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According to Varsity,** the independent newspaper for the University of Cambridge, "For starters, ‘lesbian’ and its various derivatives remain common insults for girls who fall foul of their peers’ approval. This is nothing new. At the peak of Second Wave Feminism, campaigners were demonised as man-hating, bra-burning, communist lesbians, gleefully plotting society’s destabilisation."

So when was the peak of Second Wave Feminism?  I just lazily googled "when was the peak of second wave feminism" and got:  "The second wave, at its height in the 1960s and 1970s, refers to the women's liberation movement for equal legal and social rights."

So at least 40 years ago.  So mostly the demonizing on those particular variables mostly ended . . . for most? 

(Since the end of the peak of Second Wave Feminism, I only toss a bra on the backyard grill a few times a year.  The neighbors politely tolerate occasional bra burning . . . but more frequently and they'll complain these urban backyards are too close for that, because it smells just like pumpkin spice.  Special occasions only!)

But we still inspire outrage.  Even murderous outrage.

The website autostraddle put out "Autostraddle's Ultimate Infographic Guide to Dead Lesbian Characters on TV."  

Quite a bit of info there, but basically?  Lesbian and bisexual women aren't represented well on television.  

We're way too often represented as dead.  

There is a graphic you can visit on this page to see how they break it down.

"Beyond the quantitative data, GLAAD also pointed to the persistent and problematic “Bury Your Gays” trope — that is, the tendency for television shows to kill off their queer characters, usually for the growth and edification of a straight character — particularly as it relates to women," says a Senior Writer at Vulture**.

. . .

Jessica Valenti in Sex Object:  A Memoir, "Men's pain and existential angst are the stuff of myth and legends and narratives that shape everything we do, but women's pain is a backdrop -- a plot development to push the story along for the real protagonists.  Disrupting that story means we're needy or selfish, or worst of all, man-haters--as if after all men have done to women over the ages the mere act of not liking them for it is most offensive."



** We wish it didn't need to be said but still probably does that just because we quoted someone isn't a promise we're on their "team" and thus promise to agree with everything else they said before or will say later.  We can't even agree with our own wives 100% of the time.  We're just saying whatever we said about whatever we quoted, nothing regarding everything else they've ever said or ever will say forevermore . . . 

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  • 1 month later...

It IS a scandal! I am keenly aware of this Bury Your Gays trope. I've not made any kind of media study about it -- that Autostraddle infographic is fierce -- but it's yet another example of the expendability of the Otherness, like when women are murdered so men can be heroes. (I think some call that 'fridging'.) Is it some kind progress when the death of The Lesbian once signified a punishment for rejecting social norms, and now it is used a thoughtless and misguided plot device?

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