Stereotyping Genders in the LGBT Community over Television

Category: Culture
Date added
2021/04/16
Pages:  6
Words:  1894
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Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause has been known as propaganda (“Propaganda.”). Propaganda can be used in many different ways to influence the public. For instance homosexuals use propaganda to influence people that attend LGBT community movements. During these movements most people that come to rally are a part of the LGBT community, which includes people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (What). Although homosexuals have been viewed in a positive manner on television and movies today, LGBT gender stereotypes were negatively portrayed in the 1990s through the use of propaganda in techniques known as name-calling, card-stacking, and testimonials.
Homosexuals have been viewed in a positive manner on television and movies today and propaganda does not have a major influence on the topic. In the textbook, Common Sense, the author discusses how propaganda on television can influence the kids of today’s world. Ward states, “Counter-stereotypes challenge gender stereotypes by…. presenting male characters who collaborate with girls, demonstrate empathy and emotions, and resolve conflict in nonaggressive ways.” (Ward) In this quote the author describes the positive attitude the LGBT community represents though propaganda today. In the article, Queer Representation in Film and Television, the author introduces the book called “The Celluloid Closet”. In this novel Vito Russo analyzes the representation of gays and lesbians in Hollywood films (Media). He also states that in present time lesbians and gays are more represented and propaganda does not affect the topic. However, LGBT gender stereotypes were negatively portrayed in the 1990s through the use of propaganda in techniques known as name-calling, card-stacking, and testimonials.

Gender stereotypes in the LGBT community were negatively approached because of the spread of propaganda in a technique known as name-calling. Name-calling is formally known as denigrating a particular group or individuals. In the article, “Gay Men Deserve Three-Dimensional Role Models, Not TV’s Stereotypes”, the author discusses the television show Will and Grace, and how its producers use name-calling as a type of way to create a character’s personality (McMillian). By using this propaganda hetero people think it is a positive way to view gay men, yet the community takes offence when being called this. In the article, “No More Mr Nice Gay”, the author describes gay men as being witty and well-dressed. This makes them feel inadequate in real life (Stone). However, on the television screens and on movies it makes them appear as a positive person. In the same article it says “Gay men… are often marginalised for not living up to these expectations, which can have an impact on their mental health.” (Stone). This type of name-calling is used to criticize unfairly the way gay men act.

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Name-calling also negatively impacts the LGBT community from just the basic name itself. Some of those names are Queer, Gay, and Lesbian. In the webpage known as Media Smarts, the author wrote an article called “Queer Representation in Film and Television”. In this article the author discusses queer media on television and the producers and directors that are queer. Some of those people include Alan Ball, John Waters, John Cameron, Clive Barker, Bryan Singer (Media). However the word queer is used in such a negative way; all the word means is peculiar or different. Yet, when you hear this word you think of someone awkward or someone does not enjoy the same stuff as you. In the same article they also talk about Ryan Evans, another character known to be queer. As the article states, “Using verbal and visual markers… This includes elements such as body language, vocabulary, dress, vocal inflection, and various other aspects that are peripheral to sexual orientation”(Media). The idea of name-calling propaganda is to let people know about a group and to make that same group feel small. The word queer and phrase gay best friend are not the only words used when talking about LGBT name-calling propaganda.

Words such as sissy, floppish, feminine, queens and dykes are also used as a part of the name-calling propaganda the LGBT community has to deal with. People that are around the community members say most gay men are effeminate and flamboyant, and lesbians are butch and tomboyish (ALGBTICAL). In America people think that gays and lesbians switch roles in society. In the article, Gay Men Deserve Three-Dimensional Role Models, Not TV’s Stereotype”, homosexuals have been negatively affected by these types of words, and most times it is through damage of self-esteem (McMillian). However, name-calling is not the only way LGBT gender stereotypes were negatively approached through propaganda in the 1990s, people also use a way called card-stacking.

Card-stacking is building a highly-biased case towards a particular point of view. As stated in the article, “Gay Men Deserve Three-Dimensional Role Models, Not TV’s Stereotypes”, white gay men, have it easier than people of color on the LGBT spectrum, than all trans people, when it comes to representation on television (McMillian). The idea of card-stacking in this example is still being used today. Being a white gay man is not the only highly biased case in the LGBT community. In the same article the author says, “TV might have given people the impression that gay men should be upbeat and witty” (McMillian). The propaganda through television is vivid when it comes to card-stacking, saying that gays should be upbeat and witty or that white gay men have it better. However, this type of propaganda leads to movements. One in particular is “Bury your gays” (Turnquist). In the article, “TV Must Stop Promoting Stereotypes”, the author discusses the trend bury your gays. The trend was a slogan created by viewers and activists upset by the high number of bisexual and lesbian TV characters who were killed off over the past years (Turnquist). This movement was negatively attached to the LGBT community, however other minorities have not brought this type of card-stacking to the public’s eyes.

In the educated textbook, “Watching gender: How stereotypes in movies and on TV impact kids”, the author writes, “gender stereotypes riddle our movies, telling our boys it’s okay to use aggression to solve problems and our girls that their self-worth is tied to their appearance.” (Ward). The use of cards-stacking propaganda is broad in this statement. Its use of bias is persuading all boys to think that fighting is the only way to solve all of their problems, and that all girls believe that people admire them for their appearance. In the same textbook the author writes, “Female characters are less active, less knowledgeable, less dominate; Male characters are more physically aggressive and obsessed with sex” (Ward). The same as above, gender stereotypes in the LGBT community are being negatively impacted through the use of card-stacking. In another article called, “No more Mr Nice Gay”, that author writes, “Gay men who don’t fit the common stereotype are often marginalised for not living up to these expectations, which can have an impact on their mental health.” (Stone). This is extreme bias that has been in the LGBT community for a long time and has spread through television and movies by propaganda. Not only was there card-stacking propaganda within character types and LGBT viewers, it was also present in violence they encountered in those shows.

As stated before, card-stacking is building a highly-biased case towards a particular point of view. In the article, “Queer Representation in TV and Film”, the author writes about the bias energy queer characters, actors, and directors/producers receive. The author also discusses the character Ryan Evan, from High School Musical, as being coded as queer, say that using verbal and visual markers such as body language, vocabulary, dress, and vocal inflection are all opinionated features that negatively impact the LGBT community (MediaSmarts). In the same article the author also talks about queer characters being represented as dangerous, violent, predatory, and suicidal on television shows and movies. Yet again this is all bias propaganda. It hurts the homosexual community, by destroying their self-esteem (MediaSmarts). Although, LGBT gender stereotypes were negatively approached because of the use and spread of propaganda in a technique known as card-stacking, the community was also impacted by testimonials.

Propaganda known as testimonials has been utilized to heighten a leader’s appeal. Paramount & Warner Brother are two of the largest influences of this type of propaganda. In the article, “Gay Men Deserve Three-Dimensional Role Models, Not TV’s Stereotypes”, the author informs the reader about shows that give a more diverse portrayal of gay life, however none of those shows have a positive portrayals of LGBT characters (McMillian). The author gives his own testimonial of being a gay man himself and tells the readers about the negative circle around LGBT, in general. The author also describes life now that there are some positive portrayals of homosexual characters, and his own outcome of seeing those characters on television. In an educational textbook called, “Watching gender: How stereotypes in movies and on TV impact kids’ development”, the author informs the reader of transgender testimonials. One example was Bruce/ Caitlyn Jenner. The authors say, “Bruce Jenner… came out as a transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner, sending reverberations across entertainment and sports.” (Ward). This testimonial lead to a national debate about transgender rights by the signing of a controversial North Carolina state law (HB2) prohibiting persons from using the restrooms in government buildings that do not coincide with their biological sex (Ward). Caitlyn Jenner’s testimonial helped spark a new discussion thought the use of propaganda, yet was negatively impacted by the state law that was passed right after he she came out.

LGBT gender stereotypes were negatively portrayed in the 1990s through the use of propaganda in techniques known as name-calling, card-stacking, and testimonials, although homosexuals are viewed in a positive manner on television and movies today. The American public is surrounded by all types of minorities, however, homosexuals; Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer; has been commonly seen more and more over time. Also, propaganda is always around the people, yet no one stops to take a moment to see how it affects different groups. The facts and ideas brought out through the research of this paper has shown how much propaganda does affect the world around the American public.

Works Cited

  1. ALGBTICAL, www.algbtical.org/2A STEREOTYPES.htm.
  2. Beaumont-Thomas, Ben. “Hollywood Criticised for Negative Portrayal of LGBT Characters.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 23 July 2014, www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jul/23/hollywood-criticised-lgbt-gay-characters-glaad.
  3. McMillan, Andrew. “Gay Men Deserve Three-Dimensional Role Models, Not TV’s Stereotypes | Andrew McMillan.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 10 Feb. 2016, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/10/gay-men-tv-stereotypes-looking-sexuality.
  4. “MediaSmarts.” Marketing Camp; Consumerism – Special Issues for Young Children, mediasmarts.ca/digital-media-literacy/media-issues/diversity-media/queer-representation/queer-representation-film-television.
  5. “Propaganda.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propaganda.
  6. Stone, Joe. “No More Mr Nice Gay: How TV Representation Changed from Will & Grace to Empire.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 9 Feb. 2016, www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/feb/09/no-more-mr-nice-gay-how-tv-representation-changed-from-will-grace-to-empire.
  7. Turnquist, Kristi. “TV Must Stop Promoting Stereotypes, LGBTQ Actors and Creators Say.” OregonLive.com, OregonLive.com, 5 Aug. 2017, www.oregonlive.com/tv/2017/08/tv_must_stop_promoting_stereot.html.
  8. “What Does LGBTQ Mean?” OK2BME, ok2bme.ca/resources/kids-teens/what-does-lgbtq-mean/.
  9. Ward, L. M., & Aubrey, J. S. (2017). Watching gender: How stereotypes in movies and on TV impact kids’ development. San Francisco, CA: Common Sense, https://wnywomensfoundation.org/app/uploads/2017/08/16.-Watching-Gender-How-Stereotypes-in-Movies-and-on-TV-Impact-Kids-Development.pdf
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Stereotyping Genders in the LGBT Community Over Television. (2021, Apr 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/stereotyping-genders-in-the-lgbt-community-over-television/