Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gays on TV: No Girls Allowed!

Okay, so GLAAD put out a press release today to applaud the major TV networks (read: CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and the CW) for a higher level of inclusion. Let's move quickly past the fact that we're supposed to stand up and clap when representation raises to a whopping 2.6% onto the actual meat of the statistics.

It took me a second to find out who this 2.6% actually included, which is 16 people appearing on a total of 12 shows. I attempted to compile a list from the hodge-podge that GLAAD lists, but that proved harder than it may seem. Suffice it to say, one thing is glaringly obvious: lesbians are not welcome on network television.

Now, I wrote my thesis in college about this very topic, so its not like the absence of lesbians, particularly butch lesbians, in the media is some breaking news that's flying across the wire. But, when I have to read press releases lauding the entertainment industry for having a couple white gay dudes on their primetime roster, it gives me permission to rant about gender theory and equality for like one fucking second.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are a couple of women-dating-women counted in GLAAD's number. And don't you dare think for one second that I mean to discount them because of some bisexual-loathing sentiment that is all too rampant in the lesbian community (a blog for another time, certainly). Bisexual women are what I live for; they are a vital part of the community if only because otherwise I would have no one to date.

BUT, of the 16 main and supporting characters counted in GLAAD's glorification of network television, less than a third are women. And, from what I can see, there are exactly ZERO self-proclaimed lesbians. All are either overtly labeled as bisexual by show bios, or are said to be "known to have sexual trysts with women" or some other objectifying quip. All of the women are super femme-y, super hot and very sexualized, which rings far more of an attempt to attract male viewers than it does of LGBT inclusion.

In other news, Lindsay Lohan came out, which is so totally awesome. I couldn't tell you why I enjoy her, but I feel like she'd have been my super crazy fun friend if we'd met at the bar 3 years ago.

This just in: The internet is way neat-o!

Ever think about the size of the internet? I mean, obviously you think about it whilst enjoying unnecessarily illegal hallucinogenic smokables, but ever really think about it? I'm an anxious person (rrreeeeaaaaalllllllyyyy???) so I can't ponder it for long, but if you make an attempt to traverse the internet, then you'll realize just how big it really is.

I'm trying to become more literate in such things, mostly because I don't like it when other people are significantly better at things than me and Wanda and Katie are way better at the internet than me.[1][2] In that quest, I learned how to use a blog aggregator (Google Reader rules my life), have returned to Twitter (okay, that just happened yesterday, but the interest is high!) and have generally just tried to learn what the heck is going on in the internet.

Did you know that sometimes even liberals do things that I don't agree with? Did you know that there are gays who have shitty politics? Did you know that there's an alternative to pretty-much-downright-misogynistic Perez Hilton?

Now, all you real live internet knowers out there, don't make fun of me. I realize that these references are a mere primer to what the internet actually holds for me. Like I said, I'm just starting. But, for now, it makes life so much more interesting! Random news from random news sources (some more reputable than others) is a great way to acquire knowledge, and I'm excited to have hitchhiked onto the internet superhighway.[3]

[1] I'm going to just feel free to refer to "the internet" in whatever noun form I feel like, whether it be person, place, or thing. I realize how it sounds, and I suppose that not everyone can hear the weird ironical tone that I'm taking in my head each time I use the term. Thus, I felt the need to lay out my sense of humor here.
[2] I'm also really into footnoting right now. It's not news that I'm nerdy (ooh! alliteration!) so effing deal with it. If you know how to make these hyperlinks, pleeeeeese tell me. I looked for like an hour.
[3] There was no way I was going to get through an entire post about the internet without making a cheesy internet superhighway joke.