Community·Updated on Dec 16, 20227 Ways "Friends" Held Up Antiquated Gender Stereotypes And 5 Ways They Said, "Eff The Patriarchy"Could the answer be anymore gray...by bethrankCommunity ContributorApproved and edited by BuzzFeed Community TeamFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. Didn't defy: Women being seen as helpless "daddy's little girls." NBC The audience first learns about Rachel's character during her call with her father in one of the opening scenes of the first episode. Rachel is having a hard time figuring out what to do with her life after she left her own wedding, and her father's solution is to buy her more clothes. When she proposes to her father that she doesn't need his money, she immediately takes it back. Rachel's character is displayed as being the spoiled, dependent, "dumb blonde," which insulting to women. 2. Did defy: Having a male nanny. NBC After Ross and Rachel interviewed many nannies and hadn't found any good candidates, a male nanny, Sandy, applies and Ross is taken aback. After Sandy expresses how he loves working in childcare and interest in baking, Ross dismisses him because he was "too sensitive." For many years, the only people who were known to be nannies were women because social norms said that women were the caretakers while the men were out in the workforce. Even though Sandy is very qualified for the job, Ross doesn't think he should be the nanny because his fixed mindset says that men can't be nannies. He thinks that Sandy must be gay or bi just because he's a nanny. However, Sandy does get hired and is an excellent nanny for Ross and Rachel's child, despite his gender. 3. Didn't defy: Having different life expectations for men and women. NBC Monica and Ross's parents came to visit their children and during dinner, which Monica had prepared, Jack and Judy couldn't stop fawning over Ross and his accomplishments, whereas they had low expectations for Monica. Jack set a limit to Monica's potential by saying, "people like Ross needed to shoot for the stars" and was thrilled that Monica wasn't "trying to have it all." Judy refused to eat Monica's food and she actively lied to her friends about Monica's profession, while boasting about how her son was such a success. 4. Did defy: Parents sharing wedding expenses. NBC One of the many wedding traditions is that the bride's parents pay for the wedding. During Ross's wedding with Emily, Emily's parents asked Ross's parents, Jack and Judy, to split the bill, and Jack delightedly responded with, "To hell with tradition. We're happy to do it." Although Emily's father tried to take advantage of Jack and basically charged him for re-modeling his house, the show was still defying norms by having the wedding expenses split between the bride and groom's families. 5. Didn't defy: Men being ridiculed for wearing makeup. NBC Many of Joey's jobs throughout his acting career were just short little gigs to make a little money. One of them involved being a model for the NYC Free Clinic and part of the work was that he must wear makeup on the job. When he walks into the friends' hang out spot one day, coming straight from work, he's laughed at for his appearance. Chandler makes a couple of jokes and remarks about him wearing makeup and questions his masculinity. As we know today, fashion and beauty choices are independent of gender identities or how individuals perceive themselves. 6. Did defy: Guys using face masks and caring about their skin routines. NBC Besides the several life lessons Friends provides, the show also makes a humble attempt to normalize men using skincare products. It begins with Joey picking up a face mask jar at the store, followed by a brief demonstration of the oily t-zone. Later in the episode, the guys apply the clay mask onto their face, but are hesitant to let anyone know. Even though when Monica sees the guys she tries to make fun at them, Ross immediately shuts her down by telling her the skincare benefits. 7. Didn't defy: Having to be married if you have a child. NBC At the Geller's 35th anniversary party, many of Jack and Judy's friends came up to Ross and Rachel to congratulate them on their marriage. However, even though they have a baby together, they're not married and were therefore surprised. Judy and Jack said to Ross and Rachel that, "While we think it's simply marvelous that you're having this baby out of wedlock, some of our friends are less open-minded. Which is why we told them you're married". This shows how Jack and Judy couldn't be progressive about their son having a baby, but not being married. 8. Did defy: Men wearing accessories. NBC In one episode, Joey went to Rachel to help get new clothes and increase his fashion sense for his audition. Among multiple suggestions that Rachel made, one was the thought of Joey wearing a shoulder bag. Even though Joey appeared to be a little hesitant to wear one, he was completely sold on the idea when Rachel showed him photos of male models with shoulder bags in Ralph Lauren's spring catalog. Besides Rachel, none of the other friends were familiar with this trend and proceeded to make fun of Joey for the bag, calling it a "purse." But as Joey rightly pointed out, just because they didn't understand the fashion trend, that didn't make it wrong. 9. Didn't defy: The rigid concept of a "guys' apartment" vs. a "girls' apartment." NBC It's very clear to the audience that Monica and Rachel's apartment is a "girls apartment" and that Chandler and Joey's apartment is a "guys apartment." The girls' apartment is purple with good and tasteful décor, matching furniture, and very well kept. Shoes are not allowed to be on the rug and one singular item is not allowed to be out of place. In the guys' apartment, the colors are neutral, the furniture is often random, they throw wet paper towels at the wall, they can sit on the counter, and Joey even purposefully drops spaghetti on the ground to show Rachel how he doesn't care how the apartment looks. These are all stereotypical traits of what a "guys'" apartment or "girls'" apartment is supposed to look like, but in reality, anybody, disregarding gender, can live however they want and in any conditions and surroundings. 10. Did defy: Boys playing with dolls. NBC Like many times throughout the show, Monica becomes the friends' voice of reason when she sees Ross trying to get his son, Ben, to play with G.I. Joe instead of a Barbie doll. While Rachel calls Ross pathetic, Monica comes down on him for being too harsh with his infant son and says "So he has a Barbie, big deal." Then, she reminds Ross that he used to dress up in their mom's clothes as a child. In the end, the group sides with Carol's, Ross's ex-wife's, decision to let Ben choose what he plays with and to not his toys be dictated by gender norms. 11. Didn't defy: Acting like a "stereotypical" woman. NBC When Chandler decides to quit smoking, he listens to tape recordings when he sleeps that hypnotize him into thinking he's a woman. Because of this, he starts to act differently. One of the things he does is generously put on chapstick and then proceed to wipe his lips like how a woman is characterized doing when she puts on lipstick. He also wears a towel around his body and head after his shower just like a woman would. Just because you're a women, does not mean you have to do "feminine" things. 12. And finally, didn't defy: Joey doesn't want 'girl' decor NBC After Chandler moves in with Monica, Joey finds a new roommate, Janine. She soon takes over his apartment with her belongings, which happen to be different that the usual look of the place. Even though Chandler doesn't live there anymore, he still wants the place to look manly and confronts Joey about Janine making the apartment "too girly." Joey agrees and proceeds to confront Janine about it, telling her that he doesn't like these "cute" pictures of babies. This scene makes it seem like guys are not allowed to like "cute" things and can't have their apartment smelling nice because it not "manly".