Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hustle - Gender Essay

The things we stereo-typically associate with males and females cloud our judgement on what certain characters are going to be like within television programmes  We are first introduced to this clip of Hustle when a posh looking woman enters a boutique shop. We instantly think she is  materialistic as she look immaculate and wears posh, expensive clothes and heads straight to the dresses. This conforms to the stereo-typical views that women love to shop and like expensive things. When the camera later sweeps over her body, we can see she is wearing an expensive ring as well as other types of jewellery. This shows she is wealthy and is of a higher class, which could show both the 'modern woman' who works for a living and has an important job, or the 'old-fashioned' housewife who doesn't work, cleans the house and lives off the money of her husband. 

We are also introduced to another woman and the male shop assistant. There are high-angled shots used to show the woman is out of place because of what she is wearing, and this is then confirmed when the dress is "a little out of her price range". Over the shoulder shots are used when the shop assistant is talking, as it stresses his importance and power in the scene. We often assume men have more power over women because they are seen as the dominant gender in society. However, the shop assistant isn't exactly a typical male due to his feminine personality and presumed sexuality. When he is talking to the vulnerable client he peers over her to make her feel smaller and uncomfortable. This adheres to the initial conclusion men are superior and can manipulate women by being the dominant gender. 

When the scene changes a wipe transition is used along with the sound of a curtain sliding, this enhances the idea women are materialistic and like to shop and buy clothes. When we see the higher class woman again the camera sweeps up her body as she is wearing the dress. She is making emphasized noises that exclaim how much she loves the dress and this conforms to the idea women enjoy shopping and spending money, as well as liking expensive "£2000" dresses. When asking about the price the woman acts in a girly manor by using her hands and smiling a lot. This is typical behaviour we would expect from females and it adds to the portrayal of the character within the clip.  

Once the woman has lost her ring we can see she behaves in the way a typical woman would when losing a precious item. She exclaims that her "husband will kill her" upon losing the ring as it's worth a lot of money. She then also talks about a hair-dressing appointment which is something a stereotypical girl would be worried about missing. A hand-held camera and the pace of the editing have been used to show the frantic and worried movements of the woman. When she says the words "Please help me!" and "Please, anything!" it creates the idea women are helpless and need the assistance of a man to help them with things. This adds to the idea males are more superior and are better than women as they often help a 'damsel in distress'. 

When we meet the con-artist who 'finds' the ring we instantly get the impression he is masculine and behaves like a typical male. He doesn't talk in a posh manor as he says things such as "She didn't get that out of a cracker did she"and he chews gum. These actions adhere to what we think most men behave like, as he wants to claim the reward and assert his male dominance over the shop assistant. He also breaks the fourth wall in this scene, which shows he is in control of the situation and can do what he wants. The camera angle juxtaposes with the situation as a high-angled shot in being used when looking at the con-man, when he is in fact more powerful than the shop assistant. This could have been to show that even though the shop assistant should have authority over him, he doesn't because gender and masculinity have come into play. The con-man has natural power over him without trying because of the way he behaves and the things he says. 

At the end of the clip we see that the posh woman is too a con artist and she isn't as feminine as we first thought. She seems to be in charge o the situation as she and the male con-artist have managed to get £1500 from the shop assistant. This goes against the stereo-typical views we have of women as males are seen to be the dominant ones, and in this situation the woman isn't helpless and struggling, she is smart and business-like. Overall. this clip both contradicts and adheres to the initial thoughts we have about gender, as women can be both smart and materialistic, and men can be both masculine and powerless. 

1 comment:

  1. Holly,

    Very good grasp of concepts and integration of examples. I would like still more length and in depth analysis, for example of the final scene.
    Well done B-