The Heterosexist Narrative

And my girl Ankhesen Mie comes out swinging, HARD!!!!!

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After battling the worst bout of writer’s block I’ve had in a while, I finally rescued myself by coming to one of my momentous decisions: no more stories where love is a central theme, and no more sex scenes (unless they have a comical edge).

It has nothing to do with being a prude or anything like that; it has more to do with the fact that romance as we know it needs to take a holiday.
I feel – and this is just my humble opinion – that as we are seeing a stubborn whitening of everything in media, we are also seeing a stubborn straightening of everyone.  In addition to the obsession of showing white people in romantic relationships, I feel there’s been an added emphasis on showing them in straight relationships.
In other words, not only is Hollywood pushing back against the growing number of people of color in this country, the country’s own origins of color, and the dominance of color abroad, Hollywood is pushing back against the increasingly visible and vocal gay population which is rightfully sick and tired of second-class citizenship.
I once criticized the virulent prevalence of (heterosexual) love triangles in media.  They were popping up everywhere and turning no one on.  Now, it seems, “romance” has become a shameless plug in which women in particular are reduced to mere love interests, reminding the audience that straight is great, so don’t deviate.
Now, if you’re wondering where this post is coming from, you have Nina Simone to thank for that.  First off, Zoe Saldana has no business portraying this woman.  I love me some Zoe, I’m glad she’s making her money and getting steady exposure, but despite her proud declaration of being a Black woman, Hollywood finds her “safe” enough to put in its movies, and thereby continue its quest to whiten damn near everybody.
Secondly, as Nina Simone’s daughter has pointed out, her nurse Clifton Henderson was gay.  The film intends to portray the last eight years or so of her life, and for some reason, the PTB feel the need plug in a romantic subplot.  So now we have a damn biopic being blatantly rewritten so as to once again pointlessly portray heterosexual romance – why does there have to be a romance in this situation at all?

Writing 101, kids: “love interest” is not a “purpose.”  It’s not a role.  It can be a minor aspect of a fleshed-out, multidimensional character, but not their entire reason for existing.  If they don’t contribute anything else to the central plotline, they need to be written the hell out.

And lastly, Hollywood needs to just friggin’ deal.  Gays, like folks of color in general, are here.  They’ve always been here.  They’re not going anywhere.  So let our gay actors come out publicly and portray themselves.  When the audience can see same-sex hugs and kisses that aren’t stiff or uncomfortable or very carefully rehearsed, it’ll lend movies a whole new level of credibility and respectability.  Stop orientation-bending already.

And lose the excessive romance.  We get it.  Heteros dig each other.  How nice it must be for them…when they’re not divorcing each other in shameful rates, or cheating on each other after a needlessly expensive but at least God-sanctified wedding, or taking each other for granted, or constantly fleeing the kids they spawned during their wonderful, God-intended hetero sex.

*yawn*  We get it already. What else you got?

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2 comments on “The Heterosexist Narrative

  1. Reblogged this on From on Her Throne and commented:
    You ain’t never lied, as far as this post goes.

    But when hasn’t this been the case? As a queer Black female writer, I write romance because it is a desire of my own. Hollywood and its influential co-partners and co-signers whiten, bleach, straighten, trim and slim every thing and every one that’s not meant to be a joke.

    I try to write what I want to see/read and I don’t get discouraged or stalled because the media is making a billion-dollar mockery out of it. I get discouraged or stalled because people are actually supporting it. Living in multiple oppressed identities is difficult especially when you’re trying to write about it and writing is surviving. To be fat. To be working class/poor. To be queer. To be female and/or gender queer. To be a survivor of abuse. I speak truths and fantasies with my writing.

    And its daunting to be faced with a public who would rather read or see stories about the able-bodied, the skinny, the “fit”, the white/acceptably and safely whitened PoC, middleclass, the good ol’ hetero. I’ve been socially conditioned to think of myself as invisible and unnecessary, and it reflects in how difficult it is for me to write the stories I want to read.

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