1. Who created this text and what is its purpose?
2. Whose voice and interests are being represented and whose are being left out?
3. What do the images and narratives being used say about queer people?
4. If the representation uses humor to make a point, are the queer people in on it are they themselves the joke?
But what makes a form of media queer? you might ask. Well, they give us some questions to ask to decide..
1. Is it made by a queer person?
2. Does it rely on queer aesthetics or is it concerned with queer issues?
3. Has it been widely embraced by queer people?
Media Smarts then goes on to talk about "queer money" and advertising. This is an interesting issue because a lot of companies are now coming out with commercials having to do with different kinds of families like gay couples, interracial couples, etc. Media Smarts asked the question about whether or not these representations are actually balanced because with many representations of queer people, their sexuality is implied or swept to the side--it's nothing more than a label shown by their dress or speech.
My question for the class is this...
How do you decide if a commercial is trying to represent queer people equally or if queer representation is just a way to make people feel good about a product an spend their money on it? Is it or can it be both? How do you feel about that?
Have you seen the Honey Maid commercial yet? Great example for consideration.
Lastly, they keep on with tradition and give us some questions to address media and queer representation.
What's being assumed and not said?
Why are things represented in a certain way?
Does the author leave open the possibility of being queer or single and still being fulfilled and happy?
How are queer characters or situations positioned against dominant heterosexual culture?
I was thinking about how to connect this to our other course texts, and the thing which popped up first in my mind was "Cinderella Ate my Daughter" by Orenstein. It might not directly address queer representation, but "media" absolutely connects to Disney and princesses. Not once was a Disney show mentioned as an example of queer representation in the Media Smart articles. What do you think little girls are taught when they don't see queer characters or princesses? They're taught the same thing they are taught when they don't (often) see princesses of color or princesses who save themselves or don't fall in love at the end of their story. It's made weird, it doesn't fit into the narrative of what it means to be a princess.
Here are the GLAAD statistics on queer representation in the media for 2012-2013! Thought you might find it interesting..