No Girls Allowed: Television Boys’ Clubs as Resistance to Feminism

Pamela Hill NettletonAcademic WritingLeave a Comment

From Television & New Media, Vol. 17, No. 7, pp. 563 – 578, 2016

This article analyzes the male-only spaces present in four television series, FX’s The Shield, Nip/Tuck , Rescue Me, and ABC’s Boston Legal, which each include a gendered territory as a recurring feature. I argue that these homosocially segregated environments enforce boundaries against women and shelter intense bromance relationships that foreclose romantic relationships of any kind, acting as physical incarnations of troubling retrograde sexual politics and ideologies. I also assert that the “boys’ clubs” in which these narratives take place, enabled and empowered by the aesthetic dimensions of architecture and design, help establish workplace patriarchy as commonplace, reasonable, and benign. This article reveals that in these television boys’ clubs, problematic gender ideologies are protected and celebrated, misogyny is naturalized, and patriarchal beliefs and behaviors legitimized.

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