Monday, April 30, 2012

Will this nonsense ever stop?

This may surprise you, but I watch the tv show "Army Wives." Yes, I do tend to oppose the military industrial complex. I do tend to assume that I would not have a lot in common with a lot of military folk. I do tend to get annoyed by the idea that supporting the military is patriotic and anyone who opposes the mission opposes the military and is therefore patriotic. But army folk and I do have one thing in common: we have both sworn to uphold the Constitution. And anyway, I kinda like the show.

This season, the show said good-bye to one of the original army wives and rumor has it that at least one (and maybe two) other originals are also leaving. So the writers have introduced several new families, presumably testing out some potential new series regulars. We've got the new general and his seemingly-ambitious wife. We've got the new enlisted guy and his brand new bride, neither of whom are quite ready for grown-up life. And we've got the female intelligence officer and the woman who runs the children's center on post. We got to meet them both separately before having it revealed to us that they were a couple.

Now, the general's wife is a pill popper and the new bride is being played to some pretty obnoxious Hispanic stereotypes. But I bet you can guess which new family is generating the most discussion on the show's comment forum. Of course, I expected to read some people proclaiming that they would never watch the show again. I expected a few people to complain about the inappropriate subject matter for a family show. Much as I wish I hadn't, I'd even expected the comments about how disgusting the couple's on screen kiss was. (For the record, it was a really sweet moment in a really sweet scene. I guess we see what we want to see.)

And, of course, there are lots of comments castigating liberal Hollywood for pushing its evil liberal agenda. Because if you portray gay people on a tv show, you have an agenda. But if you leave them out, there's no agenda there. That's just good and right and moral. Never mind that there actually are gay personnel in the military. Of course there are or there would never have been a don't ask, don't tell policy to repeal. As of September, those personnel are no longer required to hide their personal relationships or refrain from mentioning their significant others by name or gender pronoun, as they had been before. But there are still undoubtedly a lot of people in and around the military who oppose gays serving openly, so it's a tricky minefield for gay soldiers in deciding how open they want to be, if they want to be open at all. Seems like an area ripe for a weekly one-hour drama focusing on the military to tackle. Indeed, it might feel false to some (like me) if the show just ignored the topic entirely.

Two characters out of a cast of 25 being gay is not in any way, shape, or form being "in your face" about being gay. It is, in fact, quite statistically appropriate. And love is never disgusting. (when it's between consenting adults who are not related by blood. Always read the fine print.) I am so beyond over these people who rail against the "homosexual agenda" and declare grown adults going about their lives "disgusting" and want to push every gay and lesbian (not to mention the bis and transgenders and transsexuals) back in the closet so that the good, upstanding, moral people who will watch t.v. shows featuring adultery and addiction and fornication (at least two of which sins occurred in the most recent episode people are up in arms about) and all sorts of other sins don't have to have their precious eyes and ears ruined by the sight of two women sharing a loving kiss after getting engaged. You having issues and being uncomfortable with any life that doesn't look just like yours isn't a problem that all the rest of us should have to cater to.

In other words, we're here, we're queer, get used to it already, you judgmental prudes who want to pretend that anything that doesn't fit to your narrow mindset doesn't exist.*

*no, this is not some big revelation of anything. Just expressing solidarity. Believe me, though, I would be if I could be. Lesbians love me.


BellsforStacy said...

That show is so fake. If it were real all of them would have moved on after two years or they would have been forcibly retired.

I haven't watched in years (and then I only saw one episode).

You don't have to support the mission, or agree with it, or even like it. But you do have to support the 18 year olds over there getting shot at. Because most of them are not drafted, per say, but the "grunts" in our branches are pushed into service through poverty and desperation many times, and they deserve support. No matter who's in office or who's political whims they are serving.

But that show bares very little resemblance to military life, just saying.

S said...

I never thought it was terribly real. And I totally agree about supporting the people. I just get mad when people equate questioning why we're participating in a particular war with soldier bashing.

And, yeah, they've mentioned the fact that they should have all scattered long before now, but then, conveniently, there was a hurricane!

Rob Osterman said...

In no particular order:

Thought 1: Have you seen "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change"? There's a great song early on featuring two women who are separate dates going disastrously. And they start singing about how much easier dating would be if they were lesbians.

Thought 2: When my mother-in-law read my first (and so far only but I'm working on it) novel, she made a bit of a fuss about the fact that two of the characters "might be gay, maybe?" I didn't really put any work into deciding I wanted gay (or bi) characters, I just wrote them as I felt was honest, let them go where they were going to go, and when there was a love interest, I let it happen (though I confess the suggestion that one is bisexual was done strictly for the sake of humor).

Thought 3: I'm hopeful that as we move forward we'll keep seeing "Gay and Lesbian" be words that don't exist (if you'll promote me a little plugging). It's odd because even as I'm writing a new book, I find myself dealing with sexuality without setting out to. I don't want to create a "gay novel" but I don't to limit any of my characters outside of what will make good story telling.

Blog Designed by : NW Designs