Why Steven Universe Is The Most Feminist Show On TV

Why Steven Universe Is The Most Feminist Show On TV

For a kids show, they really nailed it.

Steven Universe, a cartoon on Cartoon Network, has been making a huge stir in the animation world. From the beautiful artwork, to the creative storytelling, it's no surprise why so many people love this show. But Steven Universe is also a part of a feminist revolution in terms of television, and here's why:

*Warning: Possible spoilers for all 3 seasons of Steven Universe*

The show fights gender stereotypes

One of the most subtle but important parts of Steven Universe as a show is that it's characters don't follow standard gender roles. Steven himself is a prime example of this. He's not afraid to cry, is definitely not the strongest, and is seen above performing in a dress.

The show is LGBT* Positive

One of the biggest moments of the season 1 finale is finding out that Garnet, one of the main characters, is a fusion of two smaller gems, Ruby and Sapphire(seen above). It's clear to see that they are madly in love with each other, and also identify as female. It's amazing to see one of the main characters in a popular cartoon be the embodiment of a healthy lesbian relationship.

The show highlights non-nuclear families

Steven's mother is not alive, because she gave up her physical form and gem to create Steven. This means that his father, Greg, and the other Crystal Gems raised Steven. This breaks the standard nuclear family idea of a mom and a dad, and show's a healthy family dynamic outside of that idea.

The show discusses healthy and unhealthy relationships

Fusion is a big part of Steven Universe. Basically, a gem can fuse with another gem to become a bigger and stronger gem. However, in order to fuse, the two gems need to be in sync with one another, or else things could go very badly. Garnet, a fusion of Ruby and Saphire, shows a very healthy and stable fusion. Malechite, which is a fusion of the two gems Jasper and Lapis Lazuli(shown above) is a very unhealthy and stable fusion, which is a big part of the second season.

The show is body positive

Rose Quartz, Steven's mother, is a super tall and plus size. Pearl, is a tall and lanky. Amethyst and Steven are short and stout. Garnet is tall and muscular. And that's just the main characters! So many unique body types are highlighted in this show, and it's easy to find one who looks like you do, which is rare in modern TV.

"Steven Universe" is important for so many reasons; by highlighting these feminist issues, among many others, viewers will gain a new and unique perspective on different people. It's great to see that television is making strides towards becoming more diverse!

Cover Image Credit: gizmodo.com

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The Number Of Books You Read This Year Doesn't Matter

Reading shouldn't be a means to an end. Enjoy the journey.

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of reading challenges since it’s early January and people are setting resolutions. While setting a goal to read a certain number of books can be great if you’re a kid who is still learning, or an adult who wants to get back in the habit or limit their time on social media, I think some avid readers use it as bragging rights and to me that’s not what reading is about.

There is a lot of pressure to read as many books as possible in a year. Some people are reading 100+. I’m not talking about critics here, I’m talking about the average person. I write book reviews on Goodreads and the site itself is pressuring me to start the Reading Challenge and set a numerical goal for myself.

I don’t see reading as a means to an end or a competition. I see it as an activity. A great, worthwhile activity, and one with many physical and mental health benefits, but not on a higher level than going for a walk or working on a creative project. It’s something one does because one enjoys it. Of course this does not apply to required reading, but reading in one’s spare time.

In my opinion, unless you’re doing it for the reasons mentioned above, you run the risk of rushing through books and not taking time to fully absorb what you are reading. I’m a fast reader – I have hyperlexia – so I know all too well the feeling of disappointment when I read a book too quickly and can hardly remember what it is I just read.

The French have a policy of eating slowly and savoring every bite during mealtime, and I think that same policy can be applied to reading. Of course, one’s natural reading speed cannot be slowed down without breaking one’s immersion, but you can take a break between chapters and write out your feelings or discuss them with someone who has read the same book. Just be careful to choose someone who won’t spoil the book for you.

Along with this argument is a discourse about what is a “real” or “good” book that actually “counts” as reading. A lot has been said about this but I feel like I should address this issue as well. Yes, there are objectively good books. Just because it’s good doesn’t mean everybody will like it. The reverse is true as well. Just because it’s bad doesn’t mean everybody will or should hate it.

I enjoy Warrior Cats to this day despite the glaringly obvious flaws in the writing: the lack of a series bible means that continuity goes out the window quite often, and one character has changed eye color three times in the same book. However, the characters and their relationships with each other feel genuine and human, like people I would actually want to spend time with, and that’s why I keep reading.

Conversely, I can’t stand Twilight because to me character is what makes a story interesting. However, to people who enjoy scenarios more than characters, I can understand why it would be fun and immersive. As has been mentioned in previous reviews, the series is written in a way that allows the reader to insert themselves into the story. There is nothing wrong with enjoying stories like that in my opinion.

However, a literary diet is also important. Read as many books as you want, but if you can, I would suggest mixing up what you read. Mashed potatoes are amazing but you wouldn’t eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. You can think of books as brain food.

Reading a variety of things gives you a wide range of benefits. Again, I’m not telling anyone what to do. As I’ve said, reading is a pastime and shouldn’t feel like homework. But if you’re looking for a reading challenge, you could consider reading books outside of your comfort zone rather than trying to read a certain number of books.

In fact, that’s what I’m going to do this year. On top of my other New Years resolutions, I’m going to try to read books I wouldn’t normally read: romance, politics, religion, contemporary. What about you? What kinds of books are you going to try to read in the new year, if you plan on making this a resolution?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Studying The Coupon Website Market and The Storyline of DealsShutter

Studying The Coupon Website Market and The Storyline of DealsShutter

In this article, we will be talking about a company called DealsShutter which provides  deals, coupons and exclusive sales notification to its members from all over India.

With a rapidly increasing internet user base in India has led to increase in awareness of the varieties available in terms of products and services, ways of doing things, tips and tricks to save time and money, and much more.

India has opened up to ths future of the way of doing business. About 25% of the retail shops in India have gone online and there are hundreds of e-commerce business functioning as mediator for products and services provided by a wholesaler.

Opening up of e-commerce businesses and the competition led to variety in options available for the customers and also different type of offers available on categories and types of products.

It is humanly next to impossible to check hundreds of websites for offers on products and also takes a lot of time. This opportunity led to another in the space of coupon and deals business.

According to report on a daily, coupons business account of 13.5% of e-commerce business as of 2017 in India, and also saw a growth of 63% approx interns of unique visitors on coupon sites.

In 2017, approx 9 out of  every 10th internet user in India used/accessed coupons website to search for the deals and coupon codes.

Generally,  a deal/coupon website such as DealsShutter provides a code and redirects the audience to the product page of the site and then by using the coupon code (which is accessed via Bar-code by Deal shutter and also has an expiration date) one gets cashback in DealsShutter wallet which can be further used to buy other products on different sites. One can also club all the deals and cashback to buy a product.

The discount or cashback range generally go from 5% to 20% or even more depending on the site /brand. With an increase in percentage of businesses going online, coupons website such as Deal Shutter has also started to offer coupons and cashback deals on hyper local retailers and small shop retailers who have their website online. This move has helped coupons website to attract different class in the society, and this has helped the modeling of coupons website to go towards economies of scale which would in turn increase in the amount of profits with increase in customer base.

Restaurants are another target market for the deals and coupon wevsute, where a company ties up with a chain of restaurant on Pan India basis and offers offline cashback and deals on tied up restaurants. This has also helped many coupon websites to serve Tier1 cities and see an increase in audience and customer base across India.

With increasing sizes of existing e-commerce business and also an increase in numbed of e-commerce business, the coupon market has parallel grown as the varieties of coupons/deals increase and let their customer be retained or come back again to search for deals.

The coupon market is valued around 3billion$ in India and has seen a parallel growth of 52% as per a report on a Daily.

With the amount of competition amongst coupon websites and increase in e-commerce businesses, it has to only benefit the customers to choose and make a wise decision.

At the end of this all, we can say that there is a win-win situation. 

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