Sunday, November 29, 2015
In discussing masculinities and the healthiness of various aspects of gender roles, I wanted to bring up the TV show Steven Universe. I always watch TV through a feminist lens, and this show had several interesting ways of displaying the titular character’s masculinity. Steven is portrayed positively and not as a weak or incompetent character. He gets to save the day often, and is only mocked in the same way any young character is mocked by older teenage characters.
Steven cries and openly expresses his emotions without seemed ashamed about it or acknowledging that there’s any reason he shouldn’t. His powers come from his ability to heal, not attack.
Seeing this sort of male character being portrayed as positive instead of weak or a joke can have an amazing effect on young people—if this is an acceptable way to behave as a boy, it allows for other expressions of feelings than straightforward violence. It can allow for boys to feel less shame for being less “tough” or “masculine.”
This article goes more into detail about the representations of masculinity on the show and the way that the different gendered characters show masculine traits in positive and varied ways.