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    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    What Do Y'all Think About This?

    Kim Ficera's new column:

    If you were a tomboy in the '70s or early '80s, trying to make sense of life's challenges that were offered in prime time on your TV, you knew that something was amiss. You weren't satisfied. You might not have been able to articulate it well, but you knew on an emotional level that the “strong woman by day; weak woman by night” plots were insulting, and that the “girl meets boy, falls in love with boy” story lines were for someone else. Perhaps you thought, as I did, Jan Brady doesn't need a boyfriend, because I don't need a boyfriend! ...

    Today, queer and questioning kids aren't frustrated by an absence of gay characters or sexuality on TV. If young viewers want to see lesbians and gay men having same-sex sex, all they have to do is find a cable box that isn't locked or steal their parents' Blockbuster cards. And it's been that way for quite a few years. Hell, if they want to see kids of their own age declare, “I'm gay!” on a major network, they can tune into ABC's Desperate Housewives.

    What young media consumers are exposed to in the 2000s make their parents and grandparents long for the days when Lucy and Ricky Ricardo weren't allowed to sleep in the same bed. And to be completely honest, although I'm a parent to no one, current programming sometimes makes me question the means to the end.

    While I believe we have to be honest with kids and show them that sex is natural, healthy and fun, not dirty or sick, I wonder if in our efforts to provide them with accurate information about sex and sexuality we're inadvertently depriving them of something even more valuable: wonder.

    Read the whole thing and let me know.


    Blogger Bitch | Lab said...

    all i could think was: that foucault dewd predicted this. the ever present search for 'the truth of sex'.

    10:42 PM  
    Blogger belledame222 said...

    off topic, but EL: is your email address per your profile still working? was trying to send you a note, got bounced. anyhoo: am trying to organize a get-together of sorts this Sat. evening in the E. Village, dunno who-all will end up showing, but a number of fellow bloggers are invited, and at least it'll be me and some pals. which, you'd be welcome. drop me an email.

    5:17 AM  
    Blogger Corinne said...

    a. bitch|lab you are quite correct.
    b. i grew up watching a lot of sex on TV and in movies probably not quite as much as the cohort directly behind me, but plenty and that didn't really affect my early experiences with sex -- it was still the strange, wondrous, incredibly awkward teenage sex that folks have been having forever.

    7:46 AM  
    Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

    This topic seems somewhat absurd, as a) all sex on TV, in romances, etc seems unrealistic - well except in Freaks and Geeks maybe. and b) lamenting that gee, we have too many actual lesbians instead of just ambigious women is like having an article on how wouldn't it be better if all the blacks on TV were just the butts of jokes or playing up to stereotype again like they did in the 70's so that blacks of today could "find themselves" - what?

    I fail to understand how isolation, alienation and seeing absolutely no representation of yourself in media is "part of growing up" - straights manage, through the variety presented to find role models to identify with, emulate and discard as they grow - why should lesbian youth be stuck with "Well, she's the only tomboy, so I guess that who I almost identify with"

    4:43 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Bitch- Too true. Which is why I started to get antsy about it. Or at least one reason I started to get antsy about it.

    Belledame, I'm honored to be included. I've retired that email because it got flooded with hate mail months back and I just didn't care anymore. Posting here is the best way to get in touch. But seriously, honored.

    Corrine, I'm with you. I still managed to be a total moron, surprised and weird with sex, despite growing up in the sex-crazed 80s and 90s.

    And finally, Elizabeth, I like your style. There is something distinctly bizarre about the queer nostalgia thing.

    5:36 PM  
    Blogger dustdaughter said...

    Ficera's article confused me. I didn't understand (or couldn't figure out) what her point was.

    Elizabeth said it much more eloquently than I could've after read the piece. Reading about Ficera's nostalgia for queer subtext (whether invented or not), it just sounded a little too much like a longing to return to the closet. Who in the f**k wants to go back there?

    3:36 PM  

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