"GAY FOR THE STAY AND STRAIGHT AT THE GATES": RELATIONSHIPS, HOMOSEXUALITY, AND THE HYPERSEXUALIZATION OF WOMEN IN ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPiper Kerman’s memoir details her experiences within the federal prison system; however, much of her writing disputes the situations often associated with prison that are shown within the media. Media portrayals are often the only source of representation for those not involved in the prison system, and, as such, general audiences have come to expect perpetuated stereotypes. However, Kerman makes a point of sharing how she and her fellow inmates bonded and created a sort of pseudo-family to connect with others and have a support system. While Kerman expected to experience violence and forced sexual encounters, due to the influence of the media she found before entering prison, she was proven wrong. When Netflix adapted Kerman’s memoir to become an original television series, the platform decided to ignore these revelations about the reality of incarceration and instead focused on maintaining the stereotypes audiences have come to expect: violence, homosexuality, and a hypersexualized experience. Consequently, Orange Is the New Black was transformed from being one woman’s personal experience within the American prison system to being hypersexualized stories and images of women created to appease the male gaze.