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.


Kate said...

I read in the paper that Grey's Anatomy has two female characters who will pursuit relationships with women this season. They consulted with GLAAD to make sure that they would accurately portray the relationship and the feelings that a woman might feel who had never dated women before. It's a step, right.

Also, everyone knows how much I love Lindsay Lohan. And, ugh, best day ever! I think her and Ronson are cute cute cute (as much as I wish I was the cool dj who was dating her).

Kate said...

...and by 'pursuit' I obviously meant 'pursue'. I also meant to use a question mark and just about everything else you can find grammatically incorrect about that comment...ah, yeah.

Mary said...

hello friend!
I thought of you today while watching a documentary about evil corporations and do-good lawyers that are trying to crush them. So, keep on keeping on.

I hear it snowed in MN already. Still hot here.

ps. I really do work most of the time regardless of what you may think from recent blog posts and time spent watching films. Promise