Category Archives: Women
While it is important to represent a broad spectrum of what it means to be queer, including representations that transcend definitions, it seems that these stories are relegated almost exclusively to female characters. Meanwhile, queer male characters are never found in these positions and are considered revolutionary for being unapologetically, out, proud gay. This seems like a double standard to me, one that I don’t know what to make of.
Buzz Feed posted an article about “Faking It” and its forward-thinking nature in portraying queerness with less focus on labeling. While I agree with several of author Louis Peitzman’s points, particularly about the confusing nature of queerness in high school, he seems to think that having a full-blown, established lesbian character is outdated. Peitzman says of women who only love women and define themselves as lesbians, “Those rigid lines, in fact, are exactly what now feel dated.”
In a growing stream of artists called out for racism, Katy Perry’s American Music Awards Performance has been called into question. For those of you who missed it, Perry performed her song, “Unconditionally” dressed in a kimono, surrounded by a mix of Japanese and other borrowed Asian cultural elements.
Since its inaugural showing at the Cannes Film Festival this year, taking the top prize, Palme d’Or, the media conversation surrounding Blue is the Warmest Color continues to simmer. The focus of the conversation about the lesbian-themed, French film is overwhelmingly about the graphic sex scenes between the two women. As writer, Ashton Cooper over at Jezebel noted this past weekend, in the media reporting on Blue is the Warmest Color, plenty of commentary exists from male critics, but few female, especially, queer female voices. So, to add to the growing number of queer discussions about this lesbian-filled film, I add my two cents.
I happened upon a brilliant thesis by Jasmine Ing at the University of Calgary titled, “Queervisions: Queer Women Speak About Their First Experiences of Queer Representations in Film and Television”. For a great read check out the full thesis here.
The line that caught my attention was this:
“In short, popular culture depictions can allow the isolated to view characters who have managed to successfully integrate their queer sexuality into their daily lives.”
This line right here advocates for the fact that we need TV characters whose sexuality isn’t an issue; where they are just living their regular lives like everyone else. In teen-centric shows, such as Pretty Little Liars or Glee, the coming out story is important because of the age of characters. But beyond that, beyond what is organic to the character’s story, TV shows need to move past the coming out phase of a character’s life.
Recent statistics indicate that women’s roles are shrinking in big studio release movies. Considering that half the people who watch movies are actual women and that women-lead movies do well at the box office (Bridesmaids, anyone?), it’s baffling that studios are still producing more and more male driven movies. Well, this weekend again demonstrates that movies lead by women are box office winners.