What does gender mean for producers who construct the programs that appear on the flickering screens enjoyed by children, and from which they learn? Early in the interview process it became clear that producers of quality television for children from around the world view gender issues in quite different ways, as revealed in the wide range of topics and concerns raised in response to interview questions: What does gender mean to you? What are the most burning gender issues in your society? And what gender issues should quality television for children make an effort to address? The diversity of views is not surprising given what we learned in Chapter Two about the different societies and individual characteristics of the producers interviewed in this study. Discussion of gender, as we have learned from feminist and queer theories, always intersects with other discourses of identity – be they racial, ethnic, class, sexual, or geographical. And indeed, as the process of analysis and reflection continued, it gradually became clear that the specific issues interviewees raised were far from being eclectic or coincidental. Patterns gradually crystallized containing similarities that seem to be culturally and regionally grounded. Indeed, theorists of critical schools of thought argue, first, that gender and

multiculturalism share the same intertwined social sources1 and that, second, they breed binary oppositions, such as male/female, Black/White cultures, Western/Eastern worlds, high/low cultures, public/private spheres. Since gender is constantly constructed through cultural contexts and processes, it is not surprising that producers’ views differed greatly in gender assumptions, perceptions, the status ascribed to gender equality, and the diverse issues they associated with gender in their various societies. While prevailing media stereotypes and inequalities are shared in most of the cultures represented by the interviewees (as presented in Chapter One and discussed in later chapters), most of their interpretations were imbedded in specific cultural differences. Indeed, in many ways, it is impossible to understand the meaning and implications of the concepts of gender in one society without comparing it with other societies, as the richness and diversity of the following interview selections make clear.