Tuesday, March 22, 2005

3/21 Film: Off the Straight and Narrow & Reading: Holy Fratrimony

the film was full of interesting information. it was easy to realize the progression of gay men and lesbians into the media. when homosexuality was just awakening to the public in the 1960s, it wasnt surprising that there were primarily documentaries and mental illness models. these were used of course to scare society into fearing homosexuality.

something i found interesting was the golden girls example. there was a one episode lesbian on. the lesbian however was older and resembled the other womym in the cast, however there were constant one liners to remind the viewers that, oh yes, she is a lesbian. this was the television of the 1980s, allowing homosexuality to be addressed, however making it clear that it was something we cant forget.

something i knew but was still surprising was brought up in an episode of oprah in the 1990s. kim brigal was on for winning a lawsuit, however was a victim of getting aids from her dentist. the media was willing to portray "innocent" victims of the aids epidemic as opposed to those that were homosexuals that were thought to be if not causing, then knowingly spreading the virus. this seems rediculous and illogical, yet people ate it up, just like the "breaking reliable information" media aired in the 1960s.

lastly, on the film, anothering that im still thinking about is the volkswagon commercial that the one womyn was talking about in terms of homosexuality comaflaging itself in the media. i have seen that commerical a bunch of times and i have never thought those two men in the car were gay. im not what the intention of the commerical was, but that is so interesting! that never would have occured to me. i think its neat that it is so open to interpretation and not just two blatantly gay males getting this really ugly green chair of the the garbage.

on to reading and discussion. i found myself getting pretty angry during the discussion. primarily, when the example was given of famous "out" stars. where rosie and ellen are easily thought of when it comes to gay stars, men are harder to think of. im not sure that i completely agree with the fact that it is because there is more stigma about men coming out. i know that there is more stigma in our society about males and homosexuality, however rosie and ellen aren't exactly the most acceptable womyn to come out as lesbians. they arent extremely feminine, which is easier to accept because it is less visible. rosie and ellen (when she first came out atleast) were both very active and vocal about their sexuality. additionally, i think that stars dont want there life to be public anyways. male actors and directors such as bd wong, anthony rapp and gus van sant are openly gay, however that is not what they are famous for.

the issue of the progress of homosexuality in the media was hard to agree with. i think the discussion was leaning towards the fact that although there is more homosexuality portrayed, it was unfairly portrayed still. either stereotypes are portrayed (queer eye for the straight guy) or homosexuals are beautiful and, basically, not real (the l-word). i think that people will have an issue with either of the extremes. i think the im portant issue with progress is the fact that the homosexual in television or film is not there to remind us they are different. there are more homosexual characters in the media and is becoming more acceptable. we have come far from the 1960s psychological films telling us being gay is a mental illness.

i found the reading interesting. the new male homosociality is more acceptable. males are more able to embrace their males friends and take their relationships almost in the direction that females were able to. romesburg brings up reality television examples such as queer eye for the straight guy, where homosexuality is secondary to the fact that these gay men are here to help this straight guy do something good with his life. this means they can pick out clothes and talk about hair styling and food making and its ok. this homosociality is therefore ok. in the movie dude wheres my car, the author discusses a scene where the two main stars make out. this is ok because they are friends and sex isnt an issue.

romesburg also brings up the issue that males costars are becoming more popular. i think this is a great example of homosociality in our societies because many of these relationships exist in realities as well. males are able to talk, joke, hug, trust eachother an d talk. these male bonding relationships on the big screen become good examples for males watching, leting them know that its ok.


Blogger Celia Easton said...

I agree that the post-film conversation on male & female "out" stars didn't go far enough. It seems that Rosie & Ellen both suffered professionally by "coming out," however much Ellen has recovered a place on TV. One difference besides gender is TV vs. film? Do men do TV talk shows? Perhaps I don't follow celebrity gossip enough....

March 27, 2005 at 6:16 PM  

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