The Masculine Mystique Of T

Blackish- the incredibly modern, Emmy nominated, and laughable new show that surrounds a contemporary black family pushing the social norms of everyday society portrays a gay male as anything but masculine. The episode “Johnson & Johnson” gives homosexual males the idea that in order to truly embrace his sexuality, he must act in a more feminine and flamboyant manner.

The portrayal of certain groups, especially homosexuals, can be a tough thing for the media to portray. The reason being is that not every gay male is as in touch with his feminine side as we think. However, the media has taught us what they believe is the stereotypical gay male personality through shows such as Modern Family, Glee, and Shameless. Is there a reason that all of these gays are portrayed in such a feminine light? All of these shows have males acting as if they are completely incapable of doing even the slightest of ‘manly’ tasks, and Blackish is no exception.

The patterns that the media has developed have come to the point that you don’t even need to know that the character is gay to know their sexuality. You don’t need to know that Andre Johnson Jr is gay before you watch the scene in the “Johnson & Johnson” episode where Andre is explaining to his siblings what and why he is going to wear a specific outfit to his lesbian aunt’s upcoming wedding. The way in which he spoke about his clothes and why he was going to wear them is the classic example of showing how men who care about their appearance are automatically gay. The planning that he expressed and the amount of money he must have spent on clothes is on par with the stereotypical teenage girl. So, Blackish wants the viewer to make that connection between Andre Junior and the average teenage girl in their life. This is achieved through the form of entertainment in which the media forces the viewer to make that connection without even thinking. They want you to think of Junior as just another teenage girl. This means that the media is trying to convince you that every gay male you see has the qualities of a young female. This gives a false perception about those in their life who may actually be gay. The last person they would expect to be gay could be, while teens continued to judge those who they thought fall into the media’s idea of homosexuality.

Not only is Junior expressed as being gay through his keen interest in fashion, but he also abides by the stereotype that homosexuals, along with girls, are not athletic. When Dre (the idiotic father) decides that his sister’s last name should be wagered on the outcome of a Ping-Pong game, Junior is confident in his abilities. It isn’t until the beginning of the match that we find out Junior’s true ‘abilities’. We realize that Junior is not at all the Ping-Pong prodigy he described. He embarrassed himself in front of the family. His performance can be described in no better way than the picture above. Once we saw the flashback to him practicing, we then realized that our preconception of gays being unathletic was spot on. The flashback entails him playing against himself, missing the ball, and then storming off in hilarious feminine rage. Why can’t the media portray him to be a good athlete or at least not act totally girly when messed up? There are plenty of gay males in society, men such as Michael Sam who sacked the stereotype of gays being unathletic. More and more professional athletes are coming out as gay or bisexual. Be that as it may, this is not a quality piece of media in the sense it portrays all gay males to fall under the same umbrella of femininity. Potentially gay viewers may think that they need to change in order for people to accept him for being gay. Clearly, the Johnson family has accepted Junior for who he is, but will this confuse gay viewers on the proper way to show your sexuality during weddings and sporting events? The media invented stereotyping; the only way we can get it to disappear is refusing to adhere to their sometimes diabolical messages.

Anthony Catalano

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