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How is gender discussed in Absolutely Fabulous?

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How is gender discussed in Absolutely Fabulous? Absolutely Fabulous presents us a world in which misrule is allowed to continue and in which the inverted order of power (i.e. one in which women are allowed to have a significant degree of power) is allowed to continue, to be normalized. The show sets the entire issue of the inversion of power in terms of gender within the context of comedy. It also explores the two main female characters, Edina and Patsy, whose roles disrupt traditional engendered rules of power. Edina and Patsy, violate some traditional expectations that we have of the feminine, but play in more sophisticated and ambiguous ways. In some respects a domestic sitcom, Absolutely Fabulous satirises the matriarchal household of fashion P.R. executive, Edina and the women around her, including her unruly best friend, Patsy and long-suffering daughter Saffron. ...read more.


She is pivotal in the portrayal as a mother. Once again patsy is not the stereotype of a feminine representative as she has loud verbal outbursts, which are coarse, vulgar, violent and blunt. Her appearance is almost wooden and eccentric. Her appearance and personality is extremely grotesque. Her language is unexpected for her age as it contradicts what we would expect as she uses random vulgar language and occasionally street language as she is trying to fulfil her youthful persona by applying excessive making and taking al sorts of drugs. Patsy is almost coded as a male as in the episode "Small Opening" Patsy is asked by the grandmother to bring up a cupboard up the stairs, which is a masculine association. In saffron's play Patsy is represented by a drag, again providing the image of unfeminine. At the end of this episode Patsy hits the actor playing the drag in a masculine way saying 'that's alright mate'. ...read more.


The men seem to be conservative which contrasts Edina character, as she is extremely childlike. One particular ex-husband of Edina is extremely weak and incompetent, as he needs the strength of a strong woman to take control of him as his new wife has decided for him to become a Rabbi and makes his decisions to speak and sit. The physical contrast is especially humorous as he is comically small compare to his new wife again emphasising the woman's strength. This particular scene shows that the women are unstable and have monstrous tempers showing the power of their personality. The gender discussed in Ab Fab is going against the stereotype, which make the sitcom so funny. The grotesque representation of Edina and Patsy just add to the breaking of typical stereotypes and makes the abstract situations more comical. Ab Fab is just woman behaving badly and breaks all the rules that make the gender representations so unconventional and slapstick. Riccardo Spagnoli 1 ...read more.

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