By Dana Frei
In preference to a lot of their extra reserved predecessors, sleek tv serials equivalent to Queer as Folk and The L Word, which focus predominantly on queer characters, dare to incorporate various hugely debatable tale traces, characteristic specific intercourse scenes and mirror upon formerly tabooed facets of their depiction of homosexuality.
Challenging Heterosexism from the different Point of View discusses how those particularly queer indicates satisfy a functionality of tough institutionalized attitudes of society, equivalent to dichotomous notions of gender, heterosexism or homophobia. in addition, the query is raised whether or not they additionally serve to do the other by accident, via reinforcing stereotypes and most likely making a fairly inflexible snapshot of the idea that of gay identification. The complexity of the cultural effect steered by way of those sequence defines the focus of the qualitative content material research of those cutting edge media items.
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Additional resources for Challenging Heterosexism From the Other Point of View: Representations of Homosexuality in Queer As Folk and The L Word
Suggesting new concepts outside of violent hierarchies of binary oppositions – the television serials analysed here thus deconstruct certain ideological assumptions about acceptable sexual orientation. Challenging Institutionalized Attitudes and Expectations Apart from the deconstruction that is taking place in Queer as Folk and The L Word by means of reversing the order of the norm and thereby creating a homonormative fictional society, the serials implicitly employ other strategies to question and challenge certain institutionalized attitudes and ideologies of present-day Western society.
The Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies defines the concept of ‘norm’ as follows: The concept of a norm refers to a social and cultural rule that governs patterns of activity. This would include such things as moral and ethical imperatives, the customs and practices of a culture and the law. 31 Deviation from a social norm is punished with sanctions, while sticking to it is rewarded. In the context of sexual orientation, in 31 Barker 2004, 137. 56 Chapter 2 which the term ‘norm’ is used in this study, the so-called ‘normal’ orientation in present-day non-fictional Western society is heterosexual.
He is pseudo-heterosexual, living in a platonic relationship with a woman: Will’s masculinity is rendered pseudoheterosexual and his homosexuality transformed into a nominal joke. […] His sexuality becomes a harmless foible, a quirky characteristic that lands him in humorous situations, his sexual eccentricity a comedic analogue to Karen’s postmaterialist superficiality or Grace’s neurotic competitiveness. 32 During the entire show, homosexual eroticism is constantly spoken about, joked about, bragged about by Jack and dreamed about by Will.