“Steven Universe,” since its debut back in 2013, has been praised by critics and audience for promoting gender equality. This cartoon with its sentient gems is also the first cartoon to solely be created by a woman. Now, it would seem like this children’s cartoon joins one of the short list of toons that acknowledges and portrays the LGBT community on television.
Last July, a fan posted a question on Twitter asking about the relationship between Ruby and Sapphire. The question was raised after an episode showed the two characters sharing an embrace and a kiss. Former co-executive producer Ian Jones-Quarterly of “Steven Universe” responded to the fan’s question by confirming the kind of relationship the two “female” characters have: “R & S are in a romantic relationship and I don’t believe any different, as reported by SheWired.
But can the two alien “females” really be considered women given that the sexuality they pose is different from those who live on Earth?
A question was asked in order to clarify this very issue. The fan asked if it would be fair to interpret the pair as “nonbinary femme presenting lesbians.” Jones-Quarterly then responded: “by human standards & terminology that would be a fair assessment,” as reported by NewNowNext.
However, the creator of the cartoon series, Rebecca Sugar, stated that Ruby and Sapphire, the two heroes who fused to become a new being, are in technical terms, gems and not people; thus, they are genderless.
One commenter from a HuffPo story stated the fact that the so-called gems in the series, look, sound, and refer to themselves as females. He insists that since these characters are portrayed in such a way, the audience will simply assume that they are women. However, one Redditor commenter believes that one shouldn’t insist on using the dividing valuations between men and women as a measurement on the show’s character. He stated that “the best assessment would be, two space rocks who love each other very much.”
He continued by saying, “Stop making this show more than it really is. It’s on Cartoon Network. A network aimed at kids around ages 6-12,” as mentioned in Reddit.
Is “Steven Universe” the only cartoon with this issue?
Apparenty not, just last December on Cartoon Network, Clarence showed one of its main characters, Jeff, as having two moms. Also, in Nickelodeon’s “Legend of Korra,” the series ended with Korra and Asami walking off together hand-in-hand, as reported by GayStarNews.
Is it really right to say that “Steven Universe’s” Sapphire and Ruby are having a lesbian relationship? Are we all just thinking beyond what the original plot consists of? Should there be more of these kind of cartoons? Tell us what you think by commenting below, we would love to hear from you.
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Photo Source: Facebook/Steven Universe