Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Study in Objectification: Sons of Anarchy Credits

So! We have covered What Objectification Is at some length. We have learnt, for example, that one indicator of objectification is depicting just one body part rather than a whole person. So today I would like to take you on a tour of the Sons of Anarchy credits! Now, every cast member in these credits is only represented by one body part - and never their face (that most human and expressive part of the anatomy). But I would argue that only two (three, at a push) of the eight characters featured are actually objectified in the sequence.

Guess their gender!

The most noticeable difference between the depiction of men and women here is that the male characters are active - they're shown Doing Things - whereas the female characters are passive. In order, we have Jax, grabbing a gun:

Followed by Gemma, having breasts.

Bobby, playing guitar!

Tig, pumping a shotgun!

Chibs, brandishing a knife!

Unnamed lady non-character, having legs.

Tara, being naked.

Clay, smoking a cigar...

And finally, Jax, being naked, with a really good muscle twitch right at the end.

(NB These images are just screen-grabs from a crappy video hosted online, hence the dubious quality, interesting cropping decisions and the random little light bulb in the corner on Tig's pic.)

This phenomenon - men as active, women as passive - has been documented extensively, most often in the context of kids' toys catalogues. You see boys playing with microscopes, building train tracks, brandishing pirate swords; and girls... looking at dolls. The implicit takeaway is that men are there to Do Stuff - and women are decoration.

Which is especially bizarre in the case of Sons of Anarchy. Although the women sure are decorative - all the female main characters are slammin' hotties, as opposed to, say, Bobby, Tig, Piney, Clay, Opie... (no accounting for personal taste, of course, but Gemma and Tara - and Jax - conform to mainstream notions of Hot. Women can be interesting characters as long as they're hot as well: men can just be interesting characters.) - they are also fucking fascinating people, and far from passive. Gemma's actions and decisions are absolutey pivotal in the show, and while Tara tends to be more reactive, her choices were the driving force behind the story arc of season four. So it's bizarre that the titles go to the default, of presenting them as nothing more than decorative bodies.

1 comment:

  1. The theme song of Sons of Anarchy is composed with the theme of the show. Every character is displaying some expression during the song. This shows how much the club flourished during the whole series even the outfits they wore showed true patriotism. For more visit my blog. Click here.