Sexuality and inter-Sectionalism.

Critical Article #3

OVERALL

For this assignment, you are writing for the third issue of ADmosphere.
This coming issue is about sexuality and intersectionality.
This project is both theoretical and practical.
As usual, after finishing writing your piece, you have to reformat and transform your article into a digital storytelling piece so as to contribute your content to our website.
You can choose the one of the topic options provided in this document. It is crucial for you to read the guidelines and follow them closely

There are four important basic criteria that you must meet, no matter which topic option you decide to choose:

  1. Concepts and Theories: Your article should engage at least three or more of the below theories that we have covered on the topic of sexuality:

• The ethics of sexual shame
• Moralism and morality
• Gays/lesbians/bisexuals
• Heteronormativity
• Homonormativity
• Intersectionality
• Sexism and racism in LGB media representation (e.g. death treatments of lesbians and bisexuals, lesbian of color, and transgender woman of color)
• Femininity and Masculinity in LGB community and representation

  1. Synthesis and Analysis: Make meaningful connections between the concepts and between the concepts and your chosen context/cases. When developing your arguments, you have to try to make connections between the concepts that you choose. Because each of these concepts builds on each other. Also, only through making the connections, can you demonstrate that you understand the concepts in a way that transcends their superficial face value.

If a concept is not useful for your case analysis, don’t just mention leave it there disconnected. Same should be applied to your case; if your chosen contexts/cases have nothing to do with sexuality or have no potential to be analyzed through those concepts of sexuality, then you shouldn’t select these context/cases. (Criteria #1 and #2: 70% )

  1. Writing: Professional media writing: Accessible and in-depth.
    You have to position yourself as a media writer producing content on for a digital media outlet covering difference in culture and media. When you start your planning and writing process with the mentality of a student writing for the assignment from a professor, you are doing it wrong. (Criterion #3: 15% )
  2. Digital Storytelling and Formatting: First of all, you should set up a feature image for you article (see the last page of this handout for detailed instructions). After that, you need to achieve multidimensional digital storytelling through 1) embed in-text hyperlinks to provide more contextual information, and appropriately embed multimedia media (e.g. pictures, videos, gifs.) However, do not overdo it. Always stand in your audience’s shoes when you format your article. (Criterion #4: 15% )

Meeting these criteria will help you achieve 90 in most cases. Failing to meet one of these aforementioned basic requirements will lead to an automatic 80. Grading on other aspects will start at this threshold.

Deadline: 11:59 p.m. (Midnight), April 14, 2019 (Sunday)

OPTION #1 – Open Topic

Now that you have been following alternative media outlets and media covering difference/diversity for more than half of the semester, you should be sensitive to and knowledgeable about the topics media are talking about as well as the ones the media are omitting in sexuality.

Now you get to plan your own special topic for Mediated Culture. It could be based on the hot cases in the media or the cases that are important but receive limited to no media attention.

You are required to follow the aforementioned overall requirements:

  1. Engage at least three and more theories in sexuality.
  2. Synthesis and analysis.
  3. Professional media writing.
  4. Digital storytelling and formatting.

OPTION #2 – Alternative Space?: Technology and Sexuality

To what extent do you think new media technology have influence people’s sexuality? You can explore one or more aspects of below possible questions.

  1. How has new technology influenced how people have sex and people’s idea of morality?
  2. How has new technology influenced the how gays, lesbians, and bisexuals finding their sense of community?
  3. How has new technology influenced how gays, lesbians, and bisexuals express their gender and sexuality?
  4. How has new technology changed how gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people engage in social movements, and set their priority in activism?
  5. How has new technology make visible different types of discriminations within the LGB community (e.g. sexism, racism, body, gender/masculinity/femininity discrimination)
  6. Or you can explore other questions that you might have that are related to technology and sexuality.

OPTION #3 – Oppression Among the Oppressed

Oppression and discrimination are ever-evolving concepts that take different shapes and forms, depending on the historical context and the community.
Does being gay, lesbian, and bisexual automatically means one is immune to being an oppressor?
What do these oppressions and discrimination look like in the LGBTQ community, given all the concepts and analytical that we have covered thus far? (e.g. “no femmes, no fats, no Blacks/Asians” that intersects gender, body, race.)
What are media representation and/or technology’s role in promoting, hiding, or suppressing them?
How has structured racism, sexism, or gender discrimination has evolved and prompt the discrimination within the LGBTQ community.
What has changed? What hasn’t changed?
What does it mean to live as an LGBTQ community members and ally today?

OPTION #4 – The Personal is Political

“In each instance we uncovered that ‘the personal is political,’ i.e., the experiences, feelings, and possibilities of our personal lives were not just a matter of personal preferences and choices but were limited, molded, and defined by the broader political and social setting. They feel personal, and their details are personal, but their broad texture and character, and especially the limits within which these evolve, are largely systemic. In this sense, the contribution of the New Left was to say that we suffer a “totality of oppressions,” systemically based, entwined, and all needing to be eliminated via a “revolution” in existing institutions, and the creation of new liberating ones.”

“The ‘personal is political’- meaning that personal outcomes are largely a product of systemic relations and of structures beyond each individual that need to be addressed-came to mean, instead, that all political phenomena arise from the accumulated personal choices of individuals, so that what needed to be addressed to win better circumstances was primarily people’s personal choices.”

  • Michael Albert

As stated above, personal experience and decisions are political and “limited, molded, and defined by the broader political and social setting.” Instead of trivializing your personal experience, I am asking you to use the analytical tools and theories that we have covered on sexuality that we have learned so far to re-interpret your personal experience and stories of sexuality and white male privilege, and how they are related to the bigger picture, broader political and social setting. Do those theories, perspectives, and analytical tools make the way you see your past life events differently? If so, how? If not, why? What would you have done differently if you can?

By personal experience/story, I mean:
1) The things/events happen to you growing up or the people around you (your experience as an LGB and Queer community members, an LGB and Queer ally, an outside observer, or an opponent);
2) The parallel development of your personal experience and a certain media event in a certain period of time (e.g. your personal stories/thoughts/involvements during the time Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry occurs);
Or 3) how you use of media or new technologies help you in terms of forming your identity, finding a sense of community/belong, feeling in-group discrimination, or getting to know other outgroups better.

In your writing, pay attention below aspects:

  1. When you use the analytical tools and theories, you have to explain each of them before apply them into the context that you are analyzing.
  2. You must clearly and succinctly elaborate/describe your stories (keep in mind, your audience if not you. They need enough details to know your stories).
  3. Please check typos and grammars, and do detail editing before you turn it in.
  4. Make sure you mention and explain the prompt “the personal is political” to iterate why it your personal story is important, before you develop your article.

OPTION #5 – Media Critique: (Mis)Representation of LGB in the News, Entertainment, and Advertising

What is the current state of LGB and queer media representation?

In the media, Lesbians and bisexuals are underrepresented, tragic, or constantly killed; gay men are White, muscular, and rich…among others.

Find TV shows, movies, news articles, entertainment portrayals, or advertising representations that provide good representation, misrepresentation, or superficial representation about gay, lesbians, bisexuals, or other sexual minorities. Explain why the portrayal of your choice is a case of superficial diversity/misrepresentation or a meaningful representation of difference. Then you should suggest what a meaningful representation should be, and provide an existing example in the media if there is any. Lastly, propose your solutions for improving the representation narratively (e.g. depiction, narrative, rhetoric) or/and institutionally (e.g. newsroom practice, casting, writers’ room practice/hiring, policy).

Alternatively, you can also start with progressive media representation, analyzing why it is progressive. Is there any problematic aspect? If so, why? Lastly, propose your solutions for improving the representation narratively (e.g. depiction, narrative, rhetoric) or/and institutionally (e.g. newsroom practice, casting, writers’ room practice/hiring, policy).

In your writing, pay attention below aspects:

  1. Provide description of piece of your choice;
  2. Use the analytical tools and concepts that we have covered in sexuality so far to interpret and analyze your chosen stories/scenes/cases, and explain why they are problematic or progressive.
  3. You have to assume you audience have no idea what those terms mean, which means that you have to briefly explain the terms/concepts to your audience in writing before/when you develop your arguments.
  4. Your analysis, critique, and discussion of implication must be in-depth, which requires you construct your analysis at both micro and macro levels, and individual and societal levels. That is, how this particular piece of media production reflects how the different components of the world (e.g. individual, government, cooperation, media, social groups) function and influence each other in reality. Ideally, you should complicate your analysis to dissect how you chosen stories/scenes/cases reflect the influences from culture, government, media, and/or individuals.
  5. Please check typos and grammars, and do detail editing before you turn it in.

OPTION #6 – PR and Marketing in Difference

In recent years, companies, non-profits, celebrities, universities, and the media start to capitalize on and commodify “diversity,” so as to build their organizational or personal brands. For example, Absolut Vodka’s “Drala,” Vicks’ #TouchOfCare, P&G Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign, Dove’s ‘Love Your Curls’ Campaign, Google’s ESPY transgender ad, etc. While some are successful, some get themselves into PR and marketing crisis. You need to find a case or multiple case(s) to analyze the missteps or successful aspects of the case(s) of your choice. Even when talking about a successful case, are their strategies problematic?

  1. Provide description of the case(s) of your choice, and the outcomes of the case(s);
  2. Use the analytical tools and concepts that we have listed and covered so far to interpret and analyze your chosen cases, and explain why they are successful or/and problematic.
  3. You have to assume you audience have no idea what those terms mean, which means that you have to briefly explain the terms/concepts to your audience in writing before/when you develop your arguments.
  4. Your analysis, critique, and discussion of implication must be in-depth, which requires you construct your analysis at both micro and macro levels. That is, you need to think about that it impacts individual, brand/business, organization, and/or social groups.
  5. Please check typos and grammars, and do detail editing before you turn it in.

WRITING, FORMATTING, AND GRADING

Grading

I will grade heavily based on below three criteria:

1) Professional media writing: position yourself as a writer creating content for a digital media outlet.
2) Your capability of explaining the concepts;
3) Your capability of synthesizing the concept, analytical tools, and cases with the context/topic of your choice, in-depth.
4) The research you have done for the topic and the case(s) of your choice.
5) The flow of your writing, the cohesive of your argument, grammars, typos, and editing.
6) The layout of your post on the website (e.g. The featured picture, accompanying pictures, hyperlinks, etc.)

Formatting Basics

Title: You need to come up with your own unique title.
Page Limit: at least 4 pages, double space.
Font: 12 pt
Format: Microsoft Word Document
Website Post Formatting: We will have in-class instructions before the paper#1 is due.

  • Type and write your articles in a word document (double space and 4-page) so that your content is measurable and savable. Then. copy and paste your text to the website.
    Afterwards, you do all the digital formatting for your post on the website.

Required Items

  1. Post your article as a formal post on Admosphere.org (http://admosphere.org/login )
  2. Set up a featured image and embed at least one accompanying image or/and multimedia (e.g., video, audio, etc.) that are related to your article. Must give credits and sources. Images that are under the creative commons are highly recommended.
  3. Go to your published post on the website, print out your post (Either one-sided or double-sided is fine), and bring the printed hardcopy to class on Tuesday.

Deadline: Deadline: 11:59 p.m. (Midnight), April 14, 2019 (Sunday)

Tips:

1) “The first draft of anything is shit,” as Ernest Hemingway says. Please don’t turn in your first draft without proofreading. Try to finish your first draft at least one day or a few days before the deadline, let it sit for a few hours/days, and come back to read it with fresh eyes and a clear mind. You will find some sentences that do not make sense at all. That’s okay. Revise it and turn it in 🙂
2) Using subheadings will not only helps you structure your article better, but also helps you get your point across to your audience effectively.
3) If you feel lost, I highly encourage you to go back and review some of our previous assigned readings, particularly the Zoe Saldana piece, to see how the authors construct their arguments with relevant facts/contexts, effective theories/analytical tools, and great writing.

How to Insert a Featured Image for your Publication on Mediated Culture?

When you post an article on Mediated Culture, you post will be shown and featured on the front page of the website. In order to add visual appealing and persuasiveness to your article, you are required to format your content in a professional manner that is closely aligned to real-world digital media outlets.

Feature Image:

The first step is to add a featured image for your post. The feature images will be shown as a thumbnail or a large slider for your article. Your featured images will appear as below:

Displayed as a thumbnail
Displayed as a slider

Step 1: Find one image that is related to your article.
This image has to be medium to high quality. The idea picture pixel dimension should be 1900 x 1200.
As media practitioners, you should be aware of copyright infringement. For this class, you are encouraged to use 1) Original Photos taken by yourself; 2) Photos with Creative Commons license; or 3) Screenshots from the source website with noting credits.

In order to find photos that that don’t have the risk copy rights infringement, you do it through below approaches:

  1. Get your picture from the Creative Commons Image Search Engine – https://search.creativecommons.org
  2. Search for your pictures through Google Images (https://images.google.com/ ). On the result page, click on “More Tools” and choose the option that applies to you to filter the results.

Step 2: Set this picture as your feature image.

  1. Log into Mediated Culture (http://mediatedculture.com/login/ ), using your own account.
  2. On the top administration menu, click on “+ New” and then click on “Post,” so as to post your article or media content (see below).
  3. In order to set up the feature image for your post, you need to scroll down the page, and locate the “Featured Image” box. Click on “Set featured image” and follow the instructions to upload your featured image (see below).

Add a new post
Set up your feature image

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS