Lesbian Mothers are in Glamour

An array of February issues are beginning to hit the newsstands and love is most definitely in the air down in the ‘editorial well’ of many women’s publications.

To celebrate all things Valentine’s Glamour Magazine has a piece entitled ‘Secrets of Happy Couples’ where 6 partnerships give their formula for a real-life happy ever after. What is striking about this piece is that Glamour has clearly been thinking outside the heteronormative box; they chose to represent a lesbian partnership within their collection of couples. Not only that, but a lesbian partnership raising a family!

If you can’t read the text, scanned above, here’s an insight;

Cat – We wore traditional white wedding dresses. Now we have three sons. Jen carried my embryo for number three, and I’m pregnant with number four, hers!

Jennifer – But, really, we’re an ordinary couple.

Cat – It’s true. We’re so blessed to have been able to create our own destiny.

For me, this is a cause for a little ‘Yippee!’; coverage of same-sex attraction and lesbian relationships in some women’s mags usually only goes as far as questions from confused individuals on Agony Aunt pages or tips on how to do some Katy Perry style experimenting. As David Gauntlett says, in his chapter on Women’s Magazine’s and Identities, in Media, Gender and Identity (2005 ed);

It is regrettable that lesbian sexuality is not routinely included within the magazines’ celebration of sexuality – which could cause misery and psychological trauma to young women trying to come to terms with their excluded desires.

So, well done Glamour on making this small step to show readers that all forms of female romantic (mustn’t forget the romance, we are coming up to Valentines after all!) and sexual expression are valid.

An Aside

The title for this blog post is a little nod to an old tutor of mine, who worked as an artist creating billboard interventions under the name Saatchi and Someone in the early 1990’s. His first intervention was changing a United Colours of Benetton poster so that its ‘logo’ read Lesbian Mothers are Everywhere. This piece of ’subvertising’ coincided with the Conservative government’s introduction of Clause 28, an infamous legislation which outlawed the presentation of gay relationships within UK schools.

More to read;

A piece in The Independent today about Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s pledges for furthering gay rights.

By: Sarah Barnes, 13.01.2010 | Comments (0)
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MTV worries me… Part 2; Guns and Sexual Power

Videophone Beyonce Lady Gaga

Two of my very favourite female pop musicians right now have come together to create (okay, okay remix) a dirty great slice of harsh, nasty, catchy hip-pop. Cause for celebration? Yes… and no. (Oh, come on! As if I could leave well alone!)

The song, Video Phone, has been around for a while on Beyonce’s I Am… Sasha Fierce album (of which I am a proud owner!) but it has had a re-vamp with new vocals from Lady Gaga for the album’s re-released Deluxe edition. Now, much as I LOVE Beyonce (and much as the song is sexy and catchy and all that), I’d always found the lyrics of this song hard to swallow.

The lyrics all point to a woman allowing a sexual partner to film her whilst they have sex – “What, you want me naked? If you liking this position you can tape it on your video phone” – so that he can remember her later whenever he watches it.

Beyonce is often portrayed as a powerful woman, which is probably the main reason I like her. But this song feels devoid of power… I mean, as Paris Hilton knows only too well, once you create amateur porn for a boyfriend (and the ‘male character’ in this song seems a lot less long-term, and trust-worthy, than that), your lack of control with the output leaves you in a rather powerless position.

With this song Beyonce (who is always said to have buckets of class) was basically saying that she would pull out some amateur dramatics in the bedroom for any old Tom, Dick or Harry to film on their phone and then wank over later. Before showing it to their friends, probably. And then leaking it onto the internet. Oh, Beyonce… that’s disappointing. (more…)

By: Sarah Barnes, 17.11.2009 | Comments (1)
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Misfits – Super Powers are a Turn On

Last night I watched E4’s new teen drama Misfits (I have no idea why… I guess I thought the idea of Skins with super-powers might be good. Trust me, it’s not)

Misfits E4

There is often critique about the way fantasy writers treat their female characters, much of it regarding the way the super-powers given to them fit their stereotypical role as a woman. Whilst male superheroes are going around smashing and killing and KAPOWing, female superheroes are more likely to be deflecting bullets, reading minds and becoming invisible. All whilst looking damn hawt.

So last night, 4 of the 5 Misfits got their super-powers… and they were all pretty lame, to be honest; invisibility, mind reading, turning back time. What, no setting-things-on-fire-just-by-looking-at-them power? Oh well, that’s an E4 style budget for you…

The power attributed to the character of Alisha really took the biscuit though. Her power was… wait for it… (more…)

By: Sarah Barnes, 13.11.2009 | Comments (20)
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