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Chapter 9

MDSA01 chapter 9

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Media Studies
Ted Petit

CHAPTER 9 QUEER ANALYSIS Queer media scholars attempt to understand how media texts as significant outlets of cultural discussion contribute to the ordering of human understanding surrounding gender sex and sexualityHow images of heterosexuality and homosexuality replicated across media and throughout time create a binary understanding of sexuality that privileges heterosexuality and marginalizes homosexualityQUEER THEORY AN OVERVIEWQueer Theory interdisciplinary perspective that seeks to disrupt socially constructed systems of meaning surrounding human sexualitySexuality enduring emotional romantic or sexual attraction toward others based upon their gender and sexAmericans traditionally interpret sexuality as heterosexualhomosexual however theres also alternatives like bisexualityIndividual sexuality is fluid and difficult to categorize and therefore the categories we have for sexuality can never full represent an individuals actual varied sex drivesHeterosexuality like homosexuality is a cultural construction that functions as a heuristic a mental shortcut which people draw upon to describe their sexual practicesAssuming that the heterosexualhomosexual binary represents sexuality results in unequal distribution of social powerHeterosexualhomosexual are social constructs like masculinefeminineThey allow for the social classification essentializing and disempowerment of the groups that identify with themHeteronormativity diverse set of social practices that function to 1 perpetuate the heterosexualhomosexual binary and to 2 privilege heterosexualityHeteronormative social practices maintain the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality out of necessityMakes heterosexuality seem normaldesiredBinary must exist to make heterosexuality seem normal because homosexuality exists as the abnormal oppositeSexual othering process of stigmatizing homosexuality or any nonheterosexual practice as abnormal to privilege heterosexualityExamples of Heteronormativity in American cultureidea of nuclear family husband wife 23 kidsheterosexuals granted easier access to marriagecountless derogatory terms for nonheterosexuals faggot dyke etc but no terms to ridicule heterosexualsFeminist scholar Adrienne Rich suggests these privileges are so engrained in American society that heterosexuality is best understood as compulsive in the sense that people women in particular are coerced into identifying with the social definitions and norms of heterosexuality from birth
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