Monday, March 14, 2016

Culture Corner 3.14.16





                                        Dead Lesbians: A Trope that Ends Now

                                       


Tara Maclay, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (2002)
Naomi Campbell, Skins (2013)
Cristina, Tierra de Lobos (2013)
Maya St. Germain, Pretty Little Liars (2012)
Tamsin, Lost Girl (2014)
Xena,  Xena Warrior Princess (2001)
Sandy Lopez, ER (2004)
Victoria Hand, Agents of Shield (2014)
Isabelle Hartley, Agents of Shield (2014
Maya Robertson, Hex (2005)
Helena Cain, Battlestar Galactica (2006)
Marissa Cooper, The O.C (2006)
Snoop, The Wire (2008)
Dana Fairbanks, The L Word (2005)
Jenny Schecter, The L Word (2008)
Jadzia Dax, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1998)
Diamond, Dark Angel (2001)
Frankie Stone, All My Children (2001)
Flora, Deadwood (2004)
Tosha, The Wire (2004)
Dusty, Queer As Folk (2005)
Natalie, Bad Girls (2006)
Lily Baker, Supernatural (2007)
Amy Tyler, Sons of Anarchy (2010)
Sophia, Skins (2010)
Marissa Tasker, All My Children (2011)
Nora Gainesborough, True Blood (2013)



Are you tired of reading this list yet? Me too. Too bad I'm not done.


                                                 


June Stahl, Sons of Anarchy (2010)
Queen Sophie Ann Leclerq, True Blood (2011)
Nan Flanagan, True Blood (2011)
Angela Darmody & Louise Bryant, Boardwalk Empire (2011) [Same Time]
Nadia, Lost Girl (2012)
Cat, Lip Service (2012)
Wendy, American Horror Story: Asylum (2012)
Shana Fring, Pretty Little Liars (2013)
Tricia, Orange is the New Black (2013)
Alisha, The Walking Dead (2013)
Alice Calvert, Under the Dome (2013)
Bullet, The Killing (2013)
Tara, True Blood (2014)
Leslie Elizabeth Shay, Chicago Fire (2014)
Sara Lance, Arrow (2014)
Julie, Executive Suite (1976)
Susan Ross, Seinfeld (1996)
Kathy, NYPD Blue (1997)
Kelly Hurst, Family Affairs (2002)
Olivia Lord, Nip/Tuck (2009)
Bizzy Forbes, Private Practice (2011)
Clementine Chasseur, Hemlock Grove (2013)


Okay, that's it!
I lied...

                                            

Emily, Teen Wolf (2013)
Lucy & Alice, American Horror Story: Freakshow (2014)
Lucy Westenra, Dracula (2014)
Rachel Posner, House of Cards (2015)
Wendy Ross-Hogarth, Jessica Jones (2015)
Delphine, Orphan Black (2015)
Carolyn Hill, Under the Dome (2015)
Sam, Scream Queens (2015)
Rachael Murray, Scream (2015)
The Countess, American Horror Story: Hotel (2015)
Rose, Jane The Virgin (2016)

I don't think I've gotten them all. However, last but certainly not least:

                                                    Commander Lexa, The 100 (March 1, 2016)



Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is quite obviously not the first Lesbian/Queer character to die. I've just listed the many that came before her, but Lexa's exit from The100 is the first to elicit such a strong response. Why? 

Well,  for one, people are tired of this. Junot Diaz has this quote, a real interesting quote about writing that goes like this:

"It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves."

Here, Diaz is referring to representation in Literature, specifically about the lack of Latino voices as protagonists in stories and novels. He's talking about why representation is important. What it means to audiences. What it means to "monsters." He goes on to describe how the lack of reflection affected his own self-esteem as a young writer and young person.  I wouldn't feel right taking Diaz's quote without first acknowledging his discussion and explaining the importance of his argument. Discourse about cultural representation and LGBTQ+ representation are both important but do deserve their own spaces. 


Now that I've laid out the disclaimer that I'm not comparing or putting race and sexuality struggle in opposition with one another, let's talk about how many of these DeadLesbians, were people of color. What?  Black and gay and a woman? Impossible. Also, how many of these women died shortly before or right after their first and only love scene? You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Most adult watchers of television shows know that sometimes, characters have to die to push stories forward. And of course, the ultimate goal for all inclusion movements is that the "monsters" get treated exactly like the white guys and sometimes the white-guy-character dies too but I can name several of these DeadLesbians who died off screen, whose death went unresolved, who were used as queer bait and then shock value. 

However The !00, unfortunately for them, is paying for all the DeadLesbians that came before Lexa. Since killing her, in an exact mirror image of Tara Maclay's (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) death, the CW television show has sparked social media outrage, causing bloggers to compile list almost identical to mine, examining this awful trope. 

I can't wait to see how this all unfolds. It's slightly more interesting than all the shows themselves, but I just love TV and I love tracking tropes and I love when tropes are executed both poorly and greatly but this is one, that has just got to go.


-Chante (A Monster)

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