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July 27, 2010

Kathy Griffin's Words to Live By: Lighten Up... or Suck It

This may be almost old news by now, but I don't care. I love Kathy Griffin and while I don't always agree with everything she says, I do think some people are overreacting on this one.

By now you may have already seen episode 4 of this season's My Life on the D-List, in which Kathy went to Washington, D.C. in order to promote support for overturning Don't Ask Don't Tell (if not, you're behind, hurry up and check your DVR). In it, she made a crack about Cosmo's favorite naked senator, Scott Brown, that has everyone up in arms.

Griffin has gotten criticism on this one from both sides - from right-wing conservatives to liberal feminists - but honestly, I don't see what the huge deal was. Feel free to disagree with me (in fact, I'm sure a lot of you do, and that's okay). This is just my personal take on it and I'll explain why...

But first, in case you missed the joke itself and only read about the "aftermath", here's a clip:

JOHN KING, CNN: That’s excellent.
KATHY GRIFFIN: -who is a Senator from Massachusetts-
KATHY GRIFFIN: -and has two daughters that are prostitutes.
KATHY GRIFFIN (VOICE OVER): And now, a brief message from Bravo’s legal team: Scott Brown’s daughters are not prostitutes. We now return you to our regularly scheduled negativity.
In case you need a little background on why this topic even came up, Kathy was in Washington, D.C. to help support the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. The gimmick of that particular scene was that Kathy was completely ignorant about politics (semi-true) and needed some "experts" (King and Bash) to give her a crash course "study session". They held up pictures of various political figures and Kathy jokingly showed off her ignorance.
“Remember when the Republicans tried to get that nutbag Sarah Palin to sound credible before the vice presidential debates? They had a board and ran flash cards to teach her the tough stuff, like there is both a North and South Korea. Well, that’s sort of like what John and Dana did for me.”
I have to admit that when I watched that scene, I laughed. Not because I think it's funny to call people prostitutes, but because I got the joke.

When I think of Scott Brown the first thing I think of is his January 2010 acceptance speech. (Okay, okay, that's the second thing... the first thing is Cosmo's obsession over his fictional "abs of steel" but the acceptance speech is close behind). You know what I'm talking about right?
"As always, I rely on Gail's love and support, and that of our two lovely daughters. So I want to thank Ayla and Arianna for their help as well. Just in case anyone who's watching throughout the country, yes they're both available."

The whole ESC remembers talking to each other about the oddness of that speech way back when it happened (we also wrote a blog about Glenn Beck which referenced it) so that's why Kathy's joke made me laugh. If I didn't know anything else about Scott Brown except the contents of that speech, my immediate reaction to his name/photo would be "the guy who said his two daughters were available." So of course, Kathy Griffin, being as awesome as she is, took it further into an outrageous joke (because, well, that's kinda her thing) and referenced him as the guy who "has two daughters that are prostitutes".

Now Kathy has gotten a lot of slack over that joke - which she loves, no doubt - for a variety of reasons. Some feel that it was unfair to target Brown's daughters, some feel that Kathy was slut-shaming them, some feel that she was mocking sex workers, some feel that the joke was just inappropriate and tasteless.

Scott Brown has made a statement in response to the joke:
“People can call me any name they want, but families are off limits. I love my daughters Ayla and Arianna very much, and any parent would be proud to have them as children. Kathy Griffin and Bravo ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
Ah, the hypocritical families are off limits defense yet again. Now I do agree that it's shitty for politicians and the media to attack or mock the children of public figures... but this isn't exactly the same thing.

The point of Kathy's joke wasn't that Brown's daughters are prostitutes or sluts; Ayla and Arianna weren't the target of the joke at all. Scott Brown himself is the butt of the joke; the humor comes from Brown's own exploitation of them in his speech. Okay, maybe "exploitation" is too strong a word to use in regards to what was probably just meant to be a cheesy joke or off-hand comment, but I'm drawing a blank on another word that would make more sense - other than "creepy sexist weirdness" - to describe a U.S. senator "offering up" his daughters on national television, even in jest. (Even Cosmo took a brief break from their endless fawning coverage of Brown to admit that they "couldn't help feeling a little mortified" for his daughters after that comment.) Also, let's remember that Brown's daughters are both grown women, not say, a 13-year-old girl being called a dog on TV.

The View's Elizabeth Hasselbeck, of course, had something to say about it:
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: It's actually not really funny, and I know his daughters actually, and they're anything but that, and they –

JOY BEHAR: It's a joke, Elisabeth. It's just a joke.

HASSELBECK: Well no, no, no, no, no! We've always said politicians' kids are off limits. If someone went around calling Barack Obama's two girls prostitutes, people would be up in arms. [...]
HASSELBECK: You defend your daughters against scum who comes after them, and calls them someone like a prostitute.

BEHAR: Are you calling Kathy scum now? Are you calling her scum?

HASSELBECK: If someone called your daughter a prostitute, would you think they'd be scum? I'd call someone scum if they called my daughter a prostitute.

BEHAR: I know my daughter is not a prostitute, so it's funny to me. [emphasis mine]
Interestingly enough, Hasselbeck is outraged at the thought of Brown's daughters being jokingly called prostitutes, but she didn't seem to have any concerns about her own slut-shaming of other people. How about when she criticized Erin Andrews for wearing not-that-risque outfits on Dancing with the Stars, even going so far as to joke about the fact that Andrews was therefore somehow to blame for being a stalking victim. (And then she supposedly lied about calling her to apologize). Of course, Brown's daughters are "anything but that" so they deserve defending. But I digress...

The whole "if it was Obama's daughters" thing is ridiculous. Both sides of the political spectrum love to play the "if it was Obama" game, but sorry conservatives, it's never going to work in your favor because it's your side that's better known for its sexism and racism. (Not saying that the left is immune from that kind of thing, because obviously they aren't, but just that the right can be pretty damn hypocritical about it.) In this case, the comparison just doesn't work. First of all, they're little kids - Sasha is only 9 and Malia is 12- so that kind of joke would probably cross the line, no matter what the back story was. But more importantly there would be no back story. As of yet President Obama hasn't made any "my daughters are available" cracks on television so there wouldn't be any context to make such a joke.

And then there's the "someone like a prostitute" line. There's something rather interesting about the fact that the outrage isn't necessarily just over the fact that Kathy joked about his daughters... but the specific content of the joke itself. She called them prostitutes, which apparently is the most horrible thing you can possibly call someone's daughters. I don't love the idea of people throwing around the words "whore", "hooker" or "prostitute" as insults or attacks. (Now that's not to say that I think Kathy meant to insult or attack Brown's daughters, because I don't. We have already covered this.) I'm not going to pretend that I know she thinks of prostitutes in a super-awesome pro-sex-workers kind of way... I have no idea how she feels about the sex work industry.

But it's pretty clear from the reactions to her joke how some people feel about sex workers.

Representative Barney Frank described her comment as “wholly unfair and inappropriate" and a "completely unfair attack.” Hasselbeck is outraged at the idea of her daughters even being called someone like a prostitute. (What does that mean anyway, a slut?) During the same segment, Whoopi Goldberg actually said that if someone made a joke like that about her daughter, she would "beat their ass". (Kinda funny considering that she has repeatedly defended Mel Gibson, who is on tape calling the mother of his child a whore and much worse.) Would there have been this kind of outrage if Kathy had joked that Scott Brown's daughters were dentists or ballet dancers or models or garbage collectors or waitresses? Of course not.

Here at Evil Slutopia, we feel pretty strongly about sex-workers rights and are very much against slut-shaming (obviously) so we wouldn't be down with the joke if we truly felt that's what it was. I've already said it, but I'll say it again... We have to remember that Kathy's joke has absolutely nothing to do with Brown's daughters in actuality. That is, she's not actually calling his daughters prostitutes or comparing them to prostitutes. She's not commenting on any of their past or current behavior, on the way they dress, on their sex lives or dating histories. She's not. The joke is about the fact that Brown made a stupid, creepy, sexist comment about his daughters. The joke is about that comment; it's NOT about his daughters.

She's not slut-shaming Scott Brown's daughters, if anything she's pimp-shaming (I'm totally gonna trademark that phrase) Scott Brown. But even more so, she's calling out the media for not having a sense of humor. Kathy explained the joke on a recent episode of The Joy Behar Show:
Look, here’s the deal. The genesis of the joke, like, does anybody remember that the night he was elected, he made a joke – he was clearly making a joke – saying, "By the way, my daughters are available." And then, the Washington press beat up on him saying he was pimping out his daughters. So, on My Life on the D List, we actually had some real, you know, Washington insiders showing me, like, 15 pictures of people on the Hill, et cetera, and my joke was I didn’t know who they were. So they showed me a picture of Sonia Sotomayor, and I say, "Oh, the maid from Will and Grace." There’s the joke. Then they show me Scott Brown, and I go, "His daughters are prostitutes," meaning, like, word association. So people got their panties in a bunch.
I think Brown's joke about his daughters being available was inappropriate and kinda sleazy, so I'm not shocked that Kathy would choose that to poke fun at. Was it the most hilarious thing she's ever said? No, but I still laughed. Was it tasteful? Of course not. Was it appropriate? Maybe not. But this is Kathy Griffin - tasteless and inappropriate is pretty much what she lives for. We also have to remember that SHE'S A COMIC. She's not a politician or a journalist. Her job is to be funny and yes... in appropriate.

I'm not suggesting that everyone has to agree with me or think the joke was funny or become a fan of Kathy Griffin. I just think we need to acknowledge that this was not a malicious comment. Kathy may say some pretty mean things about some people, but this wasn't one of them. Kathy responded to Hasselbeck calling her "scum":
"Now I have to send Elisabeth Hasselbeck two muffin baskets because she confronted me when I was a guest on the show two weeks ago and then this morning she called me 'scum'. I have to send two baskets because as a comedian, I'm loving it. [...] The bottom line is, lighten up!"
Kathy also quoted the great Bette Midler: "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke." Either that, or they can just SUCK IT.

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July 26, 2010

Does Cosmo Think Hilary Duff Is Plus-Sized?

There's an article in the August issue of Cosmo called "The Sexiest Jeans for Your Body". According to the article, finding these jeans is a simple three step process:
  1. Locate your shape.
  2. See which styles flatter you most.
  3. Step out looking smokin'.
There are four shape categories (that should be enough to cover all the different body types out there, right?) with a celebrity example for each category: Baby Got Back, Curvylicious, Shorty, and Bitty Booty. Cute names, but not overly helpful.

So for Shorty we've got Vanessa Hudgens (sounds about right), Bitty Booty is AnnaLynne McCord (no argument there), Baby Got Back is Shakira (we'll give them that one), and Curvylicious is...Hilary Duff?

Here's how Cosmo describes the most flattering styles for "curvylicious" women:

"Wide-leg, boot-cut, and flared denim balance out fuller thighs. Opt for a dark rinse or fading in the center of the leg - both are slimming."

If I had heard that description without knowing anything about the cutesy category names, I would have assumed that this was the category for plus-sized women, or maybe for women who are pear shaped or something like that. Hilary Duff isn't really the first person that I would think of when thinking about people who need "slimming" pants that balance out their "fuller thighs". (Not that anyone of any size ever really "needs" to wear anything just because it's allegedly slimming.)

Here's another recent picture of Hilary:

Actress Hilary Duff glams it up to visit a doctor's office in Beverly Hills, Ca on July 15, 2010 Fame Pictures, Inc

Wow, it's so courageous of her to be out in public with her fuller thighs exposed like that. Good thing she's wearing a slimming black dress or we'd all be overwhelmed by her curvyliciousness.

Now, I admit that this is really far from the worst or most offensive thing that Cosmo has ever done. It's a minor point. But it annoys me because I feel like they chose these "fun" names for their categories so that they could sort of vaguely allude to the fact that there are lots of different body types out there without actually having to show anyone who isn't conventionally attractive and thin. At the same time, by throwing someone like Hilary Duff into the category with the tips that would best apply to people who are plus sized, they're basically leaving people thinking that if someone who looks like Hilary is supposed to be wearing slimming pants, then the rest of us are just screwed.

I did start to think that maybe I was being a little too hard on Cosmo on this one, but then I picked up the August issue of Glamour. It's their Jeans Issue, so they also had an article on finding the best jeans for your body. It's got twice as many categories as the Cosmo piece, and with more helpful and descriptive names: Tall, Skinny Legs, Hourglass, Apple-Shaped, Short-Waisted, Short Legs, Plus-Sized, and Pear-Shaped. And instead of the celebrity photos, they've got before and after pictures of real women who truly fit the categories. Imagine that. There's also a piece called "What's Your Perfect Pair of Jeans?" that features a fairly diverse group of "stylish" women (models, actresses, musicians, stylists, artists, and even a blogger) talking about their favorite jeans. There are a couple of seriously "curvylicious" women in there, and they look awesome. So I think the lesson here for Cosmo is that it's really not hard and doesn't take much to show your readers just a little bit more respect.

July 23, 2010

It's Official: The AFA Hates Home Depot, Loves Evil Slutopia

Remember when we recently wrote about all of the reasons why we think that the One Million Moms have been reading our blog? Well, we're now convinced that their parent organization, the American Family Association, is reading too.

Earlier this month, we put together a Totally Gay Company Boycott List in response to the AFA's protest of Home Depot. We sarcastically said that we were unimpressed with the lack of effort that went into this protest:

Why Home Depot? Or, why just Home Depot? There are a lot of big companies that sponsor gay pride events each year. Shouldn't the AFA target them all, or at least go for the worst offenders?

...And if you are going to choose just one company to target, shouldn't you go big? Last year when the AFA decided to boycott PepsiCo because of the company's support of the LGBT community, the protest went on for months with multiple action alerts and even spun off to its own Boycott Pepsi website with fliers and petitions and other fun stuff. So we felt like this year's anti-Home Depot effort just seemed kinda lazy by comparison...and then we found proof.

We were looking through some old emails from the One Million Moms...and we came across an action alert from July of 2009. Which lucky company was being protested by the OMM at this time last summer? Home Depot. Why? Because they were conducting workshops for kids at a gay pride parade. Well, that sounds familiar. And if you read last year's alert and compare it to this year's alert from the AFA, you'll see that it gets even better. No, really, go and read them, I'll wait. Yes, it's true - the AFA is not only recycling a protest from last year, they're also recycling a slightly polished up version of the same exact action alert. Really, AFA? That's so half-assed. We would be so disappointed in you if we didn't disagree with everything that you stand for.
So imagine our surprise at what we found when we checked the AFA's website yesterday. There's a new action alert entitled "AFA makes it official: Don't shop at The Home Depot", and it directs us to the new site BoycottTheHomeDepot.com (actually just a redirect to a page on the AFA's site). There's a logo, a boycott pledge to sign, fliers to print out, instructions about spreading the news on facebook, a reference to the "homosexual agenda", and so on.

It's basically everything that we jokingly criticized them for not having in the previous action alert, but done in a way that still kinda looks quickly thrown together. And the focus is still all about Home Depot's sponsorship of gay pride events, which makes this whole thing feel like a belated boycott. June is Pride Month and the Southern Maine Pride event that Home Depot co-sponsored and the AFA freaked out over was on June 19th.

So what were they waiting for to launch this boycott? Well, we think it's a two-part explanation. One, Home Depot has apparently refused to cave in to the AFA's protest so far and has said that they will continue to be involved with pride events and allow employees to participate. (Here's their Contact page if you'd like to thank them for not listening to the AFA's homophobic nonsense.) And two, they're obviously reading our blog and they were shamed by our criticism of their half-assed, useless protest. It makes perfect sense.

Now that we know that the AFA is reading, we're thinking that maybe we'll start taking requests. So what do you all think we should "suggest" to them for their next futile action alert?

UPDATE: Apparently the AFA decided to give their Home Depot boycott site an extra layer of suckitude by using copyrighted photos of the Southern Maine Pride event without the knowledge or permission of the photographer. Check out Brittany Rae Photography for their full gallery of photos from the event. Thank you to our anonymous commenter for catching this and contacting the photographer!

July 17, 2010

Abortion on Television

So Adrian on The Secret Life of the American Teenager decided NOT to have an abortion on Monday. We are shocked. Only not really.

Of course she didn't have the abortion. Even though she is 17 years old... and in high school... and not at all religious... and regretted having a revenge one-night-stand with Ben... who she isn't in a relationship with... because he's in love with Amy... she obviously wanted to keep the baby. Because only a horrible person would have an abortion, right?

Oh no! Not the A-word!

This is the show that the One Million Moms have claimed supports abortion (obviously not) and is a brutally realistic portrayal of sex. Really? This is brutally realistic?

This show is more melodramatic and unrealistic than a soap opera. Adrian is pregnant with Ben's baby, who she slept with to get back at Ricky, who had a baby with Amy, who Ben is in love with. It's like the most ridiculous love triangle square since Beverly Hills, 90210's Brenda-Dylan-Kelly-Brandon craziness... only PLUS BABIES! (It rivals only the brothers/vampire/doppelganger mix-and-match that's brewing on The Vampire Diaries but at least that show doesn't have to worry about being called too realistic).

I'm sorry, but when I was in high school (and college for that matter) most of the girls who got pregnant unexpectedly had abortions. They just did. I'm not saying it's the right decision for everyone or that it's necessarily an easy decision (and while I'm definitely pro-choice, I'm not by any means "pro-abortion"). It's just that if you want to be "realistic" you have to acknowledge that abortion does exist as a choice and not just as the no-one-would-actually-do-that choice.

For three seasons, Adrian has been the What Not To Do character on the show, (which also made her the only character I could even remotely relate to). But now suddenly she is redeemed... by choosing life. And I feel somehow betrayed. Adrian is smarter than this. There's no way that she would want to be a mom at 17. I don't believe that she would look at Amy's life as a teen mom - juggling school, work, a baby, a baby-daddy, a boyfriend, and a crazy family - and think that that was the right decision for her as well.

There's no way for me to perfectly articulate what I'm feeling about this without sort of coming off like I don't approve of people who "choose life" when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Of course I do (hell, I was one of them) and I definitely don't want to imply that I think every pregnant teenager should necessarily have an abortion. I just think that this decision is uncharacteristic of the character Adrian.

Twenty seven percent of pregnancies among 15–19-year-olds ended in abortion in 2006 (according to the Guttmacher Institute). That means, there were over 200,000 abortions among that age group. I think that if The Secret Life was a real high school, at least one of the unplanned pregnancies on that show would've resulted in termination. So I think that this show gives an unrealistic portrayal of teens and sex.

Abortion is NOT the right choice for everyone, but The Secret Life sends the message that it's not the right choice for anyone. (Remind me again why the One Million Moms don't like this show?)

Two other shows recently (earlier this year) took on the abortion issue... Private Practice (ABC) and Friday Night Lights (NBC). Private Practice did the usual she's-already-just-about-to-get-it-done-when-she-has-a-change-of-heart type switcheroo. In this case, the (normally anti-abortion, except when it comes to her daughter) mom was pushing for the abortion and the pregnant teen was sort of just going along with it out of fear. But then she sees a newborn baby and magically it's "Oh my miracle-of-life, I want one of those cute little things!" Meh.

But Friday Night Lights took a different approach. [SPOILER ALERT: The entire season has already aired on DirecTV, but the NBC airings are still going on right now, so if you haven't seen the last few episodes of the season yet, stop reading now.]

The main difference about FNL was that that an abortion actually happened!!! The OMM must not have seen it or their heads would have literally exploded. (If we see an OMM action alert about this show pop up sometime soon then that will definitely be the official proof that they read our blog because so far this show has totally been off their radar for some reason. Probably because the network isn't called "NBC Family" so they don't care what happens on it.)

Not only does the pregnant teen, Becky, actually go through with terminating the pregnancy, but when she goes to the principal of the school for advice, she actually gives her all the options. (Becky asks her "do you think this means I'm going to hell?" and she tells her no. So simple, yet so rare in network television.) Even more surprising than the fact that the Becky actually has an abortion, is that it didn't ruin her life afterward! Not to say that there weren't any negative consequences... but they weren't on Becky.

Rather, the high school principal, Tami Taylor, was attacked by some anti-choice locals for counseling Becky and giving her all the legal options. The school board and the community went crazy and tried to get her fired if she didn't make a public apology. But here's the best part... she actually prepares an apology, but when she gets in front of the crowd she can't bring herself to say it. Instead she tells them that she acted in the best interest of the student and so that's what she will always do because that's her job. Love it.

We felt like taking a little stroll down memory lane by looking at how some other TV shows have handled the issue in the past. (This is obviously far from a comprehensive list, but rather, just some of the ESC's own memorable abortion-on-TV moments.)
  • Maude. Even though we were too young to actually see this episode when it originally aired in 1972, any list on this subject has to begin with Maude, because it was one of the only early TV abortions that didn't result in any instant negative consequences.
  • Another World.Of course, many mistake Maude for network TV's first abortion, but really it was just the first legal abortion. TV's first illegal abortion took place way back in 1964 on this NBC soap. The character Pat almost dies from complications, finds out she may be sterile, and murders the boyfriend who pressured her to have it. (Of course, she ends up being acquitted of murder, marrying her lawyer, and having twins.)
  • All My Children. Erica Kane had daytime TV's first legal abortion (and the first abortion to be shown on TV after Roe v. Wade) in a controversial storyline in 1973. She choose abortion simply because she isn't ready and doesn't want to have a child at that time (and well, she doesn't want to get fat). This storyline became controversial again decades later when the writers decide to rewrite history (and science!) by claiming that the doctor who was supposed to have performed the abortion actually stole Erica's embryo and implanted it into his own wife. The character previously thought to be an aborted fetus, Josh, was a regular on the show for a few years, until he was conveniently killed right around the same time that his half-sister needed a heart transplant. Only on soaps.
  • Degrassi High. Possibly my earliest personal memories of abortion on television were of the Canadian show Degrassi High. In an episode that originally aired in 1989, Erica has an abortion and her twin sister Heather - despite thinking it's murder - supports her and goes with her to the clinic. Some other girl finds out about it and starts plastering her locker with pro-life fliers until they end up having a huge fight in the hallway. Heather later ends up needing counseling to deal with the fact that she helped "end a life", but Erica seems relatively well adjusted afterward, although she does mention that she never wants to have to go through that again.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation. Apparently there was also an abortion episode in the new Degrassi series in 2004, although I'm not sure if it ever aired in the U.S. From what I've read, Manny gets pregnant by Craig and then Spike - who had a baby in high school back in the original series (who happens to have grown up into Emma, Manny's best friend) - advises her to have an abortion and she does. No wonder they didn't want to show that episode in the U.S.
  • The Real World. This may have been "reality" TV, but when Tami from season 2 of The Real World talked openly about her pregnancy and abortion on the show in 1993 it felt really brave. And even though some of her roommates clearly disagreed with her decision, they supported her, which was pretty cool.
  • Dawson's Creek. Dawson's mom gets pregnant and is wondering if she should have an abortion. Dawson, of course, being the douche that he is, is totally against it. He talks it over with Pacey's older sister (who I think he was dating at the time?) and she admits that she had an unplanned pregnancy in the past. She made "a decision" (we don't learn what it was) and then a week later she conveniently has a miscarriage, letting her "get off easy". Then Dawson's mom decides not to have an abortion anyway.
  • Felicity. When Ruby got pregnant, she goes to get info about abortion and a doctor assures her that abortion doesn't hurt much and is safer than child birth. Not bad. But then when she finally decides to get an abortion, she changes her mind in the clinic, after seeing a woman carrying a baby. Then she realizes that having a baby will solve all her unhappiness, because that's totally how it works.
  • Six Feet Under. Claire has an abortion in season 3 and then goes on with her life seemingly without guilt or sadness. Of course, later, in a dream/hallucination/trip-to-heaven-with-dead-Dad she sees all her dead loved ones hanging out together in the park including her dead sister-in-law Lisa who is holding Claire's abortion fetus - which somehow moved on into the after life as a fully developed infant. Lisa tells her "You take care of Maya [Lisa's daughter] and I'll take care of her." Okay.
  • Jack and Bobby. A character crosses state lines to have an abortion. And then before we can tell if she's going to have some post-abortion consequences or not, SHE DIES (in a car accident). Come on....
  • One Tree Hill. Peyton gets pregnant unexpectedly, but she and fiance Lucas are thrilled. Several months later, complications arise and they learn that it's a high risk pregnancy and Peyton may die if she carries the pregnancy to term. Lucas would rather she have an abortion than risk losing her but Peyton refuses. They both agree on continuing the pregnancy after a convenient "sign" in the form of the baby kicking at just the right moment. Peyton ends up going into labor on her wedding night (typical OTH melodrama), having an emergency c-section and a healthy baby, almost dying, but pulling through. And they all live happily ever after. They do get credit for actually using the word "abortion" and showing a very messy and emotional argument about what to do that represented both sides fairly well, rather than dancing around the issue and using vague euphemisms like "take care of it" like many shows do.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210.When good-girl Andrea got pregnant, she considered abortion (which her boyfriend broke up with her for!) but then not only did she have the baby but she married the guy. Later in season 7, bad-girl Valerie pretends to be pregnant and has a fake abortion for attention or money or ratings or something.
  • 90210. On the "new" 90210, Adriana undoubtedly has the most dramatic life any teenager has ever had. So far, she has gone from from actress to drug addict to pregnant teen to cheating girlfriend back to drug addict to temporary lesbian to pop sensation to maybe high school drop out (we'll find out soon enough). When Adriana found out she was pregnant, she couldn't have an abortion because she was too far along and therefore it was "illegal". (Of course, that doesn't make much sense seeing as she wasn't even showing yet and abortion is legal in California until about 6 months.)
What are some of your favorite and least favorite ways that television shows (or movies) have handled the topic of abortion?

July 16, 2010

Gallagher Drops Gay Elf Bombshell

The very popular and relevant watermelon-smashing prop comic Gallagher recently decided to share some of his views on the world during a performance in Bremerton, WA:

"Hey, President Obama," he spits out the name like a mouthful of burning hair. "You ain't black. I don't care what you say—you're a latte. You're half whole-milk. It could be goat milk—you could be a terrorist!" I am too busy losing my mind to catch the next joke, which is about Ted Kennedy's brain cancer. Aaaaand we're off.

Gallagher is upset about a lot of things. Young people with their sagging pants (in faintly coded racist terms, he explains that this is why the jails are overcrowded—because "their" baggy pants make it too hard for "them" to run from the cops). Tattoos: "That ink goes through to your soul—if you read your Bible, your body is a sacred temple, YOU DIPSHIT." People naming their girl-children Sam and Toni instead of acceptable names like Evelyn and Betty: "Just give her some little lesbian tendencies!" Guantánamo Bay: "We weren't even allowed to torture all the way. We had to half-torture—that's nothin' compared to what Saddam and his two sons OOFAY and GOOFAY did." Lesbians: "There's two types—the ugly ones and the pretty ones." (Um, like all people?) Obama again: "If Obama was really black, he'd act like a black guy and get a white wife." Michael Vick: "Poor Michael Vick." Women's lib: "These women told you they wanna be equal—they DON'T." Trans people: "People like Cher's daughter—figure that out. She wants a penis, but she has a big belly. If you can't see your dick, you don't get one." The Rice Krispies elves: "All three of those guys are gay. Look at 'em!" The Mexicans: "Look around—see any Mexicans? Nope. They'll be here later for the cleanup." The French: "They ruin our language with their faggy words."

Above all, everything is gay, gay, gay to Gallagher. He leans into it with the borderline-­nonsensical, icked-out, ignorant glee of a boy—or the protest-too-much vigor of a GOP senator. Gallagher delivers your Bible verse for the day: "Without God, we are nothing but dust. What is butt dust? Is that what you get if your homosexual isn't properly lubricated?" He relates a story about spilling mouthwash onto his crotch during a show: "Lucky for me, there was no homosexuals in the area—'cause my balls was minty fresh." At other points during the show, Gallagher says, "Men and women can't live in the same house" and "There's no way men and women can have a relationship." He says he can't remember why he used to feel pleasure in looking at a woman. And, "There's only one kind of homosexual guy, and that's the pretty ones—why do homosexual men have to be so good-looking?" Gallagher. Listen. Is there something you want to share with us? [The Stranger via ONTD. Emphasis mine.]

Now, many people will read this and choose to focus on how unbelievably racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and generally ridiculous these comments are. But I think that's all obvious enough, so we can turn our attention to the real breaking news here. The Rice Krispies elves are gay?! Wow, those sneaky gays really are everywhere. It's amazing that we all grew up not knowing that Snap, Crackle, and Pop were secret agents of The Gay Agenda.

It was 20 years ago that Pentecostal minister and radio host Joseph Chambers outed Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie: "They’re two grown men sharing a house — and a bedroom! They share clothes. They eat and cook together. They vacation together and have effeminate characteristics. In one show Bert teaches Ernie how to sew. In another, they tend plants together. If this isn’t meant to represent a homosexual union, I can’t imagine what it’s supposed to represent."

Then in 1999, Jerry Falwell outed Tinky Winky, the gay Teletubby: "He is purple - the gay-pride colour; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle - the gay-pride symbol...As a Christian I feel that role modelling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children." Several years later, Focus on the Family and the American Family Association teamed up to expose a pro-gay indoctrination video for children starring Spongebob Squarepants, Barney, Winnie the Pooh, and other popular characters. What would we do without the constant vigilance of such committed activists?*

Since then, the world has been waiting. Waiting for another conservative, right-wing, homophobic man with the courage to force animated children's characters out of the closet. Bravo, Gallagher. Your bravery is inspiring. But your comedy sucks.

*More peace and quiet, less stress, no blog material.

July 15, 2010

New York Minute...

We're getting a little psyched for the upcoming BlogHer conference because this summer BlogHer is coming to New York City! We are gonna represent our home town! Anyway, since we have New York on the brain, we thought we throw out a quick little link roundup about some stuff (both good and bad) that's happening in New York lately.

Good New York News

  • Bye Bye Rush Limbaugh!
We hear that Limbaugh has sold his Manhattan condo. We hope this means that he is leaving our city for good (like he promised last year) and not coming back! Good riddance! Get out of our city! [Wall Street Journal]
  • Thierry Henry Joins the Red Bulls 
New York's hilariously named soccer team has signed Thierry Henry, French striker from Barcelona. He and captain Juan Pablo Angel are expected to give the Red Bulls "the most dynamic duo" in Major League Soccer. [Daily News]
  • New York is Full of Surprises, Including Old Boats!
A 32-foot-long ship hull, that apparently was used in the 18th century as part of the fill that extended lower Manhattan into the Hudson River, was found buried at the World Trade Center site! [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]

Bad New York News
  • The Yankees Lose Two Legends in One Week
Bob Sheppard, public announcer and "the voice of the Yankees" died Sunday at age 99 and George Steinbrenner, owner of the Yankees for three decades, died Tuesday of a heart attack at age 80. Rest in Peace. [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]
  •  New Yorkers Are Still Freaking Out Over a Mosque
 Almost a month after we wrote about "outraged" people against a "mosque" "at" ground zero, people are still being Islamophobic, xenophobic, racist assholes about it. A few days ago the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission met to discuss trying to designate the building a landmark... all to prevent a "citadel of Islamic supremacy to be erected in its place." Ugh. [Gawker]
    • The Secret Life is Tarnishing Our Reputation One Episode at a Time
    This season of OMM-favorite The Secret Life of the American Teenager partially takes place in New York City, because teen mom Amy Jergens is at some NYC teen mom band camp. Ugh, get out of our city! [ABC Family]
    •  The National Organization of Marriage is Coming...
    On Saturday, NOM is coming to Albany as part of its "Summer for Marriage: One Man, One Woman" country-wide tour. Ugh, get out of our state capital! [Courage Campaign]

    July 14, 2010

    Cosmo Quickies: July 2010

    We've sort of been slacking on the Cosmo Quickies the last few months. Sorry.

    Although we did already write two blogs based on the July 2010 issue of Cosmo (we dissected the ever-controversial Why More Girls Are Kissing Girls article and the all-slut-shaming, no-fact-checking  letter to Bai Ling) we neglected to post our July Cosmo Quickies until we already had received our copy of the August 2010 issue. Oops.

    So, before we start ripping on August 2010... here is a very quick, July Cosmo Quickies...

    To start, just a quick note about the cover. When did Cosmo decide to become a tabloid? Check out these two hilarious headlines: "LeAnn Rimes Stole My Husband" and "VAGINAS UNDER ATTACK".
    • Attack of the Killer Vaginas
     Now we won't argue whether the actual "vagina" article (which is about unnecessary cosmetic vaginal surgeries) is important and relevant... but c'mon, that title? Are they kidding us? You can't get any more scare-tactical than that... it sounds like the name of a horror movie.
    • LeAnn Rimes: Husband-Stealer
    On the other hand, the LeAnn Rimes story is pure tabloid fodder. Why is this story in Cosmo? It's not a hot, new story (Rimes and Eddie Cibrian filed for divorce from their respective spouses over a year ago after their "affair" became public) and it certainly doesn't fall under the "fun and fearless" theme they claim to go by. The author, Cibrian's ex-wife Brandi Glanville, is neither a writer nor a bonafide celebrity; her biggest claim to fame is having her husband "stolen" by LeAnn Rimes. And let's talk about that word "stolen"...

    We definitely do not agree with people who cheat, lie or interfere with other peoples' relationships... however, you can't steal someone who doesn't want to be stolen. Cibrian was never Glanville's property and while we don't condone what Rimes did, she certainly wasn't forcing him to do anything against his will. I don't think of her as a husband-stealer, so much as someone who fell in love and made mistakes. (Again, NOT condoning the lying and cheating - they both should've come clean the minute they started to have feelings for each other. But I refuse to believe that she "stole" Cibrian because she was stalking or "Single White Female-ing" Glanville.)

    The Cosmo article itself was less about Rimes than it is about what a cheating jerk Cibrian was... which can't be blamed on Rimes alone.  So why the sensational title? What is the purpose of an article like this really? Glanville has plenty reason to hate Rimes and Cibrian, but this article doesn't seem to serve any purpose other than to get back at them. You didn't see Jennifer Aniston writing "Angeline Jolie stole my husband" articles for Vogue or Glamour magazine, so I just really don't understand why this was written or why Cosmo agreed to print it. (If anything, it should have been in last month's all-slut-shaming edition, the theme of which was clearly "man-stealing skanks".) But more importantly, why is Cosmo selling it as "LeAnn Rimes Stole My Husband" instead of "My Husband Cheated On Me"?

    • 99 Not-So-Hot, Not-So-New, Semi-Factual Things About Sex
    This month's cover also claims to have 99 NEW SEX FACTS. (We can only imagine that they're going to be just as "new" as their 99 Recycled Sex Moves. Wonder if one of these brand new, never ever heard of before facts is "there's this amazing new invention called lube"?) "Every Forbidden, Fascinating Detail You Want To Know... and Only Cosmo Will Tell You." Um, okay. You have piqued my curiosity Cosmo. Let's see what some of these forbidden, fascinating, brand new can't-find-them-anywhere-else-but-in-Cosmo sex facts are...
    Single women are more attracted to men who are taken than to those who are available.

    Men take more risks when they know hot women are looking.

    Women who masturbate regularly are more likely to orgasm during intercourse.

    Fifty-sex percent of men say they wish their penis was bigger.
    Wow. That is some forbidden, fascinating, brand new stuff that I have never read anywhere else.
    • Snap Judgments
    From the Hot Sheet (always our favorite source of material to mock)...
    If you're seeking confirmation that you and your man are meant to be, upload your photos to CanDoBetter.com,where people decide if you're good together...or if one of you is too damn cute for the other.
    What... the... fuck? So, what if the voters on CanDoBetter.com decide that we're not a good match, does that mean we're not meant to be? Are we supposed to break up now? Nothing says "fun and fearless" like basing your self esteem and faith in your relationship on a what a bunch of losers on the Internet have to say on this Hot-Or-Not ripoff site.

    • Pretty Bitches
    Cosmo thinks that "Being Pretty Makes You Bitchier" (they really do, they prefaced it with "It's True" and if Cosmo says it's true, then it must be true, right?) We think they just don't get it.
    Think your gorgeous self shouldn't have to wait in line at a club or refill your own drink at a party? You're not alone. In a study at the University of California at Santa Barbara, women rated their own looks then answered questions about the treatment they deserved. Those who gave themselves babe status expected  more VIP perks.
    Hm. I'm not making the jump that Cosmo made... that being pretty makes you bitchier. All this really says is that conceited, high maintenance people think they deserve a lot. (Shocker.) No where does it say that thinking you deserve a high level of treatment necessarily means you are bitchy and no where does it say that these women think they deserved a high level of treatment because they thought they were pretty.

    I think reading Cosmo makes me bitchier.
    • Guarantee He'll Call You
    When a new hottie asks for your info, forget the BBM exchange. Instead grab your H20-proof eyeliner and write your digits on his hand. According to our guys-only Web poll, 54 percent say tihs ballsy move is super sexy.
    What? Okay, if their guys-only Web poll was anything like this one then we can only imagine what the alternative was to that super ballsy move. We personally think it's pretty stupid. Not only because we think it just comes off as crazy to write your phone number on someone's hand in eyeliner, but because the example they gave in the accompanying image (Clarins Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils) was captioned with "$23 each". What? I'm sorry, but if my waterproof eyeliner costs $23 each, I'm not wasting it writing on some guy's hand!
    •  Someone At Cosmo Has a Crush on Edward Cullen
    We thought about how best to respond to "10 Reasons We're Still Obsessed With R-Patz", but no one can top the Pervocracy's take on it:
    10 Reasons We're Still Obsessed with R-Patz
    1. We're aware a lot of our readership is thirteen years old.
    2. Or emotionally thirteen years old.
    3. We always wanted a hundred-year-old murderer to stalk us.
    4. But not fuck us.
    5. SPARKLES!
    6. EYEBROWS!
    7. PALLOR!
    8. BIG HAIR!
    9. We think he probably has a penis, presumably.
    10. We have to be obsessed with a male celebrity at all times, and he seemed as good as any.
    PS: Can we stop with the stupid nicknames already? You're not Jennifer Lopez and it's not 2001, so it's not cute or funny or cool and it's certainly not clever.

    • Things To Do To His Balls
    Finally, the long awaited follow-up to Things To Do To His Penis and Things To Do To His Ass (not to mention Things To Do With Your Breasts)... "Two Spots He's Dying for You to Touch". Boy did they have a field day with the euphemisms again! Not only are there images of coconuts and peanuts... but they also calls testicles:
    ... balls ... his boys ... nuts ... his twins ... cojones ... down there ... remote control for his O (no really) ... the Gruesome Twosome ...
    • Ask Him Anything
    Oh Ky Henderson, you give the best advice! Only... not.
    QUESTION: My boyfriend and I have been together for more than a year, but I've hung out with his friends only a handful of times. He says it's because he's afraid they'll say or do something offensive, but they've seemed fine to me. So is it an excuse for something else?
    He suggests that the boyfriend may be uncomfortable with the "social responsibility" of spending time with his girlfriend and friends simultaneously (sounds like a great guy) or jealous and insecure that she'll like one of his friends better than him. Um, hello!? Can we at least consider option C - that he's possibly a liar or cheater and doesn't want his friends to accidentally reveal any information he's hiding from his girlfriend (like say, that he wasn't really out getting drinks with them when he said he was).
    QUESTION: I've started hooking up with an ex of a friend of mine (she's fine with it). She'd told me he was awesome in bed, but so far, he has been super awkwardand even had trouble staying hard. Could he really have gone from awesome to awful in a few months?
    Again, he gives two possibilities: He's "still hung up on his ex" or he's "freaked out by a bizarre situation". Yeah, or... maybe the friend has totally different standards of what "awesome" in bed is. Or maybe it takes him a little time to work his way up to "awesome" with a new person (it doesn't say how long he was with the ex).
    • Naughty Things To Do in the Dark
    Cosmo gives us "20 Dares to Take on After Dark"... and none of them are really that daring.

    Take a bubble bath alone! Play truth or dare with your friends. Go to a restaurant! Eat ice cream! Cosmo-readers, GO CRAZY!

    • Celebrity Fit Club
    Cosmo makes fun of male celebrities for looking awkward while trying to play sports. Okay, fine... the Jonas Brothers can't catch... ha ha. But then there's a photo of Andy Roddick with a basketball and it looks like he was probably spinning it or something because his hand is out with a flicked wrist. (Sorry for the TERRIBLE pic below, we couldn't get a less blurry version. But you get the idea.)

    Of course, Cosmo added a vaguely homophobic caption:
    Girrrl, you know I'm not playing with this basketball!
    Are we really still using the "limp wrist" stereotype thing to make gay jokes? Would this caption still be funny if Roddick was gay?

    July 11, 2010

    The Totally Gay Company Boycott List for the AFA and Other Homophobes

    Earlier this month we mentioned that the American Family Association recently launched a protest of Home Depot. The AFA is upset because Home Depot sponsored two gay pride parades this year, and at one of them they did a craft workshop for kids.

    To this end, Home Depot is basically encouraging the attendance of children at events which openly expose them to transvestites, cross-dressers, and homosexual activists...Gay pride events have a long track record for offensive public displays of homosexual conduct. Obviously, Home Depot is OK with the idea of exposing children to an unhealthy and risky environment. So much so, it is willing to also celebrate it by participating in its promotion. [AFA Action Alert]
    We already covered most of the ridiculous aspects of this action alert in the last post, but there is one more thing that strikes me about this protest. Why Home Depot? Or, why just Home Depot? There are a lot of big companies that sponsor gay pride events each year. Shouldn't the AFA target them all, or at least go for the worst offenders? In fact, we did a little research, and it looks like Southern Maine Pride and Boston Pride were the only pride events that Home Depot sponsored this year, while other companies have much higher numbers.

    And if you are going to choose just one company to target, shouldn't you go big? Last year when the AFA decided to boycott PepsiCo because of the company's support of the LGBT community, the protest went on for months with multiple action alerts and even spun off to its own Boycott Pepsi website with fliers and petitions and other fun stuff. So we felt like this year's anti-Home Depot effort just seemed kinda lazy by comparison...and then we found proof.

    We were looking through some old emails from the One Million Moms (a division of the AFA) while working on a post about how the Moms totally read Evil Slutopia, and we came across an action alert from July of 2009. Which lucky company was being protested by the OMM at this time last summer? Home Depot. Why? Because they were conducting workshops for kids at a gay pride parade. Well, that sounds familiar. And if you read last year's alert and compare it to this year's alert from the AFA, you'll see that it gets even better. No, really, go and read them, I'll wait. Yes, it's true - the AFA is not only recycling a protest from last year, they're also recycling a slightly polished up version of the same exact action alert. Really, AFA? That's so half-assed. We would be so disappointed in you if we didn't disagree with everything that you stand for.

    So, we started wondering what the list would really look like if groups like the AFA were actually serious about protesting every major company that sponsors gay pride events. Spoiler alert: it's really long.

    Obvious But Obligatory Disclaimer: Of course we're not sharing this list of companies with you because we agree with the AFA's stupid homophobic protests. We're doing it to make a point about the way that right-wing groups like the AFA operate and to show just how ineffective they are at scaring companies straight. (See what I did there?) You could think of it as a sequel to The Right Wing Is Going To Starve. And if you want to use the list in reverse to throw some support to companies that support the LGBT community, that's cool too.

    We noticed that a lot of pride websites divide up their sponsor list into categories based on the level of sponsorship, so we're going to do ours that way too so that it's not cluttered with long lists of cities after each company. (If you'd like to play along at home, we used the directories on bestprideparades.com and About.com to find the websites for pride events across the U.S.) Here's how we broke it down:

    Gold Level: Companies that sponsored nine or more Pride events this year
    Silver Level: Companies that sponsored 4-8 Pride events this year
    Bronze Level: Companies that sponsored 1-3 Pride events this year
    *An asterisk after the company name indicates that the company is also on the HRC's Best Places to Work 2010 list. Many of these companies have also been nominated for GLAAD Media Awards for their advertising.
    *Any links in the list will take you a site or page of that company that relates directly to the LGBT community and/or LGBT employees.

    Special Platinum Level: Bud Light*

    Bud Light gets its own special category because we counted 30 pride events that they sponsored across the country this year (and we probably missed a few), giving them the #1 spot on our list by far. We'll never make fun of Bud Light again! Well, okay, we probably will, but this is still really cool.

    Gold Level: Barefoot Wine, Wells Fargo*/Wachovia, Verizon, Absolut Vodka

    Silver Level:

    Bacardi, Bank of America*, Hilton, HP*, Macy's*, Miller Light*, Monster Energy*, Petco, Starbucks*, TD Bank*, Walgreens*, Whole Foods, ZipCar

    Bronze Level:

    Booze: Belvedere Vodka, Captain Morgan*, Coors Light*, Cruzan Rum, Jagermeister, Jose Cuervo*, Malibu Rum, Michelob Ultra*, Skyy Vodka, Smirnoff*, Stella Artois*, Stoli, Svedka, Tecate, UV Vodka

    Food & Beverage: Albertsons/Supervalu*, Ben & Jerry's, Chipotle, Coca-Cola*, ConAgra, Fiji Water, Food Lion*, Frito Lay, Fuze, Gelson's, General Mills*, Pepsi*, Pop Chips, Qdoba, Red Bull, Safeway, Vitamin Water

    Travel & Automotive: AAA*, Alaska Airlines*, Amtrak, Bridgestone, Clarion Hotel & Casino, Continental Airlines*, Delta*, Embassy Suites, Expedia, Ford*, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, Jet Blue*, Orbitz*, Radisson*, Southwest Airlines, Travelocity, U-Haul, Virgin America, W Hotels*

    Banks/Financial: Chase Bank, Citi*, Fifth Third Bank, Key Bank*, ING*, PNC Bank, Sun Life Financial*

    Retailers: Amazon, Best Buy*, Ikea, Sam's Club, Target*

    Insurance: Aetna*, Allstate*, Esurance*, Kaiser Permanente*, MetLife*, Nationwide*, Progressive*, State Farm

    TV/Radio/Phone/Internet: AOL, AT&T*, Cox*, Comcast, Google*, Motorola*, Sirius/XM, Time Warner Cable*, Microsoft Windows 7*

    Misc.: Dell*, Kiehl's, Nike*, Puma, Tylenol PM, Rogaine

    Based on this list we can clearly see just how successful the American Family Association and friends have been at convincing companies to "stay neutral in the culture wars" and withhold their support from the LGBT community. Also to that point, we could mention that the organizers of NYC Pride, which we attended, broke fundraising records this year with a 300% increase in corporate dollars. Clearly the AFA is right on the verge of bringing this whole gay pride thing to its knees.

    Bonus Fun Fact: But wait, you say. The AFA was extra mad at Home Depot because they sponsored a workshop at Pride that was specifically for kids. Think of the children! Well, let's take a look at Nebraska Pride, shall we? This is what you'll find at the bottom of their sponsors page:

    I'm surprised that the AFA missed this, since they care so deeply about this issue and definitely weren't just using the kid angle as an easy way to keep their followers in a state of perpetual outrage. So first of all, any AFA members who have Cox cable, phone, and/or Internet services should obviously cancel them immediately. And just FYI, ConAgra brands include Chef Boyardee, David Seeds, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hunt's, Kid Cuisine, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, Pam, Reddi-Whip, Slim Jim, Act II popcorn, Banquet, Crunch 'N Munch, Gulden's, La Choy, Manwich, Parkay, Peter Pan, Ro*Tel, Snack Pack Pudding, Swiss Miss, Van Camp's, Alexia, Banquet Brown 'N Serve, Fiddle Faddle, Jiffy Pop, Libby's, and more. So I definitely have to go with ConAgra as my recommendation for the AFA's next ineffectual, doomed-to-fail boycott. Come on, AFA. Do it for the children!

    July 10, 2010

    New York sums up True Blood's Lafayette as a Cross-Dressing Drug-Dealing Prostitute

    Okay, New York magazine... if you're going to give us a guide to True Blood, could you at least find someone who knows something about True Blood to write it?

    From the July 12, 2010 issue of New York:

    Now in its third season, True Blood has expanded its universe to encompass an unruly (and sexy) network of vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and, of course, mere mortals. Unless you've read the novels by Charlaine Harris on which the series is based, it's pretty much impossible to figure out who's connected to whom -- by sex, by friendship, or by (literal) blood. So Emma Rosenblum has mapped it all out for you.
    Only... she hasn't. She made some weird constallation looking picture of some of the characters and gave brief little misleading "bios".

    I know it's kind of hard not to be simplistic when you have such limited space, but parts of it still rubbed us the wrong way. Maybe it's because we're such huge True Blood fans (although we haven't read the books and we still were able to "figure it out") but some of the points that Rosenblum felt necessary to include just made us scratch our heads and wonder if she was really the person who should've "mapped it all out" for us.

    In particular, we questioned the description given for Lafayette...

    Lafayette is a cross-dressing cook at Merlotte's and also the mortal drug dealer for Eric and Sophie-Anne. Often has sex with his clients.

    Um... what? Now, okay, technically Lafayette may wear some articles of women's clothes and/or accessories sometimes, but I wouldn't really categorize him as a "cross-dresser". It's more that he just has awesome style (or as Andy Bellefleur would say, he's got "pizazz"). Even if you do believe that Lafayette's style of dress is cross-dressing, is it really necessary for that to be his main descriptor?

    Also, his entire personal description is based, not really on who is he, but on the work he does for others. He's a cook for Sam, a drug dealer for Eric... but it's not only misleading but also missing more relevant info. For example, he's not "a dealer for Eric and Sophie-Anne". He's being forced by Eric et. al. to sell vampire blood. Also, sticking with Rosenblum's "connected by blood" theme, he's Tara's cousin and is taking care of her this season after the death of her boyfriend Eggs.

    Also, "Often has sex with his clients"? Yeah, okay, he did do a little prostitution in some episodes... but we haven't seen any of that in a long time. In fact, in season 2 Lafayette described himself as "a survivor first, a capitalist second, and a whoooole bunch of other shit after that, but a hooker dead last". So was "often" necessary? Was any of that sentence necessary? Rosenblum also ignores the fact that he has all these jobs (Merlotte's, the road crew, the website, the drug dealing, and the occasional sex work) in order to pay for his estranged mother's care.

    In about as many characters as a Twitter update, Lafayette is portayed as a controversial, flawed figure as a cross-dresser, a servant, a drug dealer, and a prostitute. And well, okay, yes, he is flawed and he is "controversial", but it's just such a complex character that he's probably one of the least morally corrupt characters on the show. He's more than just the black, gay, drug-dealing prostitute. It's hard to truly show how complex someone is in that short of a description, but well, they did a better job on some of the other characters than they did on him.

    Although that's not to say that we don't have other complaints about the guide...

    For one, the characters are divided into four categories: mortals, vampires, shapeshifters, and werewolves. Sookie Stackhouse is listed as a mortal. Um, if there's anything we learned from last season is that Sookie isn't necessarily 100% human. (Those who haven't read the books, don't know exactly what she is yet.)

    Queen Sophie-Anne's description ends with "And swings both ways." Andy Bellefleur's includes "is unlucky in love". Werewolves' turn-ons include "plaid shirts, dive bars". Pam, Terry and Arlene are completely excluded (despite the fact that Terry, is in fact, related to Andy "by blood", Arlene is carrying a baby that he thinks is his, and Pam is just well... awesome).

    Overall, it was just a waste of a read. The magazine probably decided to include something True Blood-related because they know how popular the show is right now. But if they're not going to do it justice, then why bother? Instead of giving us some stupid "who's sleeping with who?" bullshit filler article.

    If they're going to try to milk the True Blood cash cow, I'd much rather read something like this. From the original Queerty article:
    Ellis says he's got no problems when fans and regular television audiences confuse Ellis (the person) with Lafayette (the fictional character). "I can’t just get upset with regular folk because all they see is the character," he tells Vibe. His excuses end, however, with the Hollywood machine: "But when the industry can’t tell the difference, I’m like, 'Damn that’s a little closed minded,' because when white people play a character people expect it to be a character. But black people—we can’t just be character actors, we have to [really] be the things we’re hired for, which is what offends me. I don’t answer that question, 'Are you gay or not,' when it comes down to industry people. But if it’s a regular person asking me, that just says that maybe I’m doing a good job. But when a casting director or an agent asks me that question it takes on a deeper thing that says, 'I can’t believe you’re doing this unless you are that.'"

    Read more: Queerty.com
    And while we're on the subject, some of our favorite Lafayette scenes: