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?!