COMM 140 Heternormativity Paper

COMM 140 Heternormativity Paper - Jake Unger 10/14/09 COMM...

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Jake Unger 10/14/09 COMM 140 Paper #2 Challenging While Reinforcing Heteronormativity The media has a longstanding history of, “depicting characters who transgress gender boundaries as comic, weak, or as evil” (Cooper p. 46), and “have long perpetuated the perspective that individuals who do not conform to their assigned gender are abnormal and their transgressive performance of gender is unnatural” (Cooper p.53). I believe that that the media represents queers in variety of different ways; primarily queers that directly reinforce heteronormative values, queers that subtly challenge yet also reinforce heteronormativity, and queers that try to directly challenge heteronormativity. Although many representations of queers in the media are effective in challenging heteronormativity, I feel that all media texts representing queers reinforce heteronormativity because they always represent queers as different from their straight counterparts based on their sexuality. In my opinion the most common type of queer representation in the media is the gay person that is used for comedic value which reinforces the heterosexual ideal of the nuclear family. These gay characters are sometimes over-stereotyped gays such as the Fab-Five in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy , Jack from Will and Grace , or Lloyd from Entourage which reinforce the hegemonic ideas that gay men are effeminate, flamboyant, and stylish. These types of stereotypical queers clearly reinforce a straight vs. gay binary, where straight is normal and gay is something very odd, entertaining, and potentially dangerous, I feel that these types of representations of queers as eccentric and flamboyant men and butch and manly lesbians are incredibly effective in reinforcing heteronormativity because they display these queer people as quirky, odd, and different people. I feel that in most of the cases the stereotypical homosexual is
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accepted in mainstream society, but they further reinforce heteronormatitivity because they deviate from the accepted behaviors of their biological sex. Another type of queer representation in the media these days is the representation of a
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COMM 140 Heternormativity Paper - Jake Unger 10/14/09 COMM...

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