Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The A-List: Amazing or Atrocious?

Over the summer I caught wind that LOGO would be producing a new reality TV show I had only dreamed would actually be in existence. The show was to be a spin-off of the successful Bravo series “The Real Housewives”, however, would have a little twist. This season we wouldn’t be following the lives of “housewives”, but househusbands instead. I can only be talking about “The A-List: New York”.

I have to admit – I was a bit hesitant to jump on this bandwagon. While seeing sneak-previews all summer I was horrified of the implications this show would have on the LGBT community. Now, while we’re in the middle of a battle for marriage equality, wouldn’t the attitudes and presentation of the cast members influence heavily on the minds of American viewers and their opinions on marriage equality? I say: yes and no.

While it’s easy to see the negative implications this show will have on the LGBT community (shallow, narcissistic, six-pack abs, dominantly white cast) let us remember what kind of show this is. It is a reality TV show, which are designed for pure entertainment. If viewers are watching this show to gain a greater sense or appreciation for the LGBT community, then perhaps they need to take a look at other reality TV shows. How often is it that people watch reality TV for thought-provoking, ground-breaking, extraordinary characters? Seldom, if at all probably. Reality TV is watched mostly for laughs and to see adults act in some of the craziest ways. So if this is the case, then why should a reality TV show featuring an all gay cast be any different from the hundreds of heterosexual starred shows?

Let’s look at the other “Real Housewives” seasons. Each season has had some intense characters that all had their shocking and crazy moments. Has watching these women on TV changed the general public’s opinion on every housewife in America? Probably not. And if it has – do you really want to trust someone’s opinion if it’s based off something they’ve seen on a reality TV show?

However, let’s not write off this argument altogether. So “The A-List” has been deemed by some reputable source as offensive to the LGBT community. There are several other television shows that the LGBT community is portrayed positively. The first example that comes to mind is the gay couple from “Modern Family”. Both characters are portrayed as good, loving parents who act like any couple would. They just so happen to be gay. Kurt from “Glee” is another great example of a positive LGBT figure in media. He’s outspoken but respectable. In media, the heterosexual community is portrayed both positively and negatively, so therefore – shouldn’t the LGBT community, too?

I for one am not looking at “The A-List” to be this great thought-provoking show. I think its pretty great that we are even able to have an entire show dedicated to gay couples and their lives. My only complaint is the diversity among them. As of right now, if this were to be people’s only view on gay couples, they would see men with perfect bodies, shallow attitudes, who are dominantly white. However, rumor has it there is going to be a Dallas and San Francisco spin offs respectively, so perhaps more diversity will be incorporated further down the road. And with two spin-offs on the way, they must be doing something right to get those ratings.

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