Info / 08-03-2019

Gender&Series#8

Gender.

This word translates one of our society's hottest topics, and a key element of the audiovisual landscape.

Between clichés, stereotypes and dicrimination, some series sometimes fall under tropisms.

At Canneseries, we would like to try and understand the dynamics at work by relaying each week a series of articles, studies and key data decoding the subject.

Behind or in front of the camera, how are stories told, and produced, as well as the gendered identities they identifiy with?

 

It’s not a bretzel

 

Sex education in films and series are often mocked or ridiculed. The famous 'Health Class' moment in many American movies is more likely to be a rather heavy comedy scene where you don't learn anything of value besides "Abstinence's key", or "Have sex and you will die"...  

 

  

In real life or on screen, we can thus find a double problem: not only is sex still a taboo but when it comes to talking about it, especially to younger generations, we're not always capable of doing it right. It is still rather hard to discuss even the organ in itself often leading to a handicapping lack of knowledge. In a now iconic-scene of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black, Laverne Cox (through the medium of her character Sofia Burset), teaches her co-inmates about what is between their legs and that they should also be on their mind. 

 

 

Knowledge of one's body is key to enabling sexuality. In Sex Education, Aimee discovers with surprise that she is able to give herself pleasure, that her body is an instrument she can study and share to grasp new perspectives in terms of relationship and body perceptions, wether it's her own or others'. 

Not every country stands on the same page when it comes to sex education even though it can greatly impact mentalities' evolution and socio-cultural dynamics. For instance Scandinavian countries are less skittish than France to deal with such topics which reflects directly on society construction. 

In Sweden for instance, sex is an important matter, perfectly integrated into education. Present in schools in the beginning of the the twentieth century, sex courses have been mandatory since 1955 (vs.2001 in France). In the early twenties, Swedish girls and women, who could already vote at that time, start to emancipate et seek free discussion on questions such as prevention and sexual pleasure. 

Not far from there, no wonder why the Norwegian hit SKAM deals with sex and teenagers without tabou to the extent other versions are being developped across borders. 

 

READ THE ARTICLE

 

It is about time countries caught up. In France the clitoris is not even represented in biology manuals. 

"25% of 15 year-old girls do not know that they have a clitoris and 83% do not know its unique erogenous function. In 2019, only one Science educational manual out of eight represents corretly the organ." says Julia Pietri, one of the activits of the It's not a bretzel. Everyone should get to know it and the 'clit revolution' introduced it unique shape to the world in a street-art Parisian campaign that could go global. 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

 

Entertainment is a key element to education. Films and series have a great role to play in how sexuality is depicted and hence, lived. It is important to work towards a better representation and knowledge of bodies, and sexual practices bearing the pleasure of knowledge and the knowledge of pleasure. 

 

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