Gender in Wall E

I have always loved watching the film Wall E. I find the creators’ interpretation of our future so different and outlandish compared to my ideas. I always thought of a very clean cut, technology oriented world with glossy, chrome hues, hover-boards, flying cars, and unimaginable advancements in technology, similar to what the characters experience aboard the Axiom. In addition to this world, I imagined humans and the earth better than ever before, and that the technology would only enhance us, not contribute to our ruination. It sickens me to think of our future as one where our bones have developed to match our grossly inactive lifestyle and have everything done for us. I find their ideas regarding the future truly horrifying, and hope that my version of the future is more accurate than being restricted to a computerized floating hover-chair, drinking liquefied food, and traveling on a never-ending space cruise. Avoiding Baton Rouge traffic or sprint from Lockett to the BEC because of newly invented hover boards sounds pretty cool, but being  unable to see beyond my computer screen or stand up on my own definitely does not.

One of the other ideas that I had while watching the film and during the class discussion was why do we assume Wall E is a male and Eve is a female? Aside from Eve’s feminine name and sounds, I could never understand why we as viewers put genders on two robots! They were literally pieces of metal programmed to do specific tasks, yet no one, including myself, hesitated to associate them with specific genders. I thought it coincided with our class discussion of seeing the robots as more human-like than robot. We stereotype men as being rough, not afraid to get their hands dirty and compliant to the established societal understanding that men have to chase the women and make the “first move,” which to Wall E portrays in his job as a garbage compacter and his unstoppable pursuit of Eve’s love. Eve depicts the stereotypical (and inherently false) idea that women are complicated and play “hard to get,” while resembling a determined, hardworking woman. She was also very clean, polished, and sleek compared to Wall E. I feel as though the robots’ associations with established gender stereotypes heavily contributes to why we feel a connection to them and see them as more human than just robotic technology. We inevitably empathize with Wall E’s numerous failed attempts to woo Eve and admire the adorable happy ending that the two robots eventually achieve. What does everyone else think? Why do we categorize Wall E into male and Eve into female personas? Were there any other scenes in the movie that could have contributed to this?

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