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Steven Universe- Gender, Sexuality, Identity and Influence
Transcript of Steven Universe- Gender, Sexuality, Identity and Influence
Representations of Women:
November 4, 2013
First woman- CN
Story of her brother
"I tried to be a role model [by showing that] anyone who wanted to could take traditional ideas of animation and bring them into the present but keep all the trappings of what used [to make cartoons great] in the past" -Sugar
Quality, Audience and Reception
Positive reviews from adults and children
"The endings are heartfelt, it has good role models, it has awesome story lines" (11 yrs)
Most viewed premiere to date in 2013 (6-11 yrs)
Artistry- planting oneself in scene and sharing perspective
Zach Callison (Steven), Deedee Magno (Pearl), Michaela Dietz (Amethyst) and Estelle (Garnet)
Ruby, Sapphire, and Garnet
Dispelling Societal Norms
Levinson- 1970s cartoons
Women- fewer, less active or noisy, less power, rescuee
Men- common and dynamic
"television's portrayal of the sexes in cartoons...does reflect real world values concerning traditional gender-role stereotypes"
Limited time for character development
1995-96- 63% male, 37% female (and not much has changed)
Power and Special Ability
The Gaze/Bechdel Test
“I know you think we don’t trust you. I know more often than not we treat you like a human child. But the truth is, we rely on you.Your voice inspires us,."
“Oh, Steven, we already love you.”
A Fight for Earth and Equality
"Fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak gems feel stronger"
"But I am even more than the two of them. Everything they care about is what I am. I am their fury. I am their patience. I am a conversation."
Influence and Conclusion
A Different Take on Heroes
More male superheroes
Correlation of children's behavior and gendered superheroes
“ Because I watch shows with [my daughter] I have noticed that nearly all the shows on Cartoon Network show skinny male characters as the heroes. I think it's refreshing for her to be watching a show where the heroes, if not the [title] character, are women. I think it's also important that not all the characters are skinny.” -Mother reviewing show
"I can see you hate the way we intermingle..."
Psych studies- potential effect on children's view of gender/sexuality
Identity mold- no prefixed identity
Variety in character = possibility of drawing in wider audience
Self-worth/confidence and acceptance
“ The show has great morals, and supports major body positivity. The diversity in this show is amazing! People of all races, sizes and ages are all looked upon equally in the show.”
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Steven and Male Representation