The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Lesbian stereotypes

You know how so many people are angry about The Kids Are All Right? It’s because, even if they haven’t seen it, they feel like they’ve seen it before, at least based on the plot point that one of the lesbians sleeps with a guy. And yes, we’ve seen that happen way too much — almost as often as we see the pregnant lesbian storylines — but that isn’t the only one that makes us roll our eyes and want to demand our time back after watching. There are several other stereotypes about lesbians that play out on films and TV.

So, team, what is the worst offense when it comes to portrayals of lesbians or bisexual women that have become beliefs about us all?

Mia Jones: Mine is that when things go wrong, we automatically turn to suicide/accidental drug overdoses/killing other people as seen in Lost & Delirious, High Art, Hollyoaks, Heavenly Creatures and Monster.

“I would jump out of a plane for you! Don’t you feel the same?”

Grace Chu: One irritating lesbian stereotype is the myth that, in any lesbian
relationship, there is one who acts like or is the “man,” and then there’s the chick. (Of course, Mikey’s constant outbursts about her imaginary penis in The Real L Word doesn’t help matters much, but she is clearly an outlier.) In any event, rocket
scientists, a lesbian relationship is a relationship between two women — there is no man in the picture. It doesn’t matter if one of the women — or both — has Justin Bieber‘s haircut. Still female. Thanks for playing!

“Wait, are you the boy? I thought I was the boy.”

Dorothy Snarker: My least favorite stereotype is of the angry, humorless lesbian. Hey, that’s not funny. Now I’m angry! Um, wait….

Because of a penchant toward political correctness and general sensitivity towards others (I know, the nerve) by some, lesbians as a group often get lumped into the “No Fun, Just Angry” category. And while there is certainly plenty to be angry about in this world, this doesn’t mean we can’t take or make a joke. In fact, some of the funniest people I know are gay ladies.

So fear not, world. Sure, we’ll be the person who brings the organic, vegan, fair-trade, gluten-free tapioca tofu casserole to your potluck. But we’ll also crack a joke about having to eat the organic, vegan, fair-trade, gluten-free tapioca tofu casserole.

“I’m just so angry all the time!”

Heather Hogan: The four-way road scene in Chasing Amy is played for giggles (and mild cringes), but it’s an infuriating trope as old as dirt.

Banky Edwards: Alright, now see this? This is a four-way road, okay? And dead in the center is a crisp, new, hundred dollar bill. Now, at the end of each of these streets are four people, OK? You following?
Holden: Yeah.
Banky: Good. Over here, we have a male-affectionate, easy to get along with, non-political agenda lesbian. Down here, we have a man-hating, angry as f–k, agenda of rage, bitter dyke. Over here, we got Santa Claus, and up here the Easter Bunny. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first?
Holden: What is this supposed to prove?
Banky: No, I’m serious. This is a serious exercise. It’s like an SAT question. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first? The male-friendly lesbian, the man-hating dyke, Santa Claus, or the Easter bunny?
Holden: The man-hating dyke.
Banky: Good. Why?
Holden: I don’t know.
Banky: [shouting] Because the other three are figments of your f–king imagination!

And yeah, ha ha ha. It was funny when Elaine said it on Seinfeld, too: “I’m not a lesbian. I hate men, but I’m not a lesbian.” And maybe that’s someone’s reality, but it’s sure not my reality. Lesbians may not want to sleep with men; but they don’t hate men. I love boys. I have as many boy friends as I do girl friends. You know why? Because I pick my buddies based on awesomeness and shared interests, not on gender. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Finch tells her brother Jem: “There’s only one kind of folks. Folks.” I agree.

Plus my brother-in-law helps me cruise chicks. How could I be mad about that?

Trish Bendix: Lesbians are all obsessive stalkers! They will sabotage your life to get you into bed! If we can’t have you, no one can!

“You love me — say it! OK, I’ll remove the gag and then you can say it!

See: Chloe, Notes on a Scandal, Cracks, Basic Instinct, High Tension, to name a few. These sometime lead us back to stereotype number one: The suicidal/drug-added lesbian. It’s a vicious cycle that really sums lesbians up as being cray cray.

“You are mine! Didn’t you get the memo?”

OK, your turn. There are so many more. Break!

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