The media is a big part in today’s society. Everywhere you look there are posters
that advertise shows, movies, artist, and merchandise. It is safe to say that the media has
an impact in the world that surrounds it. Something to notice from the advertisements are
the gender roles that men and women fulfill. It seems as these gender roles are very
stereotypical. When analyzing the movie Hitch, I realized one important thing, I can
relate to the characters. I believe that the reason why the media conforms to gender norms
is so that the audience can connect with the characters.
Hitch, directed by Andy Tennant, is about Alex Hitchens, the “Date Doctor” and
Sara Melas a gossip columnist for a New York tabloid. Hitch’s job is to advise men to
help them get women. His newest client was Albert Brenneman who wanted to land a
date with Allegra Cole, a wealthy famous woman who has previously dated wealthy and
famous men. Since, Albert actually did start going on dates with Allegra the public
started questioning. Sara, the gossip columnist, was then assigned to write about Allegra
By making a career out of understating the opposite sex, Hitch is trying to break
down relationships into a science. He studies and generalizes the opposite sex. He teaches
his clients to act in a way that pleases women. Hitch seems to use stereotypes to try to
explain certain behaviors of women. Throughout the movie, Hitch layouts out the dos and
don’ts about dating, he describes situations and how women react to them, and he even
gives statistics on what women prefer. Then Hitch comes to a realization that you cannot
“study” women. Everyone is different and the best types of relationships are those that
are natural. At the beginning of the movie, he starts by giving facts about what women
like and do not like. However, at the end of the movie he states, “Basic principles: there
Many men start out like Hitch and try to find the perfect plan to get a girl or boy.
Then they realize that there is no perfect plan. This common situation happens with many
people. Therefore, for the producers to incorporate this common circumstance makes it
easier to connect with a large audience. If the audience can relate with the movie, the
The movie Hitch also incorporates common gender norms. Some that are
addressed are the stereotype that men are the initiators and over confident. There was a
scene when Hitch walks into a club with his friend. His friend kept on looking at a girl.
Hitch then says, “I’ll be right back. I’m going to get those girls over here.” This statement
portrays Hitch’s confidence. It also shows how he feels he can initiate connection with
the opposite sex. Other men watching the movie may feel and act the same way Hitch
does. Then when Hitch gets rejected, they may sympathize with him if the same
Another stereotype that was portrayed in this scene was that women are naive.
Hitch plays out a little act and tried to pay a woman five dollars for a drink. Then the
woman chases him exclaiming that she does not work at the bar. He then says, “I know.
How else was I supposed to get you way from all those guys?” Hitch used this plan with
the pre assumption that the girl was naive enough to fall for his plan. Women watching
may be reminiscing that something similar happened to them. They then observe what the
woman in the movie did for future reference.
At the beginning of the movie, Hitch talks about when he was in college and got
cheated on. At that moment he realized that he needed to help his peers on how to get
women and keep women. “It’s an education I feel obliged to pass on to my fellow men
because with no guile and no game, there is no girl.” This statement insinuates that there
is a certain right way to get a girl. It is Hitch’s job to teach men how to get girls.
Therefore, men would learn how to act a way in order to land a date with her. The way
the man acts in not innate and can be an act performed for the purpose of getting his girl.
This supports the reading, “Gender” that we analyzed in class.
In the article, “Gender,” Myra Jehlen talks about how gender is a performance
and not something that is set by the laws of nature. The gender of a person is dependent
on how she or he wants to act. Jahlen states, “She can detail femininity because she sees
it as a role, which must mean that masculinity is also a role. The logic of this is that
anyone who knows the rules can play, boy or girl, man or woman….a performance and
not a natural mode of being.” Since Hitch’s clients try to apply what they learn with
Hitch to get girl, they are performing. They are trying to be the type of man that will get
the girl. It is obviously not something they were born with if they are paying Hitch to
teach them how to be the man that women would want.
In conclusion, many of the problems addressed in Hitch are problems that are
encountered frequently in real life. This adds an extra connection that the audience would
have with the characters. The movie Hitch itself has a lot of gender norms and
stereotypes being addressed. Many woman and men have gone through or have felt the
same way the characters of the movie are feeling. This connection sells in the media
world. Contrary to other’s beliefs, the media’s intention is not promoting stereotypes it is
just trying to produce stories that can relate to others.
Eyup Akgün Education/Training University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany, B.S. (Chemistry) University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany, M.S. (Organic Chemistry) University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry) Assoc. Prof. (registered Technical University of Istanbul) Faculty of no tenure tract of University of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh, PA Faculty of no tenure tract
Join us at our next Read ‘n Share meeting on Thursday February 18th at 7:30 Bring a list of Titles and Authors you have enjoyed and find out what others are reading Read ‘n Share Titles December 17, 2009 Meeting The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Killed in an accident, an elderly man discovers that heaven is having five people explain the meaning of his life.