Gay and Lesbian Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory My Zimbio Blog Directory and Search engine
Lesbian Dating and Relationship Search

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Breaking Down Media Stigma About Gay Marriage - Case Study in Legislation

Article by Tim Millett, a guest writer for Lesbian Dating & Relationships Blog

The recent furor regarding gay marriage in the US, Australia and elsewhere has exposed one basic fact- Widespread ignorance of issues, both among the public and politicians, both of whom obviously know less about gay relationships than they do about vibrators and alien mating rituals. The mainstream media, which is arguably even less well informed than the public, is even worse. The primitive issue management involved in media coverage of gay marriage was well beyond appalling.

Media and political perspective- Contradiction in terms?
To understand the problems getting through to the legislatures, it’s necessary to follow their mindsets. If you’ve ever seen the classic Yes Minister series, you may remember one line in particular- Hacker, referring to the public: “I am their leader- I must follow them!” This is exactly how the media has approached coverage of gay marriage. It’s also a reflection of how the political system and its “obsolescent intellectual equipment” (another quote from Yes Minister) has been dealing with the issues.

Both media and politics have assumed market positions that are really what they think are opinions with which the public agrees. This truly pathetic performance, so insular that it effectively negates any possibility of even defining the issues in gay marriages, is largely responsible for the mess.

To describe mainstream media as aware of anything would be a risky assertion. Translating anything through an interpretation of public views would get anyone a fail in a basic media class, but at editorial level, apparently that’s how things are done. The political system has a better excuse, in that political policies are invariably a generation behind reality on any subject.
News media are prepared to admit anything is relevant, when it’s on TV or clearly in the public eye, like a TV series. Otherwise, it’s out with the macros, and another piece of predictable, safe, cliché-soaked garbage comes thundering off the presses. The conservative commentators also respond to media stimulus like a cow prod, and if they’ll always be negative, a higher profile image would at least update their copy and views.

These two fountains of selective relevance are the primary source for politicians, or more importantly their media minders. Even a PR person is at least theoretically capable of watching TV and reading ratings, and interpreting statistics at a basic level.

Getting the message across
The fact is that to penetrate this fog requires high profile media material. The gay marriage issue would need to be translated into a sitcom to hit the arteries of “public consciousness” as mainstream media understands it, because that’s pretty much where marketing is focused. This approach is necessary because media management and politics have yet to catch up with the fact that they’re now marketing to a planet full of people having double degrees, not medieval rural peasants.

It may be seen as trivialization of an important issue, but it works. This is marketing, more than an appeal to sanity, which obviously doesn’t work very well. Gay marriages need to be seen in their true context, as lifetime relationships, without the fakery, overkill and trivialization of “conspicuously gay” portrayal. Humanize gay marriages through media, and the political hurricanes will blow the other way in a hurry.

Tim Millet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including Sex Toys.

1 comment:

Wilmaryad said...

Congrats on being voted one of the best LGBT blogs by Guide to Online Schools! :-)

Here's the link:


Blog Directory, Free online web directory, Search Engine Submission - AddMe