Anyone who’s already following my discourse blog can feel free to ignore this cause this is just a rehashing of stuff I’ve already talked about extensively there, I’m just feeling really alone in my thoughts about this right now and I kinda need some extra validation.
Is anyone else feeling like the LGBT/wlw positivity that Rebecca Sugar and SU in general promotes… doesn’t really apply to lesbians?
Other folks have already made excellent and detailed posts about the show’s treatment of butch/gnc women; their characterization as overwhelmingly abusive and aggressive and the strong overlaps with antiblack racism that are present in that writing, so this post isn’t so much about that as it is about the treatment of lesbian sexuality itself.
I honestly first started having these doubts as soon as We Need To Talk aired, the episode that pretty much started the fandom trend of mocking and belittling Pearl for being upset that she was losing the woman she loved to a man. And the episode did not exactly discourage that, like for all intents and purposes she was deliberately framed as the antagonist of that episode, and of Greg and Rose’s entire love story really.
She was turned into the trope that a lot of people might recognize from a lot of shoujo anime: the obsessive lesbian who fixates on one of the female protagonists and simply cannot handle the notion of the woman she loves choosing a man instead, at which point she becomes bitterly jealous and catty if not outright creepy and aggressive. There’s usually only two paths for a character who’s portrayed this way: a dramatic downward spiral that ends in utter humiliation and/or death, or a “redemption” in which she learns to get over her hatred for men and ends up with one. And honestly even though Last One Out of Beach City pretty much put an end to my post-Mr. Greg worries that the latter outcome would be what was in store for Pearl (not that Joe Johnston didn’t give me PLENTY of justification for fearing that that may end up being the case), there are still elements of both outcomes present in the ways that the narrative punished Pearl for her role in the Greg/Rose arc.
The juxtaposition is intentional for the central thesis of narratives like this: look at this wonderful man/woman couple that’s healthy and positive and has to overcome the odds in order to be together (thus making the audience root for them even more), one of those odds being an angry lesbian who loves the woman and hates the man and who has to be put in her place so the man/woman couple can triumph. For some reason this seems to be an extremely appealing story for women who love men to write, cause we see it over and over again in all sorts of media, not just here.
And let’s also not ignore the role of Garnet, another lesbian character, in all of this too. Her role is different, she’s not the angry man-hating lesbian, she’s the egalitarian cupid with the model relationship, who loves love in all its forms and is made into an authority as an impartial judge of what good love is. If a relationship gets the Garnet Stamp of Approval, it’s meant to be, and she winds up being Greg’s wingman enthusiastically performing emotional labor for this straight man and his relationship with a woman. It’s a fantasy that no lesbian should ever be expected to fulfill, and it just serves to draw a line in the sand between “good” and “bad” lesbians and the expectations that are placed on each. (The fact that Ruby and Sapphire themselves are modeled after Rebecca’s irl man/woman relationship probably plays a role in this as well.)
Greg is ultimately the centerpiece of SU’s entire lesbophobia issue, he’s Rebecca’s favorite character and clearly she wants us all to see what she sees in him. But time and time again, that has come at the expense of lesbians, and it’s soured me on his entire character as a whole tbh. Especially given that her Greg favoritism apparently extends to her doodling him making out with canonically lesbian characters and fusions thereof in her spare time.
With the spoilers of Robert being tempted (either by sex, money, HF evil) doesn’t worry me. In fact it kinda makes me happy in a way. Robert loves life, he loves the pleasures of life, like cars, money, women/men, sex, excitement, etc. He’s always got one foot on the ground and his eye out for the new interesting shiny object to entertain him. I think this is the longest he’s been “good” and hasn’t strayed away from the life he’s created with Aaron. (And I’m not just talking sex.)
But Robert gets bored easily, it’s his nature to be tempted (and to stray)
he’s done it several times with his many different partners. So Robert is staying true to Robert, which is a good thing. He hasn’t lost what makes Aaron and us love him so. But the fact that he’s not acting on that temptations says so much about how far he’s come.
He knows whatever Rebecca could offer him for a split second it’s not worth what he would lose. (And of course it would come out, everything always comes out in this village. With recent events it would have Robert looking pretty stupid to trust a White not to sell him out.) He loves Aaron so deeply, but not just that he loves the life that Aaron and him have created together. Robert has someone who sees the whole Robert and still loves, accepts, and understands who Robert is unconditionally. And I don’t think Robert has ever had that with any of his family, friends, or lovers. Now his life is better than anything he could dream possible. He has a family, he has stability, he has someone who completes him, he has a different kind of excitement of sorts.
And whatever Rebecca is offering would probably only be satisfactory for a short while until the reveal and the fallout from the reveal. He thought the aftermath from cheating on Chrissie with Aaron was bad?
How about having the whole Dingle clan, his family, and pretty much the whole village after him with torches and pitchforks in hands. And the Whites will probably put up their nose and laugh have they were right all along about Robert the whole time. The Whites will also probably give him crap to deal with over Rebecca. Plus it would cause some major problems in his mission to clear Andy’s name, put the Whites in jail, and bring Andy home. And most importantly Aaron would have nothing more to do with him. Robert would lose the person who is everything to him, I can’t see that going well.
Seems like a lot of unnecessary bull shit for some sex that isn’t probably going to be that good. And even if it’s the gold medal of sex, it’s still not gonna be worth it.
The Season 6 premiere is upon us! ‘The Savior’ will be airing tonight at 8pm EST. Timezone Converter here (EST preset, just include your timezone). There is also an hour long recap special starting before the premiere.
As always, we’ll be reblogging directly after the episode. All posts will be tagged with ‘OUAT Spoilers‘, ‘Spoilers’ and‘6.01′, so if you’d like to avoid spoilers, be sure to add any of those to your blacklists.