Archive for June, 2011

‘Candy Bar Girls’ and the coming spate of profauxlesbianism

“Candy Bar Girls” is an upcoming UK programme about real life lesbians in the wilds of London and touted to be a ‘social inquiry’, not a titillative exposé of some poor saps seeking their fifteen minutes. Only time will tell whether Channel 5’s strapline for the show ‘real girls, real lives, no clichés‘ will disappoint, but let’s be honest, when has a programme based on the ‘drama’ surrounding the lives of  ‘real’ lesbians not included —just for starters— a cast of women who conform to the media-prescribed ideal of female beauty.

Autostraddle is carrying an article today on its own misgivings about the show’s ‘social inquiry’ and I agree with Autostraddle’s foreboding, but in addition I have concerns about what another lesbian programme means for the Saturday night environment, i.e. a resurgence of fauxlesbianism. By fauxlesbianism I mean what the Urban Dictionary terms a fyke, profauxlesbianism (my coinage) being the predisposition towards or encouragement of fauxlesbianism. Profauxlesbianism, by the way, was until this post a googlewhack and as a single word it still is. Score one for the malleability of the English language, but back to the point which is: fauxlesbians cause the validity of actual lesbians to constantly be questioned. ‘I’m a lesbian’ becomes insufficient as an explanation [however partial] for why a girl is not interested in a man who has so many times before seen ‘lesbians’ go home with men. I’m not saying that giving lesbians, er, exposure on national television is a bad thing, invisibility and silence have long been the tools of oppression, but the way they are exposed [often literally] fosters more problems than it solves.

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