Gender Roles on CBS’ Survivor
I’ve haven’t been a ‘long time’ Survivor fan, but I have been watching for the past couple years (since TV became my favorite de-stressing activity). The new season just started and I’ve begun noticing many striking differences between the roles taken on by men and women on the tribes. I have always been aware of the physical differences in performance during challenges and when paired up or teamed up against each other, the show’s producers ensure an equal number of men and women on each team.
Since taking this class, however, I’ve seen the more subtle differences in gender roles back at camp and in how the contestants relate to one another. For example, in last week’s episode, one tribe won fishing gear at a reward challenge. Back at camp, a male cattle rancher and his friend, a male corporate consultant, bonded over using their new fishing gear. I immediately realized that I’d rarely or really never seen female contestants using fishing gear on the show.
I’ve been re-watching key episodes to see how tribes react to the introduction of new technology (fire, fishing gear, etc). I’ve seen occasional glimpses of women fishing in the background, but the main story line tends to revolve around men using it. I need to do more research to see who’s using fire and who’s doing the cooking around camp. I’ll have that prepared for the panel on Wednesday.