Steven Universe Gender Analysis

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1. Introduction
From the day it first aired, Cartoon Network’s animated series Steven Universe (2013) has received critical acclaim for its music, world building, storytelling, and visual art, but, also, for the innovative and natural way in which the show seems to defy gender stereotypes and conventions. Characterized by evocative pastel backgrounds and playful tones, the show’s narrative is described by Chapman as reflecting a "glorification of the strengths of femininity, dilution of gender barriers, and emphasis on a wide variety of relationships between women, aimed at a family audience." The presence of queer themes, such as the androgynous character Stevonnie and a number of romantic lesbian relationships, not only sets Steven Universe
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The coming of age plot follows the adventures of protagonist Steven Universe, a boy of fourteen based on show’s creator Rebecca Sugar’s younger brother Steven. The series is set in Beach City, a small fictional town, where Steven lives with the Crystal Gems, a group of feminine humanoids with magical powers, later on revealed to be alien renegades who rebelled against their Homeworld when it tried to establish a colony on the planet Earth— subsequently attempting to erase all life forms from the planet. As the series progresses, Steven learns about his own powers as son of Rose Quartz, the disappeared gem leader of the rebellion, and it becomes clear that Homeworld has not renounced to the plan of transforming the Earth into a colony, therefore Steven and the Crystal Gems must fight to protect the…show more content…
Meaning is therefore a reflection of such a framework and, thus, both meaning and its connotations change as the framework changes. For example, the meaning of a particular social subject like the homosexual changes as the historical and cultural context to which it is bound shifts and changes, and so does the attitude of the society that receives and creates it (cit in de Beer 82). Consequently, as time passes, culture will produce different ideas and connotations for homosexuality as a society’s morals change (cit in de Beer 85). Therefore, in regards of animation, if the conception of queer animated series was unthinkable or unheard of just a few decades ago, the changing cultural and media framework of contemporary society has allowed queer discourse to invade even those channels that are usually considered for kids. Such a shift is remarkable for the specific reason that, since animation is traditionally considered to be a children product and thus somehow inferior, none or little obligation is felt as to the extent to which it should be innovative, time bound, and revolutionary: after all, are kids really part of the cultural and media

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