Gender bias is evident in the hit Netflix show "You." (Beth Dubber / Netflix)
Orange County School of the Arts

Opinion: Netflix’s show ‘You’ highlights gender bias

The Netflix show “You,” revolves around the character Joe, who is clever, charming and dangerous. He fixates on women, becoming obsessed at first glance. He justifies his unjust — and extremely creepy —behavior as an act of love. Unfortunately, his stalker-ish and predator-to-prey relationship with women is often viewed as attractive and charming by some of the avid viewers of the show.
However, at the end of season two, the hunter becomes the hunted, as Joe sees a new side of his supposed innocent girlfriend, Love. Though she may be seen as crazy or possessive by audiences, she is actually the female equivalent to the endearing protagonist.
Although it may only be a television show, there seems to be a hidden message of gender bias located deep underneath the surface. It has been proven that people view controlling or powerful women as bossy and clingy, while men of the same personality as manly.
Likewise, as lovable and charismatic as the character Joe is written, Love as the female equivalent is not well-received. She is portrayed as hysterical and insane, though she has the same intentions, if not more moral, than Joe. This brings up a very prevalent issue society is facing: Gender Bias.

Gender bias, or sexism, is discrimination based on the sex or gender of a person. Though America has given men and women the same rights and arguably the same opportunities, partiality and expectations for each gender are still widely acknowledged and accepted.

Women are still being paid less than men when doing the same job. Women are as capable of men, when both have similar training and experience, to perform well at their job. According to the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, only 6 countries give women equal legal work rights as men.

However, women are not the only ones suffering from this bias.  Contrary to popular belief, men are also affected by gender bias but are discriminated against less in the workplace than women. This demonstrates gender bias is in our everyday lives.
As progressive as America may seem, women and men are still being treated differently and held to different standards. Many aspects of the world are somewhat misogynistic, and unless the population becomes less ignorant about this truth, there really is not much that can be done.

Hollywood is either mindful of this fact or blissfully unaware, though it seems to fall somewhere in between. News Center reports that almost 93% of the top 100 movies in 2017 were directed by males. Women have less opportunity to prove themselves as directors solely because of their gender.

The way women are portrayed in Hollywood as well has an effect on the children watching what is produced — many women are still written as obedient to men, or are objectified. While movies about powerful women do exist and are steadily increasing in number, they still seem to be overshadowed by movies with powerful males and objectified women.

It is unclear whether the directors and writers of “You” intended to showcase this issue. However, whether purposeful or not, the difference in how men and women with the same motives and key characteristics are portrayed is a prime example of gender inequality. Steps need to be taken to prevent shows, movies and other forms of media from presenting strong women or impotent men as strange or uncomfortable characters.

People are more than stereotypes, and it is vital to begin to remove negative and derogatory ideas about gender from the world, so they will no longer be accepted as facts.