Is this the real life, or just mens’ fantasy? Lesbians on screen.
At the end of a long day at your high powered job, to which you wear a tailored suit, isn’t it great to catch up with your impossibly attractive cohort of lesbian friends at the local gay-owned café-cum-live music venue? Perhaps you’ll bump in to one of the dozens of manicured, tanned, available and interested women that just casually mill around at one of the many well-attended, trendy nights that you frequent.
And then you realise that you’ve just woken up from your third L-Word themed dream this month, and TV lesbians aren’t as plentiful as you’d like.
TV lesbians are strange creatures; few, if any, are well adjusted. Most appear to show deep seated emotional problems, have drug problems, and unless you’ve had your head in a bucket for the past few weeks, you’ll have noticed that a lot of TV lesbians are, well, incarcerated. Of course, ever since Anna Friel got on the televisual lady-love bandwagon, we have been forever grateful for at least some representation on television and in movies. It’s excellent to see lady-loving on television, even if we know from experience that they will be murdered by the writers. Even the insufferably boring ones who manage to hold down a full time job and some semblance of normality end up getting hit by taxis. It seems no television lesbian is safe from the inevitable gunshot, murderer or rogue parachute saboteur.
Horrible demises aside, have you ever really met a TV or movie lesbian that you really relate to, or do they just perpetuate the stereotypical idea that we’re just part timers, waiting for the right man to come along? Piper, Tina, Jules – we’re looking at you.
As a femme girl myself, I personally love to see a bit of femme-on-femme action, perving aside, because if they’re more common in mainstream media, it means people will stop asking me when I am going to attend my ceremonial head shaving and sensible shoes presentation. I can totally see why those who don’t cram themselves into a certain media-friendly pigeonhole feel unrepresented though, because quite simply, TV lesbians are bizarre caricatures of themselves.
It seems to me as though we have several repeat offending roles here:
I’m drop dead gorgeous, constantly disillusioned by my many and various relationships with boys and ready to experiment with a naïve young lesbian who will fall hopelessly in love with me and die inside when I inevitably return to men.
I’m SO BUTCH I can barely function without clenching my fists, flexing my heavily tattooed arms and spitting at inopportune moments. I communicate only in grunts, sneers and manly farts. I have been to prison at least once.
I’m doing so many different kinds of drugs right now, so that I might cope with my daddy issues and traumatic childhood which has left me with an insatiable appetite for women and the emotional stability of a weeble.
I’m a militant man hater who harvests her own leg hair to stuff pillows sewn from hemp. I don’t eat anything made of food, and I think people who drive cars are monsters.
I am attractive, normal, can hold down a job and a loving relationship. My girlfriend and I are just talking about getting a puppy together…
…Oh wait, I just died in a tragic boating accident.