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Enough With The Lesbian Period Dramas 

 

There’s a pretty standard set of stereotypes when it comes to lesbian fashion. Plaid, snapbacks, Blundstones, and keys hanging off carabiners all make the cut. But looking at the way Hollywood has gone about depicting sapphic women, you might as well throw petticoats and corsets in there, too.

The film industry has developed a fascination bordering on obsession with moody-yet-sexy lesbian period dramas. On Friday, Ammonite, which features Kate Winslet as a dour paleontologist and Saoirse Ronan as a young woman who woos Winslet out of her hard shell, will become the latest addition to this obsession. It’s set in 1840, because of course it is.

Perhaps the most telling sign that these films are trying to soften their portrayal of lesbianism that no one ever has to say the word “lesbian.” Or even “sapphic.” Nevermind the nuance of a nice “bisexual.” The women desire and pine and exchange longing glances by a windswept beach with moody gray skies, but they don’t speak plainly of what’s going on. This makes sense to some extent, since historically these desires weren’t allowed in public life, leading to a lot of coded behavior and clandestine relationships. These are women overcoming societal expectations to follow their passions — they don’t need labels, right?

Enough With The Lesbian Period Dramas

Tags: Community, Criticism, Hollywood, Hypocrisy, Lesbian, LGBTQ, Modernization, Opinion, Reality, Representation

Filed under: Gay+

21-Nov-2020


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