TV’s Negative Portrayal of Pregnant Lesbians Continues

 
 

In this
case, Kris and Chris’ search for sperm is neither as bizarre nor as difficult
as in Satisfaction or The L Word. Nevertheless, they go after
their proposed veterinarian donor, Dr. Bob, as it were a courtship, inviting
him to a champagne brunch in the name of thanking him for taking care of their
dogs before revealing that they have "ulterior motives."

Unlike
the donors on Satisfaction, The L Word or even Queer as Folk, Bob agrees to be their donor with relatively little
fuss. It remains to be seen, though, whether the donation and pregnancy will
cause more serious problems between the couple.

Hopefully as a more realistic
and less soapy series than The L Word,
Exes & Ohs‘ writers will avoid the
now usual associations between lesbian pregnancies, fighting and heartbreak.

The fact
that none of these characters uses an anonymous donation from a sperm bank (with
the exception of Alicia, whose insemination process occurred entirely
off-screen) means that they do need to rely on a walking, talking male
character in order to fulfill their desires for motherhood, and I think that is
the point.

It is
just too disquieting — even radical — for heterosexual viewers to consider the
possibility that women might manage to have children through adoption, IVF or
other means, without involving and getting the permission of a man. That is why
these story lines emphasize the sperm and "the father" over all other
aspects of having a child, as if to reassure male viewers that they are still
needed.

Lesbian
motherhood so firmly disrupts the heterosexual cultural norm that it is nearly
impossible for the process to be presented positively on television. Instead,
it almost always leads to the breakup of long-term lesbian relationships and
makes certain, along the way, to assure men that they are essential.

This
presents an especially skewed perception of lesbians in long-term
relationships. It denies the possibility that they could be perfectly content together
without a baby, and it denies the fact that lesbians in long-term
relationships can and do have children — without having sex with men in order
to get pregnant.

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