SABC 2 7de Laan 28/11/22018

Date: April 4, 2019
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Name of monitor: Mpho Pitsi
Name of Television station: Channel where you are getting the scene SABC 2
Name of programme: Name of News programme 7 de Laan
Date of broadcast: Date when the news item was broadcast 28 November 2018
Time: Time of broadcast 18h00 – 18h30
Genre: Type of programme
Drama series Continuous Drama Series
Theme: Which topic category is this? List all the topics that relate to this scene Victim blaming
GBV focus explicit or implicit? Please ensure that the examples you chose either explicitly or implicitly concern GBV Implicitly
Gem Classification: Gender and Media Classification
Gender Aware
Gender Blind
Subtle stereotypes
Blatant stereotypes Blatant Stereotype
Provide a link: Link to where this scene can be accessed
If no link provide the artefact upload on drobox

Brief description of scene:
The scene is about Xander reflecting back on the decisions he made during the kidnapping and bombing. It involves Xander, Marco, Andre and Connie.

Xander feels like a coward because he chose to save another woman instead of Connie who was next to the bomb. Andre blames Xander for the condition that Connie is in and Marco called Xander a coward.

Why it has been given this GEM classification: I have given it this classification because everyone expected Xander to place his life in danger because he is a man and “that is what men do”. No one acknowledges that Xander did save another woman and that Connie is not in hospital because of Xander rather the kidnapper and bomber.

Title: The topic is introduced when Andre blames Xander for Connie’s facial injuries that landed her in hospital. Marco further blames Xander for not being man enough to risk his life trying to save Connie. It conveys a stereotype that the measure of a real man is placing himself in danger in order to save a woman. It also carries a sense of victim blaming. It is very relevant to the storyline especially the one that placed Connie in hospital.

Focus: Gender based violence is not the focus of the scene, but rather problematic ideas of masculinity. Courage in the face of danger is often a trait that men are expected to have in order to be considered “masculine”. This is problematic as there shouldn’t be one ideal form of masculinity. Everyone acts differently in traumatic situations.

People in the programming. It was two men who were involved in the scene and they both spoke. There is a reasonable balance between the men and women in this episode. Both men and women offer their personal experiences and those in position to offer expert advice do so. Marco firstly tells Xander that it was not his fault and he had no control over what happened before flipping the script on him and blaming him for Connie being in hospital.

Language. The language in this scene reinforces stereotypes that women need to be saved by men and men who do not face trauma with bravery should not be considered “real men”. The scene and episode does show that men and women are affected differently. Xander who is accused of being a coward is not functioning at his best and his relationship is suffering while Connie is finding it hard to come into terms with the infection on her face. Vanessa is seeking professional help to keep her sane while Andre is forced to put on an act and be strong for the sake of the woman that he loves, Connie. His emotions at this point do not matter because there’s someone’s life and health on the line.
When Marco says : “‘You should’ve said no to Vanessa and let Connie go instead. What kind of a man leaves an injured woman behind?” he is perpetuating harmful stereotypes about masculinity by placing unfair expectations on Xander.

Visuals. Men and women are portrayed in a dignified manner. The images portray the storyline perfectly and do not convey any form of sexism. Connie has a bandage on the other half of her face because that’s where her face is infected. Xander is portrayed and a passive victim while Connie is an active victim. The scene does not portray any exaggeration on the sexual physical aspect of any man and woman.

Angles and perspective: Marco and Andres’ viewpoints are the ones heard. Marcos view point of Xander predominates. We don’t hear what Connie, the active victim thinks about what Xander did and we don’t her why Xander made the decision he made. Connie, Xander and Vanessa’s voices are missing. These voices might have insight to how they felt and why they took the decisions they took during the kidnapping and bombing. The scene does make a judgement call and reinforce stereotypes that of a damsel in distress in need of a prince to come rescue her. The overall impression of the man is that no one cares what the other man feels, all they are concerned about is Connie, the woman in hospital.

Conclusion: Marco could have asked Xander why he made the choice of saving Vanessa, a woman who was not injured over Connie who was injured. Andre should have asked Connie how she felt about the decision that Xander took. Both victims should have been given a voice to justify their actions and Marco should not have questioned Xander’s masculinity.

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