The resources in this learning block are examples of artifacts that have helped create new attitudes toward women and the LGBT community while at the same time being influenced by society’s changing views. Use these examples and the information presented in the overview to complete the first table on this week’s worksheet:
In the first column, provide an example of a contemporary artifact that either helps create change in the way women or LGBT people are perceived, or has been influenced by society’s changing views of women and LGBT members. In the second column, state in two to three sentences the reason you selected this artifact.
An example of an artifact that may have changed the perception of women is the novel The Hunger Games and its film adaptation, featuring the strong lead female character Katniss. An example of an artifact that may help shape society’s views of LGBT individuals is the TV show Modern Family, featuring Mitch and Cam.
In one to two sentences, answer the following question: Based on the description in the article Making Asian American Women Visible: The Joy Luck Club, what influence might Tan’s novel, and similar artifacts, have on broader American culture? Can you think of another artifact that has had a similar impact?
An excellent example of a contemporary artefact that has brought a significant change in the way the LGBT community is viewed is the ‘Will and Grace’ TV show. The show allowed people to watch how the LGBT people live, by showing how two successful gay men went about their daily lives and how the society around them perceived them. It helped in making people feel comfortable around the LGBT, which contributed significantly as its viewership was at around twenty-five million weekly. Before this show, some people were not aware of any gay person, and they believed in what they heard, which was sometimes horrible and misleading. This had caused a very negative sentiment that was being expressed by the people and great rejection of the LGBT people. The show presented them with funny and friendly faces which had a high impact on their perception of gay relationships and made them more appreciative of the LGBT community (Battles & Hilton-Morrow, 2002). The show had a significant influence which went beyond the living rooms of the viewers. The show influenced Joe Biden’s decision in support of equality in marriage. The show brought in gay men who were portrayed as being charismatic, which much helped in shaping the opinions of the people and made them open up their minds to new ideas. The show also had a significant social and political effect, and it resulted in the issues being supported by Hillary Clinton AND Barack Obama as well. It led to the evolvement of a new wave which influenced top politicians and greatly influenced the court ruling in the Supreme Court in 2015 that was considered to be a landmark ruling and which legalized same-sex marriages in the USA.
Tan’s novel will have a powerful impact on showing the importance of women’s life in American society. The book focusses on reminding the community that it is inappropriate to allow the continuation of women succumbing to fear and patriarchy. It shows that women can liberate themselves from confined lives and rise significantly to futures that are empowered. The patriarchal culture of binding women by cultural expectations will change, and women will remake and redefine their lives. The novel will have an impact in encouraging women to continue on their long way to liberation and freedom from within that they have been travelling for long. The book has brought out visibility from a minority group that was concealed which helps in giving a voice to people who are young and struggling with the articulation of their experiences and relational dynamics as they are brought up by their immigrant parents. This will change the society as parents are comforted by the fact that their children can understand and can gain some insight into the culture that is being experienced in the United States in the modern-day. The novel has a visible, powerful, cultural force as portrayed by the narratives of the mothers and daughters which in turn changes the appearance of the women who are Asian American who formerly had been portrayed as subservient, marginalized and docile in film, literature and television (Shear, 1993). The culture of these women has continued changing hence reflecting hope, solidarity and liberation.
Battles, K., & Hilton-Morrow, W. (2002). Gay characters in conventional spaces: Will and Grace and the situation comedy genre. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 19(1), 87-105.
Shear, W. (1993). Generational differences and the diaspora in The Joy Luck Club. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 34(3), 193-199.