Everybody Loves Raymond, The Gender Roles Played Out In This Particular Television Show

992 words - 4 pages

Everybody Loves Raymond is a television sitcom based on a seemingly typical modern American household. The show is based around a loving but somewhat unequal marriage between Ray and Debbie. Thrown into the mix is Ray's overprotective mother, his domineering father, and his insecure brother. Most or these characters play into the American perception of what a man or a woman should be. Each personality has it's own way of portraying one's gender, in turn making the sitcom more appealing to Americans.Ray is a portrayed as a stereotypical male. He carries all of the traits that we are brought up to know a normal. His interests are golf, work, and sex. It is a replication of the media's fantasy of the "real man" (tough guise). As the dominant male figure, he strives only for these few things but rarely succeeds in getting them because his wife makes most of the household decisions. During the entire episode, Ray is only seen doing housework once. Unfortunately, he is completely clueless as to what to do and Debbie has to take over. This clearly shows that even though Ray is the dominant one in the house, he is not required to do thing pertaining to housework and childcare. In fact, if Ray is asked to do something like that he complains and does everything he can to get out of it. This behavior not only plays into what were expecting of a typical man, but it also shows what we are to expect for a typical woman.Women tend to spend at least fifteen more hours doing housework than men do (309). In the case of Ray's wife, Debbie, she spends all of her day doing housework and taking care of the children, which you never see during the episode. Every time Debbie appears in a scene she is folding clothes, doing dishes, or taking care of other domestic issues. About fifteen percent (15.7%) of woman on primetime television do not have a job. Another eleven percent (14.4%) of women were represented as homemakers or housewives as their occupation, Debbie being one of them (Elasmar et al 8). While housewives seem to have no power in the real world, Debbie has all of the power at home. She decides when Ray can play golf, what bills to play, and most importantly when to have sex. This power, which she exercises regularly, is not considered as important as Ray's power. She may make all of the decisions but because she does not go out into the work and bring home a paycheck, she will never be considered the most important part of the household.Now when looking at Ray's parents, we see a mirror image as to what goes on with Ray's marriage. Marie, Ray's mother, is always heeding to not only the needs of her husband, but also the needs of her two sons. Every time at lunch, Frank, Ray's father, expects her to make him a sandwich. She is the ultimate caregiver for her sons, almost to the point of suffocation. Frank,...

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