Homostasis (Why production houses need to stop pumping LGBTQ+ friendly content down our throats.)

The title is not a typo! It is just a not-so-clever attempt to hint as to what I’ll be discussing in this article –

Homeostasis (ho-mee-oh-stah-sis) – Balance between different independent and unlike elements.
Homosexuality – sexual interest in and attraction to members of one’s own sex.
Recently, I was part of a not so bizarre incident that sent my thoughts spiraling and it’s solely the reason why I might be writing this. Let me elaborate.
About a week ago, I was minding my own business during this lockdown by staring at my phone screen and mindlessly scrolling through Instagram (like a basic bitch). The television was on and my mother, grandmother (Boomers, I mean.) were relishing the daily dose of irrelevant news.
During the ad break, a peculiar ad showed up.
The show ‘Four more shots’ is gracing us with another season, and zoomers are moderately excited, I guess. I haven’t seen the show so pardon my judgemental tone. The ad contained scenes of a homosexual (Lesbian) couple making out and getting married, normal people stuff but with the same gender (Shouldn’t be a big deal, right?)
Here’s how the next few seconds sounded like –

Mom– ‘yeh kya dikha rahe hai aaj kal tv pe?’ (What kind of stuff do they show on the television nowadays?)
Grandma– ‘Yeh kya hai, Do ladkiyon ki shaadi ho rahi hai? Kaise?’ (Wait, how are two women getting married to each other.)
Mom– ‘Yeh kya ho gaya hai iss duniya ko. Ladke kam pad gaye kya?’ (What has this world come to. Are we running short on men in the world?)
Grandma– ‘Hamare time pe aisa nahi hota tha. Shaadi ke baad kya karte hai yeh log?’ (This never happened during our times. What do they even do after getting married?)
Mom– *changing the channel as soon as a kissing scene comes on*
Tauba Tauba, yeh kaise dikha rahe hai tv pe? Normal cheezein nahi dikha sakte?’ (Oh my god, Can’t they show normal scenes on the television?)
Me (the not so favourite son) – ‘Kya! Aap ko normal kissing scenes dekhna hai tv pe? Yeh kya bol rahe ho aap?’ (What! Do you want to see normal kissing scenes on the television?)
Mom– ‘Zyada bol mat beta, Nani ko jaane de, fir dekhti hoon tujhe’ (Bitch, You better shut the fuck up)
Me– ‘Aapko pata hai do ladki ek dusre se shaadi kyu karte hai? Voh hisaab se ek dusre ko dehej nahi dena padega na!’ (Girls marry each other to avoid dowry)

Mom– *hold my beer moment with nani*

Here are a few gifs astutely portraying what ensued.

As you might have inferred from the anecdote above, my parents aren’t comfortable with homosexuality or anything closely related to it. It is a part of our ‘Sanskaar(culture) to be married to a person of the opposite gender.
I’m not going to explain the dynamics of homosexuality or point out the intricacies of sexual orientation in this article. Nor am I going to complain about my mother not being comfortable with homosexuality. I’m here to complain about the production houses that are flooding all the streaming sites and cinemas with ‘Homosexuality as a gimmick.

Production houses and the media need to stop shoving LGBTQ+ friendly content down our throats.

Yes, I said it. Now before you grab your lighted mashals and arrive at my doorstep in protest (or call me your best friend because you think I’m as homophobic as you.), let me explain.

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Analysis of a money-hungry production house

Here a few questions that I ask myself when I’m trying to think critically.

Are their intentions right?

Considering production houses and media as a single entity, it seems evident that their intentions are in the right place. A surge in LGBTQ+ content will make the people more aware, more open and help those who seem to be struggling with their own sexual identity. Production houses understand that and have the power to bring about a change.
Let all the fake news and propaganda stand as testimony to the power of media. Media is powerful and with the right intentions, it can be utilized to bring about a massive shift or change in the mindsets of people.
“Why are you still complaining then, Faaiz?”
Let me continue my analysis please, stop being so impatient for god’s sake.

Do they earn a lot of money through this kind of content?

Yes, and no.
It depends on the target demographic. It depends on the type of content. It depends on the country that content is being released in. Trust me, ‘Call me by your name’ wasn’t a blockbuster hit in Saudi Arabia.
But if we single out streaming sites, I do believe that production houses earn more as compared to other vanilla content. Also, let’s not kid ourselves. Lesbian content is totally going to earn a lot more than any other type of content, which puts our priorities as homo sapiens in place.
‘Four more shots’ more like ‘Four more seasons of raunchy lesbian stuff please.’
But jokes apart, a lot of things factor in while calculating the earnings of this kind of content. But based solely on relevance, Yes, This kind of content will earn more.

Is the content good?

Yes, and no. Hell no.
Let ALTbalaji stand as testimony to the garbage content out there.

I’ll elaborate on the other type below.

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Faaiz’s two cents on the topic, that needs to be taken with a spoonful of salt

The intention of a lot of these production houses is to help different cultures acclimate with the not so obscure topic of sexual orientation. The media intends to normalize homosexual behavior and tell the people that ‘homosexuals are normal, homosexuality is natural’ and we as a society need to accept that. Which is noble and laudable.

But the way these production houses go about it is not alright, which is why I am revolting against the surge of LGBTQ+ content everywhere.
Portraying a same-sex couple as normal in a TV show and not referring to how taboo it nevertheless is, is not the right approach in normalizing the topic. It’s like showing people a normal story about a sex worker going about his/her life and then expecting the audience to consider that as normal. People are however going to walk out of the theater as prejudiced against sex workers as they were formerly. The key to normalizing homosexuality is to portray a human approach to the story.
Expressing ‘Why’ does a person fall for or feel attracted to another person of the same sex is the key. The topic of sexual orientation needs to be addressed first. Sexual inclination and studying why a person, is the way he/she is, is important. Showing same-sex marriage in a story and not addressing the taboo that pervades the space between leaves the audience isolated, if not making them more repulsive to the topic. All the production houses intend to portray homosexual people as normal but forget that they need character development.
Addressing the motives, desires, and the mindset of a homosexual person is the key to normalizing him/her.

Here’s a thought experimient or a dare for the daredevils
Go to your parents and tell them, “I’m gay, Deal with it.
And would you be kind enough to record what ensues?

tenor
Now, what if, you took a more human approach to it.

What if you talked to your parents about how you felt different from others from a very young age?

What if you talked to them about how you couldn’t for the life of you, shed that infatuation?

What if you explained to them how ashamed you felt for this for years?

What if you explained how the toxicity outside is affecting you and not letting you live?

What if you explained the fact to them that there’s nothing different between liking a human of the same gender?

What if you sat them down, talked to them
about how if you could
change this one thing about yourself for them, you would.

But you can’t.

What if you revealed to them the only flaw that they likely cannot accept?

How would they now feel about their son/daughter being gay?

They would understand that it’s just a singular characteristic of the little person they gave birth to.

There are chances that they might still hate you for it, gag at the sight of you.
But deep down, your human approach made them look at homosexual people in a different light.

They now understand that a homosexual son/daughter is not different from a normal person, except for the minor gay part (Which is not the end of the world, to be honest.).

Humans are opinionated, and changing their approach or mindset through jarring content is the worst approach. It makes them defensive and repulsive and sometimes violent. It is in a way, analogous to the art of argument. Facts and figures won’t satisfy a skeptic, befriending him and accepting his/her opinion might be easier.
Movies like Moonlight, Blue is the warmest color, Call me by your name, Bohemian Rhapsody take a much more human approach to the topic. These movies didn’t consider homosexual people and their stories as entities that can be exploited for money. A more human approach was the key.
Hell, you want to see the contrast between a more human approach and cash-grab?

Look at the following posters and identify what movie/tv show has LGBTQ+ content in it.

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All of the movies shown above content LGBTQ+ content, as it’s evident, some production houses sexualize the content thus abandoning the righteous intentions.
Notwithstanding the genuine intentions, production houses still cannot let go of the money factor.
LGBTQ+ sensitive movies are extremely lucrative nowadays and production houses recognize that!
Slap a lesbian kissing scene on there and boom, you’ve got horny men tuning in just for those few minutes. Horny women too, maybe? Not trying to generalize here.
But you get the point.

LGBTQ+ content albeit being progressive is being exploited and production houses need to stop.Leave milking the cash cows to Disney.
Be original for god’s sake!

Normalizing sexual orientation and dissolving the taboo related to the LGBTQ+ will not be done by showing explicit scenes on TV and shocking cultured people like my mother.

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Footnote-
I haven’t seen ‘Four more shots’ and I am not accusing the show of any of the stuff I’ve mentioned above. For all I know, it might actually be progressive. I’ll enjoy forcing my mother to watch it then.

Thanks for reading this far. I appreciate the amount of attention you’ve given to this measly, mediocre article. You can go back to doing other important stuff know.
Feel free to hit me up if you want to talk about this topic further. 🙂
Feedback is also welcome and truly appreciated.
Ciao! ❤

Psychoanalysis of Romeo and Juliet

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Summary of Freud’s theory:-

Sigmund Freud proposed a revolutionary theory in the 1920s which tackled various predominant phenomena and also challenged preconceived notions of the world and the human mind. Freud claimed the personality of a human is complex and isn’t made up of a single component. In ‘Ego and the id’, Freud postulated the human mind or the human psyche is a sum of three parts. (Which may be equal or unequal.) The three parts being the ego, the id, and the superego. These three components work together (often not in harmony) to create complex human behavior. Each of these three elements of the personality emerges at different points in life. Freud also stated that the human mind can be divided into the conscious and the unconscious. The three elements of the mind reside in either the conscious or unconscious part of our minds/psyche. 

The id is the component of the present personality from infancy/birth. The id makes up the primal component of the personality. The id can be described as an infinite source of primal energy within the mind. The id requires all the primal urges to be fulfilled. Whether it be thirst. Hunger or sexual desire. It is driven by the pleasure principle. The Id primarily resides within the unconscious part of the brain. 

The ego is a part of the personality which deals with reality. Often times, the desires of the id may cross boundaries and maybe unquenchable. It’s the job of the ego to keep the id in check and make sure its desires are satisfied in a realistic way. The ego works on the reality principle. Ego is a part of the conscious mind.

The superego is the part of the mind which develops last. It is influenced by the outside world. (Mainly parents and society.) The superego is responsible for morality and judgment. The superego can often be described as the more mature part of the brain which behaves like a rulebook and often guides the ego away from the desires of the id. The superego is responsible for a civilized behavior of the human. The superego transcends both the conscious and the unconscious.

 

The interaction between these three components is often chaotic. Considering the different aspects that these elements deal with, there is a high probability of conflict arising. The superego can be an enemy to the id, and ego might act as a mediator. According to Freud, the key to a healthy personality is striking a perfect balance between these three components of the personality.

 

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Psychoanalysis:-

With Freud’s theory as a map, let’s perform a psychoanalysis of the story of Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet was a play written by William Shakespeare in the 1500s. It is the most renowned story depicting tragedy and true love. 

In the beginning, it is observed that Romeo switches from loving Rosaline to loving Juliet unhesitantly at first glance. This instance of instant infatuation or a strong attraction towards a female can be on account of the id. The id is responsible for sexual desire and is primal in nature. This is an incident of ‘Love at first sight’ can be evidence of the id being superior/having a major stake in the mind of Romeo. It is further seen that Romeo acts on basic instincts and approaches Juliet without thinking about the consequences of a Montague family member interacting with a Capulet.(“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, / Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet” ) The lack of societal awareness or consequential thinking in Romeo can be a result of an underdeveloped superego. The relationship of Romeo and Juliet at its infancy seems to be driven by sexual instinct highlighting the weak ego and superego of both the individuals. 

An assumption can be made that Romeo’s Id is that he’s in love with the concept of being in love. A trace of sexual desire can also be assumed. 

It is to be noted that Romeo’s love for Rosaline seemed like a childish one as compared to his love for Juliet. When it comes to Juliet, Romeo’s love is strengthened and his poetic ability is also improved. It can be observed as the Id being denied love or satisfaction for its primal desires with Rosaline and hence it shifts towards Juliet. The denial that came before makes the desire to acquire Juliet much more intense. Responding to this demand of the Id, ego gives in and suggests Romeo to court for marriage to secure the relationship with Juliet. Here, we can observe the ego obeying the demands of the Id in a much more realistic way. It can also be observed as the superego justifying the desires of the Id and suggesting marriage in order to fit in the desires of Id with society.

Through a different lens, it can be observed that Romeo’s denial of a duel with Tybalt (Romeo’s brother in law) can be a result of the actions of the superego. A lack of desire to duel and incite violence depicts that the Id might not be the strongest after all. But the conflict that inspires Romeo to assault and kill Tybalt suggests otherwise. Romeo’s killing of Tybalt was a pure act of revenge. Revenge can be described as the intense desire of the Id which the ego cannot help but suffice. The guilt and shame that follows are a result of the superego.

If the superego somehow satisfied the libidinal energy that arose between the two (Romeo and Juliet), the story would end in a not-so-tragic way. 

From these instances, we can draw a few conclusions. Romeo’s id is fuelled by sexual desire. Romeo has been denied love(by Rosaline) once and cannot afford to go through that phase again. Both Romeo and Juliet are driven by sexual instinct (libido). Romeo’s ego is his endless and relentless approach to marry and ‘acquire’ Juliet at any cost. Whereas Romeo’s superego seems to be driven by Thanatos. The desire to end it all or the death instinct. This instinct drives self-destructive and violent behavior. 

Freud suggests/theorizes all instincts can be categorized as parts of two types i.e. the death instinct (Thanatos) or the life instinct (Eros). Life instincts are instincts that evolved/exist to reproduce and carry the species forward (sexual desire). Death instincts are thrill-seeking instincts that mostly result in violence and self-destructive behavior. Humans function well when these two drives are in harmony. According to Freud, the want/desire to die must be tackled by eros before it becomes a conscious thought. An astute example of an imbalance of Eros and Thanatos in the life of Juliet is seen when she threatens her nurse that she’d rather die than marry count Paris (“O sweet my mother, cast me not away. Delay this marriage for a month, a week, / Or, if you do not, make the bridal bed / In that dim monument where Tybalt lies”). Romeo killing Tybalt is another example of Thanatos dominating the life of Romeo. The death instinct mostly arises right after the trauma. (The death of Mercutio.)

 

Romeo seeming eager to perform suicide after hearing about the death of Juliet is also an example of the death instinct being unbalanced by eros. ( “Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight. Let’s see for means. (O mischief, thou art swift/To enter in the thoughts of desperate men”). Romeo refers to ‘mischiefs’ as death instincts or Thanatos.

Another observation that could be made is that. The desire of the id is strong enough to convince the ego for suicide. Through death, Romeo could reconcile with Juliet in the afterlife and the desires of the Id would be satisfied. Whereas, Juliet’s desire to kill herself upon the sight of a dead Romeo could also be driven by the superego. (guilt)

 

The main dysfunction in the lives of both Romeo and Juliet is the conflict between various components. The conflict between the id, ego, and superego results in extreme, erratic and instinctual behavior of both the protagonists. The imbalance in eros and Thanatos was also a major factor which led to the tragic ending of their lives. The superego could’ve resolved this conflict through sublimation. (The defense mechanism that transforms socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations into socially acceptable actions.). But this conflict is resolved non-normatively i.e. through the failure of sublimation which caused the unfortunate demise of the protagonists. This is a story about the victory of Thanatos over Eros. Life thrives when there is a balance between the two. The conflict between the ego, id, and superego in Romeo and Juliet fuelled in the imbalance of these two instincts. Another possible explanation could be the age and stage of life they were in. Juliet was 13 years old and hence pretty immature. Freud states that during the adolescent stage of life, an individual goes through various psychosexual changes. 

The death of Juliet could be a result of immaturity and a weak ego and superego. The death of Romeo, on the other hand, could be a result of the conflict in his mind. 

 

In conclusion, Romeo and Juliet are the ideal examples of instinct expressed unhealthily. Romeo and Juliet is a story about ‘Sex and death.’ It expressed how an underdeveloped ego and superego could ruin the life of an individual. Driven by sexual instincts, Romeo and Juliet set out against the world in a reckless and unplanned way. Friar Laurence was a beacon of hope that proved helpless to the two love-crazed individuals. Romeo, blinded by his love for Juliet (charged with sexual desire) couldn’t gauge/predict Friar Laurence’s plan. Romeo and Juliet is a story of the triumph of Thanatos over Eros. The story instructs us to keep our desires in check and make sure the actions we take are socially acceptable. One should also be aware of the consequences that may arise due to instinctual actions. The triumph of Thanatos over Eros is bad thing. One should avoid instinctual behavior and always think things through.

The balance between Thanatos and Eros is what helps life thrive. 

 

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References :-

 

Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the pleasure principle. SE, 18: 1-64.

Freud, S. (1923). The ego and the id. SE, 19: 1-66.

Cherry, Kendra. “What Are Life and Death Instincts?” Verywell. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “Sex and Death in Romeo and Juliet.” Shmoop.com. Shmoop