Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Representations of Lesbians on The L Word

I do like The L Word, I recognise the "Art" and appreciate it, but I am really irked, and disturbed by the representations of the gay community.

1. All the women (save a the token buxom, and black girl) are lean with athletic bodies, small perky busted, and brunette. If you were to line them all up nude with their faces covered you would not be able to distinguish which character is which. I allow the right for artistic license, but I think for a group that's already facing so many challenges and for a woman who is herself homosexual (bear in mind she doesn't even look like her characters) she would want to proudly represent the mixed-bag that is the homosexual community, or at the very least see herself reflected in her own art. I also understand that she is representing a particular community of lgbt, but it's IMPOSSIBLE that this is the story and appearance of every lesbian/bi-sexual woman in LA.

2. The show essentially says all lesbians are confused, over-sexed, commito-phobes who indulge in sex whenever wherever regardless of cost and consequence. There has not been ONE representation of a successful lesbian relationship on that show. The women have sex with each other, each others significant others, it's like "pass the dutchie" on that show. Again, I leave room for artistic license, but does she not have a concern for the people she represents with The L Word?

It's great that the characters are all driven, attractive and successful, but at the end of the season, i don't think that's the overwhelming message, what comes out on top is lesbians are flighty, unstable in relationships, incestuous and backstabbing creatures.

I concede that this thing begs more exploration and discussion, I don't assume that it's all as simple as I'd want to make it seem. I'm sure there were factors such as network pressures, maximizing viewership etc... which breeds the question how much is too much compromise? Should she be more concerned with the greater good of the LBGT community than her own success? Does she even have any obligation to the LGBT community? Can I even reasonably try to hold her accountable?

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