Document Type

Article

Award Date

11-2-2008

Abstract

Among the multitude of issues that affect us every day, Americans have long debated the effects of and reasons for differing gender roles, noting how our culture either embellishes or degrades them, while asking why, if at all, American society should or should not tamper with these roles. One major structure within society that is inevitably affected by gender roles is the family unit. Those who agree on views on family life, such as the conservative value of male breadwinners and female homemakers or the liberal view of either reversed roles or equal levels of these identities, will have a happier marriage and family life, but when their views differ or change, the marriage might not last long, leading to divorce. In a film Mrs. Doubtfire, the main character disguises himself as a woman and plays the role of an elderly British nanny in an effort to spend more time with his children after a divorce-custody case limits his visitation rights. The film addresses gender roles as it depicts the adherence and contradictions in cultural conventions. More importantly, the film examines the effects of these gender roles on families.