Intertextuality and Women

Focusing on Women in the Media

The Power of the Sexual Being March 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paige @ 4:35 pm


After viewing episodes of Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, and Police Woman, the differences between these woman are quite obvious; These woman have power, and they know how to use it.

Samantha, of Bewitched, may seem like an ordinary house wife (that is until she wiggles her nose and disappears to Paris.) Normal house wife is really all Sam wants to be though, but her magical powers prevent her from doing so. Her magical powers bring Samantha the kind of power that an ordinary house wife longs for, and this makes Darren obviously uncomfortable. Darren doesn’t like Samantha using her powers, and tells her not to use them. Darren is exerting what power he has over Samantha and attempting to tame her.

It is a different relationship with Samantha and Darren than many other television shows we see at this time. Although we see the stereotypical submissive wife in Samantha, we also get a sense that she is using it in a sort of manipulative way. It seems that the true man in the house is Samantha, and although she acts like a normal house wife, she has the power.

Jeanie, of I Dream of Jeanie, is another example of woman having dominance over their men. It is quite obvious that the more sexual and in control you are of your body, the more power you have. I would argue that Jeanie uses her sexual powers rather than her genie powers in taking control of her master, Tony. Tony has absolutely no control over Jeanie for two reasons, the first being that he granted her her freedom in the beginning of the series. The second reason is that she is a purely sexual being, she wears racy clothing and is confident about her sexuality.

Once Tony set Jeanie free he relinquished whatever power as a man he had over woman, and is now under the spell of Jeanie.

Angie Dickinson, the actress who played Penny Anderson in Police Woman, had no magical powers. Instead, her power was her sexuality and confidence as a woman. In an all male squad Penny held her own and took control over most situations. She was not portrayed as a ditzy working woman, but rather as a strong independent sexy woman who knew what she was doing. Although she often used her sexuality as a way to fight crime, it’s obvious that that wasn’t the sole cause of her success.

It takes a strong man to be a cop, and an even stronger woman to be a police woman.




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