The Non Issue Of Gender

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The Non-Issue of Gender in Steven Universe Gender in children’s TV shows can often be a touchy subject, especially in the wake of the blowback from Target’s decision to de-gender their toy section. Media aimed at children usually tries to handle this subject gingerly, or in a more traditional fashion, not wanting to alienate more conservative parents or their children who are learning the rigid social constructs of gender. This is why we often see children’s TV characters as being Princesses or Superheroes and being gendered to fit the stereotype of who those characters should be. No other show subverts these stereotypes and tropes more than Steven Universe. Steven Universe is a show that focuses on Steven, a young boy around 11 years old who lives with his three adopted caregivers who were the close friends of his late mother. These women belong to an alien race of beings called “Gems”. This makes Steven half gem, and therefore he has some super powers attributed to gems, specifically ones he shares with his mother, who we learn through the show died in childbirth. His father is also an important figure in his life, as he serves as Steven’s main male as well as human role model, although he does not live with Steven. Steven subverts gender roles in a variety of ways, mainly being the symbols associated with Steven’s character or “gem”. Every Gem has a gemstone implanted somewhere on their body. For Steven, this takes the form of a pink gemstone on his stomach. His “gem
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