Like seriously – how is this still a thing?
"San Junipero" Black Mirror (3:4) | CREDIT: NETFLIX
When I heard Drake call himself a lesbian (?) on his latest album, Certified Lover Boy, I was pretty unsurprised he thought that would be a good one-liner to make the final cut; because, if straight men have one thing, it’s the audacity.
It comes as no surprise to me that men are still somehow getting exactly what they want even when women express no sexual desire towards them. For straight people who shutter at the word “fetish,” there’s a whole bunch of fetishiziation of WLW — or, women loving women — going on. Take a shot for everytime someone treats two gals making out like an overtly sexual Pay-Per-View display.
Since like, *forever,* women kissing other women has been warped into a display with the sole intent of providing men sexual gratification.
I hold the entertainment industry at fault for such fetishization. Movies, books, music: they all help perpetuate the sexualization of WLW. On the other hand, Reality TV holds a mirror to the real-world problematic kisses occurring between straight women in order to satisfy wide-eyed, drooling-down-the-chin, male onlookers.
Take the UK’S Love Island for example —A reality show that has never bothered to include LGBTQ+ contestants loves zooming the camera in on their perfectly-sculpted, temptress team of female players kissing one another.
Every time shows like Love Island decide to include the dare of “kiss a houseguest of the same-sex" in their tipsy party games, they invalidate the experience of actual women loving women. Both producers and the people who watch the show are indirectly giving the go ahead to their millions of viewers that it's okay to kiss your friends as a fun way of getting to the guy you actually want. For WLW, it’s like saying “Okay, you can be romantic with your partner, but just so you know, there's gonna be a pack of frat bros pretending like you’re kissing for their attention.”
Straight guys, step outside of your bubble and take a moment to imagine how this might feel. Let me set the scene: you’re standing in a club; lights are dim, but there’s enough of a fluorescent glow to make out the image of you and your girlfriend. You’re having a great time, dancing, flirting, whatever; you start to kiss and suddenly, as if the lights overheard have somehow become a beaming glare, every single sweaty, slimy dude in the club turns to gawk at you. They're hooting, they’re hollering, and you and your girlfriend have somehow become two actors in the movie scene of their dreams without your consent.
Now, I don’t know about you all, but that sounds like an awful, uncomfortable time to me.
Then there’s the “I Love My Bi-Wife!” guys – some of which are wonderful – but others who find themselves pleased by the idea of their girlfriend with another girl but start punching the air at the thought of their girlfriend with another man. Because their girlfriend with a man is cheating, but with another girl? Now that’s hot.
Despite being so blatant, the commodification of lesbian romance, both on-screen and IRL, continues to be heavily ignored. The larger issue is yet another problem that falls into the lap of queer women, because tell me, have you ever seen two men being forced into a passionate kiss to please the gaze of women?
Although straight women definitely need to take accountability for partaking in purposefully provocative displays between themselves and other straight women, men really need to learn to tear their gaze away if they find their eyes wandering and sticking to two women kissing.
The issue is yet another problem completely manufactured by the patriarchy, shows like Love Island, and again, guys like Drake who just really do not know when to keep their head down and mouth shut. Stick to the BBLs, dude.
Jillian Rodriguez is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. You can find her sat in her bedroom under a mirrorball listening to Taylor Swift, sipping Dunkin’ iced coffee, and contemplating which seemingly mundane moments from life to add to her many drafts; maybe you’ll show up in her writing one day. You can reach her at @jillygabrielle on Instagram for more info.