Boxed In: Employment Of Behind-The-Scenes And On-Screen Women In 2013-14 Prime-Time Television

As Long As Women Are Not Free

From the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film: San Diego State University, the annual report on women in television

The report is available in a downloadable PDF file: Boxed In: Employment Of Behind-The-Scenes And On-Screen Women In 2013-14 Prime-Time Television

In 2013-14, women comprised 27% of creators, executive producers, producers, writers, directors, editors, and directors of photography working on prime-time programs airing on the broadcast networks. This represents a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2012-13. On screen, women accounted for 42% of all speaking characters, a decrease of 1 percentage point from 2012-13. This year’s study also reports the findings of an expanded sample including programs airing on the broadcast networks, on basic and paid cable channels, and available through Netflix.

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If Only…

There’s a reason why every teen lesbian in the country watched The Facts of Life religiously in the 1980s. I would have bought that Jo Polniaczek and Blair Warner hated each other a little bit more if it hadn’t looked like they wanted to make out in ever scene they were in together.

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

Jo & Blair

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Hey You Guys (Electric Company)

Rita Moreno and Bill Cosby deliver a bottle of milk. I had forgotten what this skit was about; all I remembered was Rita Moreno shouting “Hey, you guys!”

When I was a little kid, we still had milk delivered to a box on the front porch. Now the “Milk Man” is one of those obsolete occupations that kids today won’t recognize.

Old-Tymey Milk Box

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Batgirl’s Equal Pay Public Service Announcement

How cool is this that the actors from the Batman TV show starred in a political public ad in the early 1960’s? You’d never see this today. In case you were wondering after watching the below video, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 did get passed, and has improved women’s salaries, but needs to be amended to achieve the true aims of the bill, because women are still paid on 77 cents on the dollar compared to men.

The EPA’s equal pay for equal work goals have not been completely achieved, as demonstrated by the BLS data and Congressional findings within the text of the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act. President Barack Obama said in March 2011 that he will continue to fight for the goals in the Paycheck Fairness Act.[4] The bill was reintroduced in both houses of Congress in April 2011.

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Jennifer Hudson – ‘I Can’t Let Go’ on Smash

I know it’s fashionable to hate on Smash recently, but you gotta at least admit that Jennifer Hudson KILLS this song. I’ve been playing this on repeat all week. Favorite line – “And when heartache comes a’calling, / I won’t even try to run / Cause it’s all that makes me know that I’m alive.” (Not exactly applicable in my life right now given that I’m happily married, but it still resonates.)

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Sorry, Glee. We are never, ever ever getting back together

Don’t worry; I have no illusions that anyone from Glee would actually see this. I just couldn’t resist the post title.

It seems perhaps the good folks from Glee have become alarmed (amused?) by the loss of lesbian viewers of their show due to their outright derision towards the “Lesbian Blogger Community“, and vowed that they would get them back. Because in season 4, episode 13, they make a full on play towards bringing the gay girls back into the fold by name-checking the afterellen blog, and using Naya Rivera as bait (by actually bringing her back to the show and giving her some lines and stuff).

Supposedly, this is all a set up for the upcoming Valentine’s Day episode in which Naya Rivera’s Santana Lopez makes out with Dianna Agron’s Quinn Fabray which is, I guess supposed to seal the deal on the “really we don’t hate lesbians, and no this isn’t a sweeps week lesbian kiss stunt like all those other shows, really” pass that Glee is making toward the homo girl community.

From what I’ve read, the Season 4 episode 13 show that just aired has a huge trans-phobic transgression in it and a “bad touch” sexual assault, but never mind those; the Afterellen blog is fully on board with the lesbian redemption of Glee, after being publicly acknowledged on the show.

Fortunately, the Autostraddle blog is like Afterellen’s saner older cousin ready step in and shut that down because she’s been around this particular block with you and others like you, Chris Brown.

As for me, my Glee hate-watching enjoyment these days has developed to the point of letting episodes pile up on the DVR and reading Riese Bernard’s scathing recaps on Autostraddle each week, which you should be doing too, regardless of whether you’re gay or not, because that is some funny shit.

Continue ReadingSorry, Glee. We are never, ever ever getting back together

Ryan Murphy does hate lesbians, apparently

Via Vulture magazine, some interesting commentary of last night’s Glee episode, which I have yet to see. Glee Recap: Carefully Chosen Bells and Whistles — Vulture.

Speaking of chaos, if you’re a casual Glee fan, you might have missed out on exactly how directly last night’s episode knocked down the fourth wall between it and the show’s more vocal fan base. It all starts when Sam leaves a trail of Cheerios for Brittany, which she eats off the floor as she makes his way to him. This is a rare moment of character-related continuity for Glee, since last season Brittany ate a candy bar right out of an actual cat’s actual litter box. Sam tells her that he likes her and they do a surprisingly nice rendition of “Something Stupid.” But when Sam leans in for a kiss, Brittany backs off, and when he asks what’s wrong, Brittany says, “It’s like all lesbians of the nation — I don’t know how they found out about Santana and I dating, but once they did, they started sending me tweets and Facebook messages on Lord Tubbington’s wall. I think it means a lot to them to see two super-hot, popular girls in love, and I worry if they find out about you and I dating, that they’ll turn on you and get really violent and hurt your beautiful face and mouth.”

Angry, violent lesbian stereotype aside, the problem with Brittany’s explanation is how transparent of a reference it is to the Twitter kerfuffle that’s been brewing lately between Ryan Murphy and some of the more ardent Brittany-Santana fans (a group that obviously isn’t comprised exclusively of angry lesbians). Essentially, it really is just that: a spat between fans who are mad at the creator of their favorite TV couple and the creator who’s mad at them for being mad. (The dispute gets more complicated when looked at against Murphy’s track record with lesbian characters on his shows.) Frankly, if I were Ryan Murphy, know what I’d do instead of getting into Twitter spats? I would float on a raft of rubies in a swimming pool full of melted-down gold while negotiating the purchase of the Boston Celtics.

If you don’t want me to watch your show, Ryan, that’s fine – just say so. No need to be a hateful jerk about it. I have better stuff to do anyway, like writing more fully-crafted thoughtful lesbian story lines of my own. I honestly would be perfectly happy with a Brittany/Sam storyline except that:

  1. The sum amount of screen time that Brittany and Santana got through their whole relationship was less than what they have shown for Brittany and Sam in one episode.
  2. Santana’s coming out story was really terrible in a whole bunch of ways.
  3. Ryan Murphy has been such a hateful bitch over twitter towards lesbian fans of Glee.

Glee has done wonders for gay male visibility on television with Kurt and Blaine’s story lines. They’ve been pretty shitty when it comes to lesbian story lines, however. Santana’s coming out storyline was a pretty sexist slap in the face to lesbian fans, and Murphy has been cranky about the backlash to that episode ever since.

All of our regular television programs have been languishing on our DVR since I’ve spent so much time writing lately, and we’ve been particularly neglectful of Glee given my ambivalence about it over the last year. Not even listening to Lea Michele singing can get me to turn on the show anymore. I haven’t quite deleted them, but I may be fast-forwarding through most of the episodes for the Rachel Berry scenes going forward. It feels weird to take that approach to a show that has actual gay characters, as opposed to mere heavy lesbian subtext like Rizzoli & Isles and Once Upon a Time. But being openly hostile to legitimate criticism about lesbian visibility is really problematic.

Continue ReadingRyan Murphy does hate lesbians, apparently