What’s Sex Got to Do With…Nashville?

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The idea of heteronormativity is an extremely important topic in our media today. In the TV show Nashville, heteronormativity is at an ultimate high. Thankfully, it is obvious that the show has made some distinct efforts to create diversity through sexual orientation and racial identity in the film.

The show Nashville shown on ABC is a drama about the lives of Rayna James, Julliette Barnes, and many other country music stars just trying to make it in the industry. The idea of heteronormativity is defined as the normality of heterosexuality throughout our society and the exclusion of the LGBTQ community. Throughout the show, there are many sexual relationships between the characters. There is a point where Rayna James has to choose between 2 men to marry, and throughout the show Juliette Barnes dates and hooks up with almost all of the male characters on the show. There are many heterosexual relationships on the show, but thankfully, the producers do make an effort to show diversity in the film.

In addition to heteronormativity, the idea that “sex sells” is prominent for the TV show. Throughout the show, there are many sex scenes and sexual relationships. The show was primarily advertised as a family show, but when the majority of the show turned out to be about sex, the producers received much backlash. The truth behind this is simple: sex sells, and the relationships and hookups shown throughout the show is what makes it dramatic and makes people want to come back and watch more.

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The characters in this photo are Will Lexington on the right, an upcoming artist in the music industry. On the left is the first guy with whom he had sexual relations. This is the man who makes Will know for a fact that he is gay. Will goes through lots of trauma throughout his coming out because he is a young, good looking country star who seems to be the definition of masculinity. His character is a distinct example for the producers trying to depict diversity because it is through a person nobody would think to ever be gay.

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Secondly, the producers make a distinct effort to show an interracial relationship in the show. Gunnar, a white male, and Zoey, an African American female, date throughout Season 2 of the show.

What do you believe are the effects of how the producers of Nashville planned an interracial relationship and a gay, male, country artist in the show? Does this have any major affect on heteronormativity in our media? Does the idea that Nashville is in the deep South and that country music tends to be very old fashioned and conservative have any effect on the majority of the show being heteronormative, or is this just the way our society is? The producers could have chosen any character to be gay, but why did they choose Will Lexington?

(A)sexual

We live in a country today that is obsessed with putting people into groups and bases everything on things found in media to determine their culture. This movie looks at many different people who identify as asexual. What exactly is asexual/asexuality? The actual definition of asexuality is “the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in sexual activity. It may be considered the lack of a sexual orientation, or one of the four variations thereof, alongside heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexuality). My own definition of this term after watching the film would be that there are people who are not interested in having sexual intercourse or acts with people of the same or even opposite sex.

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“Enough”…is enough

In America, many people are living a life where they are sadly abused by their significant other.  Many who are afraid to leave, which could be for many reasons like they do not know where they could go, they do not know if they could find someone else who could and love and provide for them, or maybe they are just simply scared of getting themselves or their family hurt.

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sexualization of a super hero

As you already know, society expects a super hero to be big and strong, with a physique that can be unstoppable by any villain or threat against a city.  But that idea varies from gender to gender.  Throughout comic books and movies,   the female body is highly sexualized in a way that makes them look not able to protect themselves or their cities; while the male body is depicted in a way that in order to be viewed as masculine, one must have extreme muscle and power. These forms of media, and probably many others with animated characters Continue reading

What’s sex got to with the manic pixie dream girl?

The manic pixie dream girl (MPDG) archetype is recurrent in numerous films. The most popular and recent examples of the MPDG are in 500 Days of Summer, Love & Other Drugs, Garden State, and Almost Famous, which we covered in class a while ago. The narrative of the MPDG follows a typical pattern. According to Wikipedia, they are cinematic “creatures” that are usually bubbly, weird, and quirky, and they exist solely to uplift and support a sensitive, brooding man. For the purpose of the film, MPDGs are typically static characters that serve as the romantic interest for the person that really matters, the male protagonist. They are girly and cute and encourage men to embrace life by teaching them about the happiness and adventure that life brings.

I can’t speak for anyone else’s experiences, but regardless of how much of a feminist critique I can offer on the MPDG, I still love movies featuring this stock character. I always end up liking her, rooting for her, or seeing parts of myself in her. I assume that lots of women and girls feel the same way when they watch films with MPDGs. Moreover, I also assume that men also like the MPDG, considering her desirable and attainable. This is troubling and potentially problematic because it relates back to issues of sex, power, and “compulsive heterosexuality,” topics that feminist scholars Adrienne Rich and Catherine MacKinnon explore in depth.

All aspects of society, as Adrienne Rich argues, act as social forces toward heterosexuality. In other words, society romanticizes and normalizes heterosexuality. Rich calls this “compulsive heterosexuality,” and it’s a way of thinking and behaving that goes unquestioned. For Rich, every sexual desire and behavior in a patriarchal society is related to gender dynamics and ultimately expresses male dominance or women’s resistance. Catherine MacKinnon goes one step further and insists that sex is a tool used by men to control and manipulate women.

“To the extent that men have the power to define what desires, feelings, and behaviors are sexual, they can define women’s sexuality in a way that positions them as subordinate. […] Women’s sexual liberation involves fashioning a sexual life that reflects their own needs, feelings, and desires.” What does the MPDG have to do with what these feminist scholars have to say?

Kristen Barber, “Sex and Power”

MPDGs are defined in terms of men and their purpose throughout a film is to help men pursue happiness. They are assumed to have already figured themselves and the world out, and as a result, MPDGs are static characters who are not concerned about themselves, only their male interests. MPDGs, with their eccentric personalities and their hyper-femininity, are the center of male desire. What does it mean that the MPDG is super feminine and cute? What does it say about her gender and sexuality that she exists to serve a man.

As we’ve learned in class, the film industry is like a microcosm of the larger patriarchal society and they have a lot of power and influence in media and culture. Those in the film industry send subtle messages about culture to the public, especially creators of movies with MPDGs because these films with this stock character are inherently structured around particular values about gender and sexuality.

Should Prostitution be Illegal?

After watching this the film “Buying sex” by Teresa Macinnes and Kent Nason I believe prostitution should be illegal. Canada has many prostitutes in the country and from this it is affecting the society and streets around it. The true definition of prostitution is the act or practice of engaging in sexual intercourse for money (dictionary.com).

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Not Every “Disorder” is Created Equal

Not Every “Disorder” is Created Equal

HSDD, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder; FSD, Female Sexual Disorder – how many acronyms do we need before we understand that maybe the problem isn’t with women, but something large enough to leave 43% of women with this “disorder?” In our society, there is always a one-stop-shop, a little pill, cream, or treatment that will fix any disorder. But what if this “disorder” isn’t a disorder to begin with?

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