A (Pansexual) Love Letter to Kurt Hummel

On Tuesday night’s Glee, “Laryngitis,” (It’s less cutely titled than usual, thank God) Chris Colfer’s character, Kurt, became quite possibly the most interesting LGBT character on a predominantly straight show.

(I will admit I am not as familiar with shows that are predominantly LGBT  as I’d like to be. I watched The L Word, Queer as Folk, and like pretty much everyone in America, I watched Will and Grace until things got all weird and Grace was pregnant and it was strange. I’m certainly taking recommendations if anyone has more things for me to watch.)

Why is he interesting?

Well there’s the whole football “Single Ladies” thing.

He also almost out sopranos Lea “Spring Awakening and Ragtime when I was a baby” Michele when they both compete to sing “Defying Gravity.”

Above all, Chris Colfer lets Kurt keep his dignity, which is the character works in the first place. There are plenty of stereotypical gay men in the media. (Thank you Will and Grace and Ugly Betty.)

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Denny Crane: A Feminist/Queer Studies Love Letter to Boston Legal

Okay, confession time. My first crush was Captain Kirk from Star Trek: The Original Series.

What am I looking at? Oh, just my ego's shadow.

Now here’s the thing about Captain Kirk. He’s a jerk. He’s xenophobic, expansionist, and a professional chauvinist. And he never really apologizes for it. As a feminist, I should hate him. But he also does stuff like this:

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Single People’s Weeks: All the Heteronormitivity That’s Fit to Print: Blanche, Stanley and the NYT’s Single Ladies

[Update on the fallout at UNC as a result of the article discussed in this post can be found here.]

Okay. So I know I promised no romance stuff until February 15th. And I will hold to that promise. You will get no romantic affirmations, no gooey-ness in response to seeing men with babies, or bemoan-ment of my single fate. Apparently The New York Times didn’t get the message.

Today in the Sunday Styles section, the NYT published a front section article called “The New Math on Campus.” I was expecting something about mathematics becoming sexy again in college culture, or maybe a feature on mathematician,  former chid actress, and great role model Danica McKellar‘s work to encourage women in math and science. Instead I found this, a story about how the 60-40 female to male ratio on college campuses is creating a situation where

“Women do not want to get left out in the cold, so they are competing for men on men’s terms,” she [Kathleen A. Bogle, a sociologist at La Salle University in Philadelphia] wrote. “This results in more casual hook-up encounters that do not end up leading to more serious romantic relationships. Since college women say they generally want ‘something more’ than just a casual hook-up, women end up losing out.”

W. Keith Campbell, a psychology professor at the University of Georgia, which is 57 percent female, put it this way: “When men have the social power, they create a man’s ideal of relationships,” he said. Translation: more partners, more sex. Commitment? A good first step would be his returning a woman’s Facebook message.

[…]

But it’s not as if the imbalance leads to ceaseless bed-hopping, said Austin Ivey, who graduated from North Carolina last year but was hanging out in a bar near campus last week. “Guys tend to overshoot themselves and find a really beautiful girlfriend they couldn’t date otherwise, but can, thanks to the ratio,” he said.

Mr. Ivey himself said that his own college relationship lasted three years. “She didn’t think she would meet another guy, I didn’t think I would meet another girl as attractive as her,” he said.

What follows is a portrait of college life that basically offends everyone. Men are either cads who revel in “not having to work that hard” for a date or pining for dates with the school’s “enchanting, beautiful women” (whatever happened to smart, funny, kind, or talented?) that they still can only barely get (and stay with out of habit) with the math skewed in their favor. Women are either sluts who “grab men by the wrist, spin them around […] and start grinding” or shy and lonely shut-ins that are  “left alone on Valentine’s Day, staring down a George Clooney movie over a half-empty pizza box.” They also seem to only be straight. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Countdown: Figuring Out Slash Fans

It’s two weeks before Valentine’s Day folks. The day of built up expectations and chronic depression, of obligatory romance and likely disappointment. Valentine’s Day is can be pretty depressing for those who aren’t in a relationship when February 14th comes around. Which is why I’d like to do some posts about women, men, and sexuality that don’t have to do with relationships. (Take that Cosmo!)

For the next two weeks I’m going to explore Slash fans, working women, female masturbation, women directors, Zooey Deschanel films, and constructions of masculinity and femininity in Star Wars, Star Trek, and Indiana Jones. Let’s open with this video. Because everything should open with this video.

More videos and analysis after the jump!