Saturday, April 21, 2012

Reflection on class discussion: Gender & Sexuality

I thought the class discussion on gender and sexuality was informative and interesting. The documentary clips from The Celluloid Closet made me realize how media's offensive depiction of gay people began so early on in television and film. As the class discussed lesbian roles that came to mind I noticed that although media has progressed, there is still a huge lack of lesbian roles available. I also agree with my peers who mentioned that media has a very black-and-white view of gay and lesbian. The lesbian characters that are presented in television and film either fit the "butch" stereotype or "lipstick lesbian" stereotype. Of course it's impossible that every lesbian in the world identifies within just two categories. I think this is important to change in media because this perpetuation of lesbian stereotypes influence people's perceptions. One of my closest friends is a lesbian and she has told me about countless moments where people have responded to her with ignorant comments. This ranges from: "really? you don't look like a lesbian," "So do you suddenly hate men now?" and "Are you going to start listening to Tegan & Sara then?" The stereotype of what a lesbian "should look like" has been created throughout media and continues with the characters that are continuously presented. If you are unfamiliar with the musicians Tegan & Sara, they are sisters/ Canadian indie duo who happen to be lesbian as well. The fact that these women are lesbian shouldn't mean that every lesbian must be a fan and avid listener as well. I think these stereotypes will continue throughout society until media makes a change by including lesbian roles that do not fit the "butch" or "femme" categories. The class discussion taught me about the stereotyped notions and under-representation of lesbians in media. Perhaps, in time, lesbian and gay roles in film and television will become more common and accurately portrayed.

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