Sexualized Saturdays: Steven Universe and Soft Masculinity

Masculinity is hard to define. More and more, we see displays of the damage toxic masculinity can cause if left unchecked. Many of our favorite games and shows promote these sort of ideas, even subtly. Although many of the games don’t outright state that “you must be stoic and physically powerful to be a real man,” this reading is still easily felt. The First Person Shooter genre is the largest offender in this case, with many action games following suit. But, I think masculinity can, and should, manifest in other ways: emotional strength, love, and bravery. These attributes could be considered “soft masculinity” as a counter to more aggressive, “hard masculinity”. Since the geeky areas on the Internet are still in love with Steven Universe, I’d like to use that show as an example of displaying masculinity in other ways.

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