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At Least It’s Being Talked About!

October 3, 2012

There’s thing phrase I really dislike. ‘At least it’s being talked about.’ I’ve seen this used in reference to mainstream news when gay rights, women’s rights, gay fiction, gay television, poly television, etc. are discussed in articles or on a segment. People might not be happy with what’s being said, but they qualify it with, well, at least someone is talking about it.

That’s not good enough for me.

There was a news article not too long ago about M/M romance. The main people interviewed for it were gay men. And the tone of the article, in my opinion, wasn’t a very good one. As much as gay men lament the fact, M/M fiction is written–primarily–by women, and women should have the primary authors interviewed. This… pervasive feeling in the genre that if a gay man writes for it, he’s a god really rubs at me. And people can try and deny it, but I’ve seen so-so male authors in this genre receive incredible praise mainly because he’s a gay or bisexual man writing in a genre about men written by women. I’m not saying men shouldn’t write whatever they want to write, but it shouldn’t be their gender that makes their stories more, and the media should focus on the overwhelming number of female authors who write in the genre instead of the few men. It’s, to me, another way to erase women from a genre they pioneered, and that’s simply unacceptable. I don’t care that someone, somewhere is talking about it: it does not good if they’re talking about it in their terms instead of the reality.

This goes for other topics, too. I want to scream every time someone brings up 50 Shades of Grey, as if that has brought BDSM into existence. No! BDSM has been around a lot longer. And, you know what? I’d be happy for it to have never reached a mainstream audience if E.L. James’ twisted, poorly written tripe was what representing a lush, varied, and intense lifestyle.

Polyamory. There is now a reality program on Showtime called Polyamory: Married & Dating. A lot of our poly friends are thrilled polyamory is being discussed, shown. I highly disagree that this is necessarily a good thing. I want polyamory discussed, yes. I want the mainstream audience to recognize that, just because I date other people, my husband dates other people, our marriage is just as committed and seeped in love as a monogamous marriage, but I don’t want that recognition to come due to a dramatic, half-scripted reality program. People don’t watch reality television to be educated: they watch it to see fighting, drama, and sex. I don’t want polyamory to be shown that way, and so I don’t think it’s a positive thing that it’s at least being talked about.

In the end, the media is going to latch onto whatever message they want to express. I understand that. But I won’t get on the bandwagon of joy that the topics are being discussed because the topics aren’t being discussed. Not really. Not in any real terms or with any reality in them. I’d much rather the topics remain obscured if the other option is misrepresentation or belittling of the topics themselves.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2012 10:04 am

    Even when women are discussed as writers of m/m fiction, it always seems to have an ‘oh isn’t that cute/amusing/weird’ tone to it that I loathe. Fanfiction and fan culture is something I am seriously into/strongly support, and I get so tired of the condescending, judgmental articles about it. Great, awesome, it’s reached the media. But how about it reaches the media in a positives fashion, instead of all these negative portrayals? Cause everything you mentioned definitely gets shafted, and that’s more damaging than the silence we had before.

  2. October 4, 2012 12:47 pm

    I fully agree. If these things are going to be talked about, then they should be discussed positively, openly. I know a lot of people in the poly community feel the poly show on Showtime is so damaging, and we have to take a lot of time to fight the negative assumptions being created by such crap television. *shakes head*

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