Breaking Stereotypes And Gender Roles In 'Steven Universe'
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Breaking Stereotypes And Gender Roles In 'Steven Universe'

The popular cartoon Steven Universe has a lot of unique qualities, including it's modern take on women and gender roles.

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Breaking Stereotypes And Gender Roles In 'Steven Universe'
Comicbook

Steven Universe is a cartoon that premiered in 2013. It’s a lighthearted show about a boy who’s half human, half “crystal gem,” which is a type of alien that has been on Earth for thousands of years. Not all gems are friendly, but Steven’s family of gems have protected the Earth for over 4,000 years, and they even fought a long and hard war to keep Earth safe from other gems. The show brings up a lot of important topics such as loss of a parent, controversy over who you love, loyalty to your family and home, and others. Steven Universe also does a great job of dismantling typical gender roles and female/male stereotypes. Here are some examples:

The majority of main characters are women.

The main characters consist of Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst. Later on in the series, Peridot and Lapis Lazuli come into the picture as well. The only male main character is Steven. And most of the supporting characters are female as well: all of the gem characters are female, and Connie is a recurring female character. The only other major supporting character is Greg, Steven’s father.

Gender Roles are often flipped.

In one instance, Steven and his two teenage friends Sadie and Lars were stranded on a deserted island. In order to survive, they had to catch and cook their own food. Sadie took up the hunting portion of the work and Lars took to cooking, and they both become really good at their jobs. This kind of job distribution isn’t often seen in TV or film.

Another instance was when there was a battle going on between two gem fusions, and the “Watermelon Stevens” (watermelons in the shape of Steven that came to life – long story) want to help by fighting with the good gem fusion. There’s a scene where we see many Watermelon Stevens leaving their cave, and a family is being separated. But instead of the father kissing the wife and child and going off to fight, it’s the wife that kisses her husband and runs off with a spear in her hand.

Lesbianism isn’t considered strange or abnormal.

All of the gems are female, as stated before, and Garnet is a fusion of two gems: Ruby and Sapphire. Garnet remains fused together because the two can’t bear to be apart; they love each other dearly, and no one questions it or thinks anything of it, which can be quite refreshing.

Strength is shown through love.

In most television shows and movies, strength is either shown through physical fitness or lacking emotion. Steven Universe flips this stereotype on its head, because the strongest characters have and show the most love. Garnet, who we are told repeatedly is the strongest gem on the team, even sings a song while fighting a rather large enemy that her love is “Stronger Than You”. Rose Quartz, who was Steven’s mother, was originally the leader and the strongest of the Crystal Gems. She showed compassion to everyone and believed that all life on Earth was worth protecting, even if it was evil. Most might think this would make her naïve or over-emotional, but in reality, this made her the strongest gem on Earth.

There are a lot of reasons why I love this show, but by far my favorite thing is how unique the characters are and how the show helps to break the glass ceiling.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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