Good Example Of How Do These Portrayals Of Motherhood Offer Alternatives To Ideal Television Stereotypes? Essay
A typical television mothers such as the ones displayed on Malcolm in the middle and Reba offer alternatives ideal television stereotypes of motherhood. The reason for stating this fact is that in looking at mothers in television they tend to be loving, attentive and overly affectionate to their children. In Malcolm in the middle and Reba both the characters are portrayed to be strong and independent women. Reba is perceived to be sarcastic and temperamental. She is, however, shown to be very caring and sensible when it comes to her children. She is also shown to be tough but kind as a mother. On one occasion, it was shown how she supported her teenage daughter who got pregnant and helped her after she gave birth (Dinoman). In Malcolm in the middle, Lois is portrayed to be stubborn and hotheaded. She is a working mother but always ensured that she checked on her rowdy boys. She was very strict and harsh to her children because of their dangerous behaviors. At some point, one could consider her to be a dictator because her children feared her especially when they have done a mistake (Lambert).
Are these alternatives resistant to cultural values regarding motherhood?
These alternatives as portrayed by Lois and Reba, are resistant to cultural values regarding motherhood. According to cultural values, mothers are considered to be the child-rearing agents. Most women who are mothers usually stay at home and look after their children while their husbands go to work (Coontz). This mentality of how mothers should behave has slowly begun to fade, but many still believe in it. The two characters from Malcolm in the middle and Reba do not fit the stereotype of how mothers are supposed to be (Lambert). The two women work and also take care of their children. Reba is also a single parent who juggles the life of sometimes being both the father and mother of her children. According to cultural values, mothers are supposed to be caring, kind and loving (Coontz). Sometimes the two characters seemed to be a little bit harsh especially Lois from Malcolm in the middle.
Coontz, Stephanie. The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families. Basic Books, 2008.
Dinoman772. Reba - Labor of Love. 23 May 2011. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcT8TjuoTjA>.
Lambert, David. Malcolm in the Middle – Season 2 (plus Other Shows) Hamstrung by Music Clearances. TVShowsOnDVD, 2003.