Thursday, November 22, 2007

Liquor, love and lesbianism


I have a really bizarre fascination with the new "reality" show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. I'm fascinated for so many reasons. Like why do we care about Tila Tequila first of all? She was a Playboy model who started a MySpace page and quasi-raps. She's immensely popular for reasons unknown. But that's not why I'm so fascinated because let's face it, that's nothing new. Paris Hilton, The Hills, all that junk is a matter of people being famous for nada.

Alright, so in a 3 second description, A Shot at Love is a "reality" show like the Bachelorette, except that Tila is bi-sexual, therefore she's choosing between 12 men and 12 womyn. Like all other "reality" shows, the whole thing is a joke, as they spend a day together between elimination rounds and yet claim to "love" Tila.

Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. This show is pretty progressive, considering GLBTQ people are typically represented in the media in purely stereotypical and over the top manners. (Think Will and Grace and every show with a gay hair dresser/designer) And I have yet to ever see bi-sexual characters represented on mainstream television.

However (and here comes Debbie Downer). This show is a goddamn train wreck - I can't look away. And not just because it's another crappy reality tv shows but it assaults my feminist sensibilities more so than the average show. This show really highlights the blatant homophobia of contemporary North American society. The men on the show constantly refer to the womyn as "he-she" and at one point, they are referred to as having "cock envy". References are constantly made to how they "just need a good man" and they are consistently questioned about whether or not they are really lesbians or bi-sexual, whichever the case may be.

A Shot at Love is a highly popular show. But the truth is that this show would have bombed (assuming it would even make it on the air) if the main person was a man. Imagine if this show was a a bi-sexual man choosing between womyn or men? This would never happen. And if Tila wasn't a "hot" 4'11 former Playboy model, would people want to watch her make out with womyn?

Therefore, in a strange twist, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila makes a perfect case for the ways in which feminism's goal of gender justice is beneficial to men and womyn. Woulda thunk?!

4 comments:

Ren said...

I'll be honest J-dawg, I've never heard of this show. I think I've heard the name Tila Tequila in passing, but didn't know any of these details.
Personally, I think alot of women claim to be "bi-sexual" for the mere fact that, well, lets face it, girl on girl is pretty damn hot, but why skimp on the caak if you don't have to?
I think there's a difference between loving who you love, and fucking who you fuck.
I really don't get any dating reality shows... they're really just a headache waiting to happen...Though, Beauty and the Geek is pretty bang up.

I think you need to take into consideration as well that the guys making the "cock envy" comments are probably just hyper-masculine, homophobic, pretty boys trying to seem as bad-ass and apathetic as humanly possible because hey, it's gotten them this far right? These men probably already think they're better than most women, so for a hottie former play-mate to choose a woman over them would be quite the blow to their ego. Lets just forget the "let the best MAN win" idealism for a moment - the reality of the reality show (no pun intended) is that there's this hyper-sexual ex-playmate snootching on both men and women. It's any ones game!
Probably for ratings-sake, she'll most likely end up with a chick.

But to be honest, if Lifetime were to start a bi-guy for the straight gal, or gay man-type show, I think the ratings would work. I mean, gay men love to see man on man action. HELL! Straight women love to see man on man action! HOOK ME UP!
It's just absolutely darling.

And that's my 2 cents.

Feminist Catalyst said...

Ren,

Thanks for your commentary darlin'. Always appreciated.

I have to agree with your comment about the concept of "temporary lesbianism", AKA womyn who claim to be bi or gay to get attention from dudes. I blame the "Girls Gone Wild" phenomenon myself.

Although I'm gonna have to disagree with your thought that a "Tony Tequila" show would work. Because as we said, mainstream society loves to see womyn making out with womyn but men are always expected to be hyper masculine or hyper feminine. Unfortunately, I really don't think there's a middle ground for men.

Which is why my definition of feminism is gender justice and not the search for womyn's equality because I think dudes are just as affected by sexism as womyn.

But like you said, I'd love to see a bi-sexual Bachelor show, I just don't think it'll happen for a long while.

Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with you.

-Heather aka mysterious anonymous commenter.

hummus said...

well you are so on the money about if it were a guy it wouldn't air. too many guys are homophobes i guess. people are weird.