DON'T BE SUCH A LESBIAN. OR RATHER, DO!
This post is a response to the thoughts I've been mulling over since watching a video about female, or more specifically, lesbian visibility in the media, that's been circling the London Lesbian Twittersphere in the past few days. This post is not an article, a critique, this is not me textually analysing or anything of the sort. This is an expression of my thoughts that followed my consumption of the video, purely and simply.
For those of you that haven't seen the video i'm referring to, it is this:
Entitled 'Don't be Such a Lesbian', though failing in its sarcasm, the piece ought to be called 'BE WAY MORE OF A LESBIAN CAUSE LESBIANS ARE FUCKING AWESOME'. But anyway.
My initial reaction, disregarding all else, was something that struck me half way through the video, when the glaringly obvious tune to Blurred Lines was used as background audio, underneath women saying awesome things about their communities, totally undermining them. It all felt a little bit 'yeah yeah we're including your musings to bulk the video out a bit, but it doesn't really matter what you're saying because we're putting a song that's notoriously about rape underneath it all' - ain't nothing like misogyny to weaken your otherwise feminist argument!
When I tweeted the creators of DBSAL about it, their response was that the song was funny and shouldn't be taken so seriously.
I'm still totally baffled as to why people with a substantial following, who are clearly trying to establish themselves further in the media, tacking 'controversial' topics that people could potentially be intimidated by (that includes feminism, whether they like it or not), would think that putting a song that is so widely despised and hugely criticised for being harmful to women on a video ABOUT women. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone describing it as 'funny', either. That's just straight-up bizarre. Anyway.
The main bulk of the video discusses how we need more lesbian representation in the media yet passes up a perfectly good opportunity to feature lesbians of diversity in the video itself. Ironic. Perhaps this is a marketing move, to adhere to the massive audiences that follow lesbian YouTubers Rose & Rosie, Whitney & Megan and Kaelyn & Lucy, who are all conventionally attractive, socially acceptable femme girls.
This formula seems to be the only types of lesbians that people are happy to broadcast and fangirl over. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that at all, it's just a shame that we don't see lesbians who identify as butch, androgynous, queer or trans given the same platforms with the same followings.
If you want to start breaking down stereotypes, it shouldn't start with shaming 'butch' lesbians for dominating society's 'negative view' on the 'stereotypical' lesbian. It isn't their fault that society doesn't praise them. It isn't their fault that they've been victims of society's need to look a certain way, the same as many other oppressed groups of women, of lesbians, have.
Fundamentally, I agree with the video. I agree with the idea behind it - I do think that there needs to be more lesbians, more WOMEN in the media, full stop. This can't just stop at typically attractive, inoffensive middle class women. We need ALL kinds of women being portrayed in the media, and this means ALL kinds of lesbians.
It's pretty obvious that women of colour, women with disabilities both physical and mental, trans women and all people who identify as anything on the spectrum of gender that isn't 'cis' are totally unrepresented as valid, existing humans. As people that matter too.
To cut a long story short, let's all worship each other. If we're making videos talking about changing society and breaking down stereotypes, then at least try to make an effort to change it with what we produce, rather than give it an alternative option that they'll be much more comfortable with.
The women in the video all say important things. Don't undermine them.
The women in the world all say important things. Don't undermine them.
This has been a rant that I was reluctant to do.
But there we go. It's done.
p.s. Hiiii Meth, Rubyyy Wednesday & Bourgeoisie and ur 'lil cameos at the end of the video!