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    I have already done 750 words draft and received feedback from tutor. Please look at the feedback and improve on it. Expand those 900 words to 2,500 words. Thanks




    Module Name: Gender/Media


    Word count: 2,500 words.



    Deadline: Thursday 10th January 2019




    Question: Choose two examples of science fiction films or TV shows and demonstrate how it might challenge or reinforce gender identity and sexuality.




    It should be around 2500 words. Please also add relevant bibliography.




    I am expecting to see:


    – Essay topic


    – Possible argument


    – Main key theories aimed to be explored and/or examples


    – Structure


    – Literature




    Assessment marking criteria




    – Identify key theories and debates on gender studies and new media related to the chosen topic.


    – Demonstrate evidence of the ability to develop a clear argument using key issues presented in the module.


    – Articulate a clear idea/theme supported by examples/case study


    – Apply knowledge of key concept(s) in a specific new/digital/social media text


Subject Media Pages 6 Style APA


Reinforcing Gender Identity and Sexuality in Digital Media
In the contemporary world, the digital media has a great influence in the social structure of a society – especially in shaping how people view men and women (Gauntlett, 2008). This is majorly because the media has the power to allude their message into our consciousness in many ways which are knitted into our daily lives. Gender identity and sexuality is even evident in science fiction movies and TV shows, which makes a major part of the media today. The term gender identity refers to a perception of having a specific gender that matches one’s sex during birth. On the other hand, sexuality refers to one’s sexual preference. Most experts –such as Seierstad, Warner-Søderholm, Torchia and Huse (2017) – agree that there is need to allow viewers, especially kids, to see a wider range of male and female actors being displayed through the use of different traits, beliefs and behaviors in the media. Notably, if young viewers see stereotyped gender roles portrayed over the media, it is highly likely that they will fail to embrace their gender identity. Therefore, films should be sensitive of the young viewers to protect their interests and view of their gender identity.
In speculative fiction, gender is regarded as an essential that increases the chances that a viewer will find a movie interesting. Arguably, through the use of science fiction as a tool in digital media, viewers are provided with a chance to explore varied social conventions such as gender roles and beliefs which directly influences how people perceive their sexuality (Kirby, 2015). This paper explores and analyses how sexuality and gender identity is reinforced in digital media by examining two science fiction TV series – Twilight and The Hunger Games – as the focal point of illustration. Although science fiction films are focused on providing entertainment out of the extraordinary world, the manner in which the gender roles are reinforced in the films can negatively influence how the viewers define their sexuality.
Reinforcing Gender Identity
Both the Hunger Games trilogy and Twilight series have prompted disagreements against feminist scholars. Twilight series in particular has raised concern on the manner in which it stereotypically portrays gender. According to Martin, Edwards and Sayers (2018), the series is considered as a narrative that continually empowers women. Arguably, Bella (a character in the show) shows a high element of autonomy which serves as an example for women in the society. On the other hand, The Hunger Games is visualized from an eco-feminist view – tending to break down the structures and institutions limiting feminism as a philosophy. Kirby (2015) notes that gender has power to guide people to embrace their sexuality by compelling them to understand what society expects as a result of their sex. This, consequently, reinforces gender identity in women as the protagonist characters are portrayed as heroes.
Moreover, both Twilight and the Hunger Games reinforces sexuality through the use of erotic desire as a central theme. In Twilight, the rhetoric of abstinence featured under the genre of a young adult romance is depicted in the science fiction series. Bella manages to fall in love with Edward even after realizing that he was a vampire (Guanio-Uluru, 2016). In Hunger Games, the use of erotic desire is limited but still evident in the show. Evidently, Katniss is brought out as a character who falls in love with Peeta to survive in the games. However, with time, she finds it difficult to overcome her emotions making it difficult for her to keep up the pretense. In effect, this sense of choice and freedom for sexual erotic desire facilitates empowerment in women at large. This is majorly because the woman starts to understand and appreciate her response towards her emotional and sexual needs – which reinforces her identity as a woman.
Additionally, both the trilogy and the series greatly influence and reinforces notions of traditional gender identity and sexuality through visual images and masculinity engraved in the same shows. The visual images provide a dignified manner of conduct associated with both gender, which has a major role in shaping society by reflecting, perpetuating, and reinforcing certain societal attitudes and values towards gender roles and identities. For instance, in the Twilight series, Edward protects Bella from an impact with a moving van, scares away a group of delinquents who hounds Bella, and also saves her from being killed by vampire James. These series of visual images manifests the male gender as heroic – which portrays hegemonic masculinity – thus contributing to the empowerment of men while advocating for the subordination of women towards them. This reinforces the traditional view of gender roles and identity in society as it influences most women to rely on the masculine nature of their counterparts.
Likewise, gender is also uniquely reinforced in both series. Despite the fact that Twilight and Hunger Games are founded in the case of a young female protagonist, it is evident that each case is embodied by a male figure. Carlisle Cullen in Twilight represents a high element of morality which further reflects his undeniable self-control. The film shows that Cullen overcomes his vampire instincts to save humans while working as a doctor. Moreover, Bella considers Edward as the most selfless person she has ever met. In Hunger Games, Peeta is brought out as the “better man” than all the available characters in the film. Arguably, he manages to get the woman he always wants. This, in turn, reinforces gender identity in men and masculinity while emphasizing on morality and self-control among individuals.
Nonetheless, through the implementation of the feminist theory in the analysis of gender reinforcement in science fiction, it is evident that an element of inequality will always exist between the male and the female gender divide. For instance, the women are provided with less dominant roles in the society in comparison to their male counterparts. In the Twilight and Hunger Games, Bella and Katniss are considered as incompetent mothers who lack the capacity to care for their children. Katniss feels like her mother is incapable of providing for them after the demise of their father. Moreover, Katniss had a role to play as a wife and a mother and was not required to accomplish masculine duties such as taking part in wars. Moreover, Twilight emphasizes the feminine vulnerable role in various ways. For instance, Bella is frequently involved in dangerous and vulnerable situations from which she requires masculine assistance. The series further indulges Edward into infringing Bella’s freedom by listening to her conversations, following her car, and influencing her choice of friends. This, instead of raising concerns, is depicted as a form of care from Edward as the series presents Bella as pleased by his care and attention (Platt, 2010).
What is more, one of the most prevalent representation of gender and feminist themes depicted in both series is the idea that women are the weaker sex – which comes in handy in the reinforcement of sexuality and gender identity, especially in men. Despite both TV shows having female protagonists, they constantly portray the conventional trappings of femininity as dissolute and weak in various ways. In the Twilight series, Edward acts as the decision maker and heroic protector for Bella, whom she follows obediently. This offers a clear representation of how the male gender can easily undermine the female’s freedom to make sound decisions by herself without external influence. In the Hunger Games, Katniss is presented as a heroine majorly due to the fact that she rejected the traditional roles of femininity presented by the author of the same. Katniss steps into the shoe of her father after his death as she heroically protects her family in virile ways – in the battle. In doing so, the series depicts the female sex as mostly weak unless it abandons its traditional roles and embraces masculinity – upon which they become heroic.
Conversely, the series clearly elaborates the traditional forms masculine gender roles, which might appear detrimental just as much as feminine roles. This is because they both offer a plethora of conventional male-gendered performances including violence and physique. In the Twilight series, the physical and masculine abilities of Edward portrays him as strong and heroic – thus worthy of protecting and marrying Bella. On the other hand, several classmates of Bella, such as Mike, who might appear less manly and exuding no authority, are easily ignored and dismissed by Bella. Similarly, in the Hunger Games, masculinity is depicted as the only way to survive the dangers of death in the games. In the trilogy, Peeta, who falls in love with Katniss, fills the role previously preserved for women – of damsel in distress – which drives Katniss to save him from several dangers and ultimate death. This presents the traditional notion of how a man ought to be in order to be worthy of certain privileges and survive well in the society, prompting to hoist gender identity and sexuality towards the same.
Another aspect of feministic theme presented in both the series and the trilogy is the aspect of gender fluidity and a sense of male validation. This is presented in contrasting views in both the series. First, in the Twilight series, Bella lacks gender fluidity and is thus etched and remains rigid towards feministic gender roles. Bella is illustrated to rely on the protection of men. Moreover, Bella requires male validation of her beauty as she constantly doubts herself – even though several individuals eye her in her class. This reiterates the notion that a young woman cannot reach her full potential without the introduction of a man to guide and lead her. Moreover, it portrays a lack of worth for women without the presence of a male figure to assure and bequeath value on the female. However, this thought is counteracted by the trilogy – The Hunger Games – in that the character Katniss is presented as a female with brains, audacity, and a quest of her own (Anderson, 2015). The character advanced by Katniss seems to reflect a gender fluid sense of self and an independent life – more like a masculine one. First, she demonstrates her difference from other female characters by her way of clothing and engaging in activities only previously set out for her male counterparts. Unlike many women, Katniss is depicted to be of a higher level of wit and feelings not associated with women. This is a form of fluidity and flexibility that enables her to protect her family and survive the dangers of the games in the show. Therefore, Katniss embraces masculine gender roles, apart from the feministic roles assigned to her – projecting her as strong and not requiring male validation. This encourages gender fluidity and neutrality in the society leading to strong and independent women in the society.
More critically, the gendered stereotypic view that men are irrational and unable to control their sexual desire while women are able to control the same is explored within the series. In the Twilight Saga, Bella communicates a need for a sexually intimate relationship while Edward dismisses the same and refuses to engage in extramarital sexual relationship – a trait not usually associated with masculinity (Pascoe, 2011). The series, thus, constructs the sexual desire of the woman as excessive while portraying the man as rational and able to control Bella’s desires. Contrariwise, the trilogy – The Hunger Games – presents the woman as able to control her sexual desires. In as much as her male counterparts see her as an object of sexual attraction, Katniss refuses to conform to the same, thinking that it makes her look weak (Gilmore, 2013). Moreover, she becomes extremely angry with Peeta who makes her into an object of affection and sexual attraction. This trilogy, as opposed to the later, exposes the woman as able to control her sexual desires just like their male counterparts. In general, both the shows presents two different cases where the male and the female is tested sexually and their nature exposed. This depicts both gender as strong and able to control their sexual desires – thus reinforcing a sense of gender identity and sexuality from both the genders.
Lastly, both the TV shows depicts the male and masculine features as superior to their feminine counterparts. First, in the Twilight Saga, even though the story revolves around Bella, the story is majorly epitomized from a man’s figure. Bella is presented as weak and in need of protection – which Edward offers gladly. Many instances shows how the male figure acts to protect and oversee the welfare of the female figure within the movie. This is further reinforced in the trilogy, the Hunger Games. From the trilogy, Katniss, the heroine of the show, embraces masculine characteristics which makes her superior and able to perform certain tasks that other women could not do. She acts as the provider of her house since the death of her father in a tragic coal mining accident. Furthermore, with her extraordinary masculine characters, Katniss is depicted as a survivor in the games, making her to be fierce competitor. Moreover, Katniss is presented to like and dislike things that are presumably liked and disliked only by men. She has a liking for bows and arrows for hunting and does not prefer waxing her leg hairs. This presents the masculine characteristics as being superior and enabling an individual to survive more – thus reinforcing the same.
In conclusion, it is evident that the media has a major influence in reinforcing or challenging gender identity and sexuality – especially through science fiction – since it attracts a wide variety of persons in the society. Despite having science fiction films rely on the extraordinary to create entertainment, the manner in which gender is construed in such movies can influence how the viewers define their sexuality. Twilight and The Hunger Games are some of the fictional films which reinforce gender identity suggesting that males and females have unique roles to play in the society. Science fiction is regarded as a vital tool which examines the attitudes of society about their conceptions of gender. How women are portrayed in speculative genres vary significantly. Some films challenge the societal gender norms unlike others. Among those which challenge the conventional understanding and portrayal of sexuality and gender show a significant variation.




Anderson, R. (2015). Bella Swan versus Katniss Everdeen: A Cultural Examination of Twilight and The Hunger Games (Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University).

Gauntlett, D. (2008). Media, gender and identity: An introduction. Routledge.

Gilmore, J. (2013). Submission to Gender Performance in the Hunger Games.

Guanio-Uluru, L. (2016). Female Focalizers and Masculine Ideals: Gender as Performance in Twilight and the Hunger Games. Children’s Literature in Education47(3), 209–224.

Kirby, P. (2015). The Girl on Fire: The Hunger Games, Feminist Geopolitics and the Contemporary Female Action Hero. Geopolitics20(2), 460–478. \

Martin, L. A., Edwards, M., & Sayers, J. G. (2018). A “Novel” Discovery: Exploring Women’s Literary Fiction for Use in Management and Leadership Education. Academy of Management Learning & Education17(1), 24–40. 

Pascoe, C. J. (2011). Dude, you’re a fag: Masculinity and sexuality in high school. Univ of California Press.

Platt, C. A. (2010). Cullen family values: Gender and sexual politics in the Twilight series. Bitten by Twilight: Youth culture, media, and the vampire franchise, 71-86.

Seierstad, C., Warner-Søderholm, G., Torchia, M., & Huse, M. (2017). Increasing the number of women on boards: The role of actors and processes. Journal of Business Ethics141(2), 289-315.














Appendix A:

Communication Plan for an Inpatient Unit to Evaluate the Impact of Transformational Leadership Style Compared to Other Leader Styles such as Bureaucratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership in Nurse Engagement, Retention, and Team Member Satisfaction Over the Course of One Year

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