This glossary provides simple and basic definitions to some very complex concepts. It is recommended that you use these definitions as a jumping off point to more deeply engage these terms, learn how to understand them, and apply them.


a term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual organs that do not match traditional biological definitions of male or female


sexual attraction and or behavior toward individuals of the same sex; typically used to refer to attraction between females


acronym for Lesian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (or Questioning)


socially constructed characteristics typically associated with the male sex


modes of transmitting information; ie., newspapers, magazines, television, radio, the internet

media industries

those businesses that produce and distribute media (news, television, film, radio and recording, etc.)


a system wherein success is based upon ability, talent, and intelligence


a misleading or untrue representation of an individual or group, usually done with some intent to slander or deceive


the ability to move; in the context of socio-economic class, the ability to move in a society; ie., upward mobility.


a specialized, localized or small group; used in the context of media to discuss niche markets and industries


Treating other individuals or groups as objects or things, without regard for their humanity. The objectified person or group has no agency and instead is a tool or pawn used by others. People belonging to subordinate groups are often objectified by their dominant counterparts. Sexual objectification specifically refers to treating someone (generally women) purely as objects of sexual pleasure and desire. Sexual objectification (and its prevalence in the media) is a point of critique among many feminists.


in critical theory, refers to subordinate groups who are relegated to the margins and treated as outsiders, specifically outside the center of power and privilege. The "Other" (usually capitalized and/or in quotes) historically represents those who are not white, not male, not wealthy, not straight. The existence and naming of the Other helps to solidify the power of the dominant group


singling out and targeting an individual or group for attack and subjugation based upon their identity


the myth that feminism is no longer needed because its goals have been achieved


the myth that homophobia no longer exists, and therefore gay individuals are treated equally