In This Chapter, I Present How Two Pop Cultural Sites—The

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In this chapter, I present how two pop cultural sites—The film The Kids Are All Right, the television series The Fosters—represent butch motherhood. My intention is to expose the discourses in action to reveal how they operate and contain instruction that delivers as disciplinary performance. I divide the following sections into individual discussions of each cultural text to reveal the cogs within each site. I then compare and contrast both texts to investigate the tensions between both productions and how the discourses thematically collude. Finally, this comparative analysis considers the disciplinary discourse that develops in accord with gender and motherhood.
The Kids Are All Right, but are the representations?

The Kids Are All
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Reinforcing The Gender Binary
Jules and Nic are slightly ambiguous representations of butch and femme yet the film overtly reinforces binary gender roles in its homonormative depiction of the family. Nic presents a more masculine identity: she has messy, cropped hair, wears little makeup, and wears relaxed fitting jeans and button-down dress shirts. She is quick to anger, aggressive, a workaholic doctor, and operates more on conservatism and logic. Nic is both the disciplinarian and breadwinner in the family. In contrast, Jules is more visually feminized. She has long, smooth red hair, wears sexy lacy lingerie, and flowy or fitted t-shirts. Free spirit Jules is a more liberal. She is the nurturing parent – emotionally sensitive, compassionate and craves intimacy, characteristics that construct the femme (Martin 1996). These characteristics that construct Jules are antithetical to masculinity (Crewe 2015). These roles suggest that Nic is the ‘man’ and Jules is the ‘woman.’ This homonormative discourse continues throughout the film in a way that Nic becomes dissonant from the role of mother.
As the ‘man’ in the relationship, Nic performatively embodies a dominant, masculine ‘fatherly’ figure (Fox 4). In postulating a masculinized identity, she reinscribes heteronormative conventions. This is established early
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