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I'm an "L-Word" Lesbian...


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#1
persephone

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so, i know i'm a little behind, but i just started watching the l-word on dvd. i absolutely love it! i've heard so much criticism from the lesbian community about it, saying it's not realistic and they don't look like real lesbians. i hear people saying, 'where are the lesbians that look like us?'

i say, 'finally some lesbians who look like me! i thought i was the only one!' i live in the mid-west, where lesbians are either ugly, ultra-butch, very large, etc... very stereotypical. now, i appreciate all wimyn and their beauty as wimyn, but the aforementioned characteristics do not do it for me. i like pretty girls. i like girls who look really artsy/indie/alternative/funky... etc, etc...

obviously the l-word is a bunch of actesses, so it's not hugely realistic, but it's a hell of a lot closer to what i look like and what i look for than what i typically find at the local hole-in-the-wall dyke bar.

i don't say any of this to offend anyone! however you look, however you present yourself is awesome! i'm just saying there are certain things that do it for me and certain things that don't do it for me...

the l-word does it for me!! anyone else??...
"We are not separate from spirit, we are in it." --Plotinus

#2
blacklesbian

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I'm always fearful of anything that comes on television that is a mass production of what lesbians are. I'm the same way with television shows about black women (Girlfriends), and other bullshit that the media puts out there to "represent" a group of people. I don't mean to burst your bubble, if you like the show, that is all that mattters, but personally the show does not represent me (as a black womyn), or other womyn within the lesbian community...fat lesbians, hard-butches, and the like. If you are the all around white girl that happens to be a lesbian, have a perfect body, and a large bank account, then this show is made for you. If not, I think we have to find something else to watch or better yet...in the words of Dead Prez, "turn that shit off".

#3
slb

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Hey, ya'll. Sort of new here, so I'll sketch a wave hello and tread gingerly into the waters.

I'm on a bit of a fence where the L-Word is concerned-- because I think as a traditional television show (telling a good, albeit conventional, story) it's not necessarily that successsful. As a text, however, I think it does draw a lot of attention to the way that we're used to watching television and the kinds of pleasures/expectations that we bring when we settle down in front of the teevee set. And that-- by interrogating concepts of structure and narrative-- is where I do think the show succeeds.

The argument that the L-Word does or doesn't represent "me" or "insert a particular sort of lesbian/queer/otherly identified woman here" strikes me as one that any televisual text is bound to lose. I mean, how many groups of friends in NYC, let alone anywhere else in the country, live the sort of lives/look like the cast of "Friends"? How many urban hospitals resemble that of "ER"? Does anybody know any college co-ed that worked her way through her undergraduate classes by being a spy for a clandestine government agency? And so on and so forth. The weight of a television show hoping/purporting to represent a marginalized community like queer women or African-Americans is in a double bind-- because even as we tell a great story, we've "got to keep it real." Whatever that means. Especially to three or four or ten million *other* people.

*chuckling* Personally, I don't really want to watch a show about a bunch of women whose lives are just like mine and who look even remotely like me-- my endlessly fascinating life and my attractiveness notwithstanding. But on a more academic note-- isn't cinema (whether television or the cinema) is about heightened reality? The women are more beautiful, the locations more dramatic, and the lighting is certainly much better. If we're going to judge a show like the L-Word-- and I fervently hope we do-- why not place it within a spectrum of other television shows? Why not, indeed, use it as a wedge to lever open the foundations of the way televisual narratives have been presented to us since the 50s?

I honestly believe that there is a reason there really aren't any queer women on mainstream television that haven't been neutered (AMC's Bianca Montgomery), de-facto elminated from the text (ER's Kerry Weaver) or retroactively installed (L&O's Selena Southerland). And it has to do with the way narrative is constructed on television. To me, it goes far beyond "if it doesn't represent accurately then turn it off."

#4
Ezmie

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I have got to say that I live in Southern Caliornia and I do venture out to LA and WeHo...and the lesbians DO look like the ones on the L word...I think that it is an accurate show...and besides...we really wouldnt watch it if there were no hot lesbians in the cast anyways....

#5
Kuuipo

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Atleast the L Word is a start toward lesbian visibility on television. I may not be able to acess it on my tv, but I did get the first 4 seasons on DVD, and while it doesn't look like my crowd, it still is entertaining, and lesbian friendly.

#6
Tzarina86

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I think the L word is awesome! don't laugh, but i'm still on season one- bought it on box set last year, and have two more episodes to go.
i fully agree with the original post that it was so nice to see lipstick lesbians :) and feel a lil 'represented'. I also think it does a great job of highlighting that fascinating fluidity of women's sexuality. 'Jenny' comes to mind here ;) Women are really open creatures...
Apart from the emotional/psychological sub text, i think it's really well written, and hello 'Marina Ferrer'!!! ;) And 'Jenny' is pretty smoking too!
will more than likely buy the next season! :)

#7
MissNomer

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I'm an L-word fan, and I agree that it was nice to see something I related to visuality-wise. I think there is certainly a lack of representation of butch lezzies on the show, for the most part...and I could see how that would be frustrating, but I don't mistake any drama out there for documentary. Being afraid of being butch kept me from acknowledging my sexuality for a long time. This show sort of showed me an alternative to both superdykes and male porn fantasy lesbians.

It's beautiful women, which I love, feeling up on each other, as they should, and occasionally engaging story lines. What's not to like :) ...except Tina. Tina drives me flippin bonkers.

I liked the last season (I think it was) where they were creating a movie based on the story Jenny writes about the lesbians in her life, and there was a lot of metadramatic stuff going on. I feel like that addressed the issue of accuracy, somewhat.

It's a tv show. As someone mentioned - how relatable and realistic are other television shows?





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