Thursday, March 1, 2007

The 'L' Word

The other day on QueerSighted, I ran into a post about how unrealistic the show "The 'L' Word" is, particularly the way the cast looks vs the way lesbians look in "real life." I added my little rant, agreeing with what the poster, Kevyn Abernathy, had to say and then pointing out a few more things I find irritatingly unrealistic about the show. I want to write about this more in more detail when I have more time, but here is what I posted:

Though I agree with people that this is TV and so, of course, there's only so much reality you can expect...I have had the same problem with the show, as well as some of the ones mentioned by Rage. I'm a little irritated at how the show gets more and more ridiculous with its storylines. And, admittedly, I'm not very involved with the GLBT lifestyle (don't have gay friends or gay sexual experiences, and so on), but I don't get the sense that this show is exactly reflective of what it's like to be a lesbian, though I'm sure it is in some ways. So even though it's TV, I see harm in that.

As someone who ISN'T involved much with gay people and misses that connection, I tuned into the show when it first came out to GET that connection and learn more about other lesbians, not necessarily to be entertained by hot, unrealistic-looking girls. So I bet other people are looking at the show like, "This is what lesbians are like" and possibly even getting the idea more than they ALREADY have it that looking "butch" is an aberration and thinking why can't lesbians just be feminine like the girls on "The 'L' Word"...not realizing that the majority of the cast isn't really even lesbian...which is something I question, personally. I think it's just another entertainment decision of theirs, almost as if they discriminated against women who DON'T look mainstream in casting!

I also find myself wondering why does this show have to be like every other show on TV, i.e. why can't you ever have the minority females get with someone of their OWN background (and I say this as a minority female)? I don't care about it allegedly being Los Angeles...I doubt minorities--gay or straight--in LA are EXCLUSIVELY dating outside their race, and I would like to see Bette, for example, with a black female just ONCE rather than, say, the writers having Alice start up this incredibly awkward interracial relationship--not that Alice couldn't and shouldn't date a black woman, but it just seems like the writers are trying way too hard with this latest matchup to bring race into the clique. Speaking of that, the show tries to tackle too much--race, gender, different types of sexuality, etc--and it just fails. They brought up the biracial thing with both Bette and Angelica and then that just completely went away, and Alice and Jenny started out bisexual and now...?? They don't have any clue what they are doing on the racial front, as well as some of these other issues.

And why can't they have real heterosexuals on the show? Why does everyone in the clique have to turn out to have some gay in them? They are moving--for the SECOND time--towards having Kit connect with another woman! I also agree that Shane maybe was supposed to be THE butch, but...Shane just isn' now they bring in these stereotypical minorities. And along with Papi not being Latina for real, they had Carmen who ALSO wasn't Latina for real. So you have all these people who are not lesbians playing lesbians and people who are not Latina playing that. The show is just INSANE.

I also want to emphasize what Kevyn said as far as how lesbians generally seem to look in reality. The most beautiful woman I've ever seen is a lesbian--she's incredibly feminine and looks better than all the women on "The 'L' Word" put together. HOWEVER, she is VERY mainstream-looking, and I think that's what Kevyn's point was--the girls on the show look mainstream, and part of that is because they ARE, i.e. straight or bisexual at best. So no one is saying lesbians are not and cannot be good-looking, but there often is a different kind of look to lesbians vs mainstream heterosexual women based on various factors such as clothes, hair, body type, the way one carries herself, and so on. I have noticed a lot more lesbians are infatuated with Ellen DeGeneres than Portia de Rossi, and so I feel like the majority of our community has totally different tastes than mainstream America...because Portia's look (and the look of women on "The 'L' Word") is the look that mainstream America values...NOT ELLEN'S. That's all Kevyn, I think, was trying to say, and that's also all I mean.