardiothoracic surgeon. Here’s some reasons why Burke was pretty great! But no matter how perfect he seemed up until season three, we all hated him after he left Christina. One does not simply leave Dr. Christina Yang at the alter and get away with it.
I don’t think that anyone can argue with the obvious attraction to
1) a guy who is “damaged”
2) a man in uniform
Trauma surgeon, and partial Chief of Surgery, Dr. Owen Hunt’s post military passion leaves viewers speechless. Although his relationship with Dr. Christina Yang was complicated and ended on a completely heart-breaking note, Owen will always hold a special place in this viewer’s heart.
Contrary to the sex gods mentioned before, Dr. George O’Malley is the typical boy-next-door.
He is sweet, sensitive, and the epitome of the cliché “nice guys finish last.”
In his time on the show, George was too often the punching bag of the residents, but was secretly every fans’ favorite, we all felt bad for the guy! Here’s some reasons why George O’Malley was the best guy EVER