Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘lgbtq

I thought I was going to have to work until late last night and not be able to see Glee, but I ended up being able to, which made me happy.  I much prefer watching shows on the TV as opposed to my computer.

Last night’s epsiode of Glee had a couple different storylines.  One centered around yet another of Sue’s plans to bring down the glee club.  She recruits Sandy to put on some sort of musical to steal Rachel away from the glee club.  Rachel is already feeling shunned by Will because he gave the solo in a song from West Side Story to Tina.  Tina ends up giving up her solo because she doesn’t think she can do a good job (even though she only missed one note) and she thinks that Rachel will quit if she doesn’t get the solo.  Will makes Tina take the solo and Rachel quits.

Also, Kurt tries out for kicker of the football team as a way to impress his dad and hide his sexuality.  But he comes out to his dad after kicking the winning field goal!  Yay!  Kurt’s dad says that he’s known since that he was three — he’s not thrilled about it, but he can’t change it.  He loves his son and is proud of him for telling the truth about who he really is.  I really liked that.

Apparently Quinn, Finn’s girlfriend, is pregnant.  But wait, she’s president of the celibacy club and they haven’t had sex.  She got pregnant from a time that Finn ejaculated in a hot tub.  Can that really happen?  I don’t think so.  Finn goes to Will for help.  Finn’s afraid that because he doesn’t want to be stuck in the town forever.  He needs to get a football scholarship to get out of town, especially with a baby on the way.  Finn wants Will to teach the football team to dance as a way to loosen up.  Watching Kurt try to teach the “Single Ladies” dance to the awkward-moving football team is kind of hilarious.  And three of the football players end up joining the glee club.

Oh wait, it’s Puck’s baby!  And Will’s wife wants to adopt it to hide the fact that she’s having a hysterical pregnancy and hasn’t told him yet.  Will’s wife (it’s sad that I still can’t remember her name) has taken to wearing a fake belly to keep Will thinking that she’s pregnant.

I’m really not liking the way that pregnant (or fake pregnant) women are being portrayed.  Will’s wife thinks that the only way she can keep him is by having a baby.  And she will manipulate her way into thinking that she is having one.  Even going to the point of stalking Quinn and breaking into her car in order to convince Quinn to give her her baby.  It was not said for sure that Will’s wife wants Quinn’s baby, I’m just assuming because it seems pretty obvious.  Quinn tricks Finn into thinking that the baby is his by telling a story that most people would think was impossible.  She doesn’t want to admit to having sex with Puck and she doesn’t think that Puck will take care of the baby.  So she will make Finn because she thinks that Finn will actually support the baby.  But Finn doesn’t want this baby.  And he really shouldn’t have to take care of it if he doesn’t want to be with Quinn and it’s not his baby.

I really liked that we got to see Tina, the almost-silent Asian girl, take the lead in one of the songs.  But then she had to go and give it up to make way for the white girl.  And we saw Mercedes and Artie maybe once throughout the entire show.  Glee seems to be having one storyline of each episode center around one of the minority characters as a way to show they are diverse.  But where are the other minority characters during this storyline?  It just seems to me to be a way of trying to seem progressive but really just falling back on the same old white characters.

I’m still holding out hope for Glee.  I really do think it has it’s funny moments and I enjoy all of the musical numbers.  I hope it addresses its blaring stereotypes, that it stops trying to be progressive and actually adress the issues it thinks it is, and stops making pregnant women seem crazy.

Also, make sure to take a look at meloukhia’s reaction to “Preggers” at this ain’t livin’ as well as Lauren’s look at the problematic sex between Quinn and Puck at Fabulous Feminist.

This post is not going to be about The L Word or any other show that might be on HBO or Showtime.  I’m rather going to focus on network cable shows.

You know what I hate?  When a young, hot character on a TV show becomes a lesbian for like 3 episodes.  The O.C. did it (not that I watched The O.C., I just remember hearing about it); Friends did it; Heroes is bringing it in this upcoming season (there are countless other examples, but that’s not the purpose of this post right now).  When you see this kind of storyline on a network TV show, you know that it’s not about the show trying to be “progressive” — it’s about ratings.

13_1One example that I find compelling, though, is Thirteen on House (who just so happens to be the actress that plays Marissa’s female love interest on The O.C.).  I was talking yesterday morning with one of my co-workers about the premiere of House that night when she brought up how she thinks Thirteen is a good representation of bisexuality.  I think my co-worker could be right, but I want to examine this a little bit further.

I like Thirteen because relationships with both men and women are shown on the show and they don’t portray it as “weird” or “abnormal.”  When they first introduce romantic relationships with women into the picture (other than finding out that she is bisexual), it is seen as destructive behavior (because she was just randomly hooking up with people, not 100% because those people were women), as a reaction to finding out that she has Huntington’s.  But that shouldn’t turn you off from the positive portrayal of bisexuality.  By the end of the episode she is in a relationship with a woman who she cares about.  Even though that relationship doesn’t end up working, I still think it was a good portrayal of multiple things: bisexuality, dealing with disease, self-destructive behavior (it was more than just hooking up with random women).

Thirteen then eventually ends up in a relationship with Foreman.  I actually kind of really like their relationship.  I was unsure of it at first, but it has grown on me.  At one point, Thirteen and Foreman go to a strip club together to check out girls for a Bachelorette party.  At which point, Foreman asks Thirteen if she misses having sex with women.  I really like Thirteen’s answer.  She said that she did miss having sex with women…and other men, just like he probably missed having sex with other women.  Just because they are in a committed relationship doesn’t mean that they don’t miss or fantasize about sex with other people.  I thought this was a really healthy approach to sexuality and relationships.

But I’m not going to go and say that it is the perfect representation of bisexuality.  House’s comments I could do without sometimes, but then he wouldn’t be House.  House’s approach to Thirteen’s bisexuality I feel is a good representation (if stereotypically) of how a lot of people feel about sexuality: they like to see to hot girl-on-hot girl stuff but they still see it as kind of a lack of decisiveness — the person is just being flaky and can’t decide if they like girls or boys.  But I think the representation of Thirteen’s bisexuality pretty much discredits this.  She is not seen (by anyone other than House) as flaky or really just on a “layover to gay-town” (as I’ve heard it referred to before).

What do you all think of the representation of Thirteen?  I cannot speak completely to the representation of Thirteen as a bisexual because I do not identify as a bisexual.  Any thoughts?

See this “That’s Gay” video for further examples of becoming a lesbian on a TV show:

P.S. The season premiere of House last night was kind of disappointing.

I hope everyone has had a good and productive week!  If anyone is interested in guest or cross posting, check this out!  In lieu of link love on Tuesday, I did a site recommendation.  But also check out the link love from Thursday.  Here are some of my favorite posts from the week, both new and already highlighted.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been reading and writing this week!

New link love:

Feminism and Joss Whedon: Death and Character Abuse [this ain’t livin’] – Joss Whedon has a tendancy to kill off female characters right when the audience gets emotionally involved and the character is resolving relationship troubles.  Why?

How to Be An Ally [Recursive Paradox] – The do’s and don’t’s of being an ally for a marginalized group.

Some thoughts on race, ethnicity, and what I am: The Epilogue [Criss Writes] – too often when we talk about “race” or “minoritites,” we really mean “class,” which is why we need class-based affirmative action.

Why Tim Gunn is the Man [The Guy’s Guide to Feminism] – should men be following Tim Gunn’s example of masculinity?

The Jill Question: What is the Role of White Women in the Reproductive Justice Movement? [Feministe] – “Confronting privilege, in all forms, is a critical exercise in achieving reproductive justice. How do we support each other through that process, while we also hold each other accountable for the privilege we benefit from?”

Weekly Link Love:

What Would We Do Without White Privilege? [Womanist Musings]

W: Death Does Not Become Her [Glossed Over]

Site recommendation: The Love Letters Project

In lieu of link love today, I wanted to highlight one site that I think should get some more attention.  This site is The Love Letters Project.

Here’s the thing, I can support gay marriage, but I will never really understand what it means and what it feels like for my (theoretical) marriage to not be recognized by the country or the state that I live in.

I knew Crystal and Christina at Beloit College.  This past summer they got married in Iowa and had a ceremony in California.  They are currently still in Beloit, WI completing an honors term.  Wisconsin does not recognize their marriage and neither does the United States, obviously.

Since their marriage, Crystal has been writing a letter a day to President Obama until her marriage is recognized at a national level.  This project is documented in her blog, The Love Letters Project.  The letters that Crystal writes talk about a variety of things, all centering around the need to legalize gay marriage.  She talks about what it’s like to live in a place where her marriage is not recognized as well as every day life as young newlyweds.  You should all check out and support the great work that she is doing!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I hope the week has started off well for all of you.  Here are some of my favorite posts of the past couple days.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you’ve been writing and reading in the comments!!

Oops, don’t care [o filthy grandeur!] – Chris Brown still love Rihanna, but do we really care?

Brief Thoughts on Feminism, Theorizing, Storytelling, Anarchism, and Community [Fiercly Independent] – why he identifies as a feminist and anarchist and the community that comes from that.

Straight Girls: Your Pretend Facebook Relationships Are Not Funny or Cute [Pieces of String] – straight girls in relationships on Facebook add to the erasure of lesbian relationships.

A Reflection: Feminism and Personal Growth [Small Strokes] – a reflection on how blogging and being involved in a feminist community online have brought about personal growth as a woman and a feminist.

Healthy Obligations [this ain’t livin’] – people are under no obligation to be healthy and why do people feel as if it is ok to comment on the health of others?  It’s none of their business.

Raising a Feminist/Raised a Feminist: A Mother’s and Daughter’s Perspective [Feministing] – a post from a mother and a daughter on raising and being raised a feminist.

Due to the large amount of amazing posts that are written throughout the week, I have decided to change my “This Week in Blogs” feature from once a week to three times a week. It will now simply be called “Link Love” and will be posted on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Sunday’s will usually be a little longer because I will highlight my absolute favorite posts from throughout the week, including posts that might have already been highlighted in previous “Link Love” posts. I decided to do this to keep the lists shorter than they have been, because including too many links in one post can be a little overwhelming…at least for me.

Movie Posters: Are You Ready for Death/Love/Prison?
– Bitch Flicks
Bitch Flicks continues to look at how movie posters reflect gender norms and women.

Privilege – Clarissa’s Blog
A little old, but still good. A look at the overuse of the word “privilege.”

Michelle O.: “Intellectual lightweight”? – Salon Broadsheet
Apparently Michelle Obama isn’t as smart as she thinks she is…

Costco and the Lil’ Monkey Doll – Womanist Musings
Looking at how black dolls and white dolls are marketed differently. Also posted at Feministe.

Is Faking an Orgasm Anti-Feminist? – BlogHer
Pretty self-explanatory — Do your feminist beliefs align with faking orgasms? Does faking an orgasm do a dis-service to yourself and to other women?

The F Word
– Clutch Magazine
I bet you can guess what “f word” they are talking about!

Kate Blatt required to give pictures of genitals as a condition of employment – Deeply Problematic
About how trans people are dehumanized on a daily basis.

Attn. Straight Women: Gay men are not your accessories – Feministing
“Perhaps the more subversive act today is to decline to preface the term “friend” with a description of that person’s sexuality.”

I love Sarah Haskins and her Target Women videos. So I was really excited when I found this other series of videos: “That’s Gay” featuring Bryan Safi. I was tipped off to these videos via a tweet from Jessica Valenti, founder and editor of Feministing. Here is the most recent one featuring gay characters in commercials:

Living in my heteronormative privilege, I never really noticed the lack of gay people in commercials and the subtle references to gay rights in some commercials. I already knew about some of the commercials that had different “gay versions” because I would see them on Bravo. The most obvious one that I had seen was the Levi jeans ad that features a hot woman in the “hetero version” and a hot guy in the “gay version.”

But what I find really interesting are the subtle references to gay rights in some commercials. They are think that I never would have noticed without them being pointed out to me, but I guess that’s part of my heteronormative privilege. Like the Orbitz commercial that has a gay pride flag on the golf clubs and the Human Rights Coalition logo on one of the guys t-shirts.

I think it’s pretty great that these commercials work these references into commercials. But it would be even better if companies could put gay characters in commercials instead of these subtle references. I guess companies are scared of pushing potential clients away since there is obviously still a strong homophobic community in this country. And by making separate (but equal) commercials that are aired on “gay” channels, these comapnies are still attraching gay clientele.

But why can’t these commercials be one in the same? If there are not gay characters in mainstream media, whether in movies, on tv shows, or in advertising, homophobic feelings are going to continue. So while I applaud some of these companies that put subtle gay rights references in their commercials, next time try featuring a gay character that doesn’t promote the idea that gay relationships are gross and wrong.


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