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John Tucker Must Die

Women In History Final Project
by

Jocelyn Weisman

on 2 June 2013

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Transcript of John Tucker Must Die

The Female Characters The female characters, with the exception of Kate, have characteristics that embody stereotypes that are consistently portrayed in the media, but prove to be more than their stereotype. The Cheerleader Heather explains throughout the movie that because she is head cheerleader and John is the basketball captain, they belong together. Her constant obsession with her good looks and "going up a cup size" leads her to constantly applying makeup and taking estrogen pills. She defies all the pillars of the Cult of True Womanhood by always speaking her mind about important issues. She always unless it's regarding what she wants to order for dinner, which she explains to John she'd prefer him to order for her. Gender Stereotypes: -Cheerleader
-Vapid, constantly talks about un-important things
-Feels as though a man controls her happiness
-Appearance obsessed Going Against Gender Stereotypes -Speaks her mind when she feels she needs to be heard
-Loud
-Athletic
-Clever The Slut Beth is a vegan who is shown protesting meat and animal cruelty throughout the movie. Her passion for animal's rights comes off as too intense and she is therefore extremely mockable. Although she has complex thoughts about these issues, she's portrayed as dumb during the movie (i.e. using the word "neutered" in the place of "neutral") thus enforcing the mockery. She also plays the slut, which can be interpreted as an enforcement of second wave feminism goals, due to her constant use of birth control. "I was so bummed I didn't even enjoy the break up sex. ...Oh man, I'm a slut." Gender Stereotypes -Ditsy
-Clumsy
-Dumb Blonde type, brunette hair Going Against Gender Stereotypes -Passionate about pressing issues
-Not "pure"
-Free with her sexuality
-Has the drive to get even when someone has wronged her The Overachiever Carrie Schafer runs the school news station, has perfect grades, and is a part of ten other extracurricular clubs around the school. She exemplifies a stereotype the least out of all of Kate's friends. She is full of confidence and takes charge of all situations, taking notes and reporting it as though it is a news station. She seems to adhere to the goal of second wave feminism by having the ability to be a strong, independent woman. However, her constant obsession with either dating or sabotaging John Tucker's life proves that she is reliant on men, or a man, in her life. Gender Stereotypes -Reliant on a man
-Bossy
-Organized Going Against Gender Stereotypes -Smart
-Driven
-Successful
-Uptight The Hot Mom Played by a previous Playboy model, Kate's mom has been stealing the attention away from Kate her whole life. Men flock to her because of her hot bod, but then sneak out of her life (through the back door), leaving her heartbroken. When a man leaves her, she eats a container of cake frosting, and then moves to another town. She rejects Republican Motherhood, and the Cult of True Womanhood, but does not fulfill the goals of second wave feminism. She relies completely on men to be happy and has shown this trait to Kate from a young age. Whether she works or not is never discussed, leaving her only influence on her one child to be that your relationship with men should dictate your happiness and lifestyle. (Rejects patriarchal, nuclear family.) Kate The heroin of the film remains stereotype-less for the most part. Although she is naive, she is smart and is always able to evaluate what matters. She achieves the goals of the second wave of feminism by knowing that her relationship with any man does not rule her life or happiness, achieving secondary education, and being independent. She is the driving force behind ridding all the rest of the characters of their stereotypes, and in some cases even their personal flaws. She has some flaws of her own, but they never block her from achieving her goals and helping others help themselves along the way. The Asshole Jock As the captain and star player of the basketball team, John is respected amongst his peers. He fits the stereotype of the "asshole" by constantly dating several girls at once secretly, and lying to them both about his ability to have a relationship and how many relationships he's in. He adheres to the "tough guise" near the beginning of the movie, but embraces his slight femininity towards the end. He does not reflect direct misogyny and at one point speaks up when a misogynist comment is made. However, by disrespecting girls and using them for their bodies, he reflects misogynist ideals. Gender Stereotypes -Athletic
-Strong
-Uses girls for sex
-Lies
-Obsessed with muscle tone
-Hides all emotion at beginning Going Against Gender Stereotypes -Combats sexist comment
-Opens up emotionally near the end
-Goes to extreme lengths to make a girl he's fallen in love with happy Male Characters While the male population of the high school is represented as a whole in a stereotypical way, neither main male character directly adheres to gender stereotypes. Scott Tucker Scott is John's younger brother who is unknown in the school and constantly living in his brother's shadow. He meets Kate in the library where they bond about enjoying the same music and they become lab partners, where they have unspoken crushes on one another. Scott is dramatic and not as smart as Kate is when it comes to chemistry class. He likes her but does not have the guts to ask her on a date. However, he expresses his displeasure when he sees Kate "changing" and falling for his brother. Goes Against Gender Stereotypes -Awkward
-Lacks confidence
-Not athletic
-Loves music, poetry, and 'deeper' things
-In touch with his emotions
-Goofy, silly
-Not very good at science
-Dramatic The Basketball Team The rest of the basketball team shows up a few times throughout the movie, and the entirety of the team is a direct reflection of gender stereotypes. They infest the locker room with farts and farting noises in their armpit, an immature depiction of teenage boys. They also call John "whipped" and pressure him into pressuring Kate to have sex with him. The locker room is where misogynist comments are made. Gender Stereotypes -Gross
-Dirty
-Immature
-Only see women as objects for sex
-Athletic
-Strong
-Physical John Tucker Must Die This high school romantic comedy follows three girls who discover they are all dating the same boy, John Tucker. With the help of a fourth girl who has second hand experience when it comes to men treating women poorly, they hatch a plan to seek revenge on him. This involves Kate, our heroin, making John fall in love with her only to break his heart, as he's done to many girls before. However, the plan goes awry when Kate begins to truly fall for John, as he does for her. In the end, all three girls see the importance of kindness outweighing the bittersweet happiness revenge provides. Kate ends up with John's younger brother, Scott, who is far more sensitive and kind than John. Thesis Although the movie begins with an astounding amount of sexism, gender stereotypes and idealism becomes less and less prevalent throughout the movie due to the realization that a man is not necessary in every woman's life, and that love for one another outweighs society's pressure to conform to masculine standards. The Portrayal of Stereotypes Estrogen Pills The beginning of the sabotage of John Tucker was to undermine his confidence, which the girls took to mean stealing his masculinity from him. In one specific attempt at this, Heather convinces John he needs to take more of his protein powder because he's losing tone in his arms. After she does this, she replaces all his protein powder with estrogen she had previously stolen from her mother to "go up a cup size." John takes three times the amount of his normal dosage. The estrogen does not kick in until about 24 hours later in the middle of a basketball game. Once it kicks in, John immediately has an emotional melt down. He acts defensive, insecure, weak, and has a sudden inability to play basketball well. What stereotypes does this support? -Men must be muscular (protein powder)
-Women must have ideal bodies ("I want to go up a cup size)
-Women are weak, defensive, emotional train wrecks
-Women can't play sports Race There are two characters in the film who are not white. Heather is one, and the other is a "token black character" who is the team mascot and has one or two funny one-liners. He is also the one who makes the sexist comment in the locker room to which John says "C'mon Tommy, that's not right." Although, later in the scene, he bullies John into openly talking about his sex life with Kate. When Kate hears what John says, John explains to her that he "has to act like a pig so he doesn't look whipped." Revealing Clothes All of the friends, who are considered to be the "finest girls in school," are constantly wearing revealing clothes. The Changes Throughout the movie, Kate reflects her thoughts on relationships and men on the other characters, changing their outlooks. Mom Throughout the movie, we see Kate get in small disagreements with her mom regarding her mom's history with men. When she offers her advice, Kate rejects it and deems it invalid. When a new man shows up at the door to take her mother out, Kate and her mom get in a full out fight. This is the turning point for her mother. Later in the movie, her mom tells Kate that she sent her latest beau home. Instead of eating a container of frosting, she bakes a cake with frosting on it. I think this symbolizes that her life is more put together now that she finds herself independent, achieving the goals of second wave feminism. Heather, Beth, and Carrie Although these three girls seem to be opposites from one another and didn't get along before their plot of revenge, they bond on their similarities and become friends throughout the process of sabotaging the boy who broke their heart by unifying in their hate. However, in the climax of the movie when it is realized that all three still have feelings for John, the girls turn on each other quickly. As Kate explains how what they're doing disgusts her, she accuses them of either being obsessed with dating John or ruining him. "Either way, it's all about him." Her advice is to not let all their happiness rely on a man, as she's seen her mother get hurt so many times by doing just that. Because of this advice, all three girls end the movie independent and looking forward to secondary education, fulfilling two goals of second wave feminism. John Tucker At the beginning of the film, John used, cheated, lied to, and disrespected all the women in his life. However, once he finds that he has real feelings for Kate, he becomes more intact with his emotions, eliminating the "tough guise" he put on before. He tells her about his feelings, begins a thong-trend, and announces that he is "whipped" to a whole school yard, all of which "de-masculinize" him. By the end of the movie, he swears he will never lie to another woman again, and starts truth-telling to his two girlfriends right as credits are about to roll. She teaches him honesty with emotions and to others are more important than any reputation. The Making of John Tucker Directed by a woman, Betty Thomas, who has directed other children/teen movies, none dealing directly with sexism. Written by Jeff Lowell who has written other kids movie, and directed "Over Her Dead Body," a romantic comedy also based on women fighting each other for the love of a man. The End!
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