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Entourage’ analyzed in women’s issues debate

Theresa Civantos | Thursday, April 17, 2008

Men Against Violence (MAV) teamed up with several different campus organizations and departments Wednesday to present “The (Un)Holy Trinity: Entourage, Media, and Men,” an event that examined the portrayal of relationships between men and women by the media by taking a look at the popular television series “Entourage.”

The event opened with a screening of the “Entourage” episode “Three’s Company”, followed by a question-and-answer session with a panel of faculty and students.

Matt Storin, former editor of the Boston Globe and adjunct professor of American Studies and Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy served as moderator. The panel included Dr. Eileen Botting, director of the Gender Studies program; Dr. Agustin Fuentes, associate professor of Anthropology; Dr. Cathy Kaveny, law and theology professor; and Father Mark Poorman, theology professor and vice president of Student Affairs. The panel also included two students: freshman Maggie Molitor and senior Michael Redding, a political science and philosophy major and president of MAV.

Storin opened the conference with a few words regarding his time at Notre Dame. He attended Notre Dame before it became co-educational.

“I went to Notre Dame at a time when it had no gender relations. There was only one gender. Since then, I’ve been making up for lost time,” joked Storin.

After the episode screening, the panel members fielded questions from audience members and expressed their own views on “Entourage” and men.

“This show is about a very real phenomenon of male bonding; they like to travel in packs that are very male-centered, with women on the margin,” Botting said.

Botting also compared the four central characters and their agent to a family, with each playing different familial roles.

“In this show, as in Hollywood, females are pretty much eye candy, they’re peripheral. It automatically relegates all females to a lesser role,” Fuentes said.

His words directly applied to the episode shown, in which two women propose having mutual sex in a “threesome” with a central character.

“There aren’t any strong female characters,” Molitor agreed.

“I have to give thanks to this project for introducing me to a show I would probably not have sought out on my own,” said Poorman to audience laughter.

Kaveny commented on the immaturity of the four central characters, asking, “What comes after this for these characters?”

She asked audience members to compare their adolescent relationships to the relationship between Abigail and John Adams as seen on the show “John Adams.”

“What would need to be true for these guys for them to have that kind of relationship?” she asked, expressing doubts that any of them could have such a relationship.

“We’re hoping to have students think more about gender issues, give them some food for thought,” said Molitor of her involvement in the project. “It’s interesting to see the interactions between men and women.”