Pushing Social Change and Toppling the Patriarchy
Television remains an important medium in exposing the viewing public to marginalized ideas, life styles, and varied ways of thinking. Unlike a film, which usually takes place over a self-contained two-hour period, television offers more screen time over the arch of seasons to explore characters and themes in deeply meaningful and personal ways. Aided by its structure and format, television programs are able to touch people, helping to change how we all view the world. In recent years, and amongst the explosion in popularity of platforms such as Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix, willing to take risks on shows and themes previously perceived as too risqué for television, programs have pushed the…show more content… Jill Soloway, comedian, writer and director, and pioneering television icon, created Transparent to make the world a safer place for transgenders and other minorities. As Jill Soloway said at the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards, she wants to “topple the patriarchy” and make transgenders and members of the LGBTQ community heroes (Huffington Post, 2016). Therefore, through examining the themes of gender identity and religion, both themes presented in the film and in class, Transparent comments on society’s current state and proposes meaningful change.
As Transparent begins, the opening credits offer a glimpse into the ideas of gender. From the lighting of a candle, symbolizing light into the darkness of life, to a shimmering blue dress—worn by a female impersonator—the opening credits reveal the process of becoming a transgender. Transitioning from a male to a female, or vice-versa, is a feat that only a few undertake. However, in the show Transparent, Mort Pfefferman transitions into Maura Pfefferman, a masculine figure who blossoms in femininity and bravery. While it is already a difficult task to come out as transgender, it is made even more difficult in this case because Maura has to deal with many family dramas revolving around her self-absorbed children.
Throughout the first season of Transparent, gender identity is explored and seen through the challenges that the characters face. For