All Lesbians Secretly Desire Men – PART DEUX

In preparation for The Gloves Are Off tomorrow night with guest Paula Goldberg, I thought I’d share a few more thoughts to get those lezzie brains a workin’.

Last winter, I posted a blog about that little ole movie The Kids Are Alright in advance of seeing the film.  Click that little link above if you’d like to read it in full, but in essence, I said despite how well made the film will probably be, (I’m a Lisa Cholodenko fan) I’m sick of seeing the lesbian leaves her woman for the almighty dick story AGAIN.

Well, by some of the responses, you’d think that I’d burned the lesbian flag in effigy.  The ladies simply couldn’t understand how I could POSSIBLY judge something without seeing it.  There was more uproar about that fact than what I actually said…but I digress.  I did see the movie, and now I will offer this:

My friend Susan came over the other day and offered me a chocolate bar.  Having a huge sweet tooth, I snatched it right out of her hands but then noticed that it contained nuts.  Now, I have no problem with nuts per se, but I just really don’t like them in my chocolate.  So, I handed it back to her.

But, Jill…this is really good chocolate! 

Uh, yeah, I’m sure it is, I just am not really into nuts in my chocolate.

But Jill, seriously.  You have to try this chocolate – it’s SOOOO much better than that other stuff you’ve been eating. 

Okay honey, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I’m just sort of burnt out on nuts…in my chocolate.  It seems like whenever I find a good chocolate bar, lo and behold – nuts appear.  And I’m just not into nuts.

JILL!!!  LOOK AT THE WRAPPER!!!  DO YOU SEE HOW PERFECT IT IS?  Why won’t you just try it?

Does it have nuts in it?


I don’t like nuts in my chocolate Susan.  No offense to Mr. Peanut.  I’m. just. not. interested.  It could be the best chocolate on earth, but as soon as you add nuts…maybe it’s an allergy, I don’t know.  I just don’t want it, okay?


So guess what?  I did.  I took a bite.  And I still don’t like nuts.

A little heavy handed, but I hope you get my point – I stand by my original blog post 100%.  There were parts of the movie that I loved, performances that were grand – Annette made me cry…but I still absolutely loathed the lesbian leaving her woman for sex with a man storyline.

What I find interesting about this whole debate is that some of the very same people who have criticized pop culture for using that same plot device over and over again somehow found the very graphic sex between the man and lesbian to be incidental in this movie.  Uh, did you all miss the part where Julianne Moore’s character (a self-described lesbian) gasps with glee at the sight of Mark Ruffalo’s penis?  Incidental?  

And complete disclosure here:  I normally agree with all above mentioned bloggers regarding lesbian entertainment culture.  Perhaps my irritation surfaced because it certainly seemed like the amount of apologizing and justification was in direct correlation with amount interviews, exclusives and advertising they were getting from the filmmakers.  Would the reaction to the movie have been the same if the filmmaker were a man and not a well-known out lesbian?

We decided we had to cover this movie on the show because inevitably, every time we get together with a group of ladies, this movie comes up, and the debate begins.  If nothing else, Cholodenko got us talking…and whether you agree with me or not, I hope you’ll add your voice tomorrow night.

The Gloves Are Off – 7 pm p.s.t. only at with guest screenwriter Paula Goldberg.

And yes, we will be recording this one.


17 Responses to “All Lesbians Secretly Desire Men – PART DEUX”

  1. Sue ann Says:

    I just think that the whole point of it being a lezzie film is not needed. It could be, after all, about a straight couple who couldn’t conceive and had a donor, and the wife finds intrest in another man. Lezzie? Naahhh.

  2. Sarah Says:

    But how do you really feel about nuts?

    Seriously awesome argument which I happen to totally agree with. That being said maybe Ms. Goldberg can change my mind, I promise to keep it open. Look forward to the debate.

  3. Evy Says:

    I really look forward to the debate because nothing thrills me about this movie. To me being a lesbian allows me to be free from the “straight family thing” and I’m surprised at the amount of gay women who simply want to be nothing else than good wives and mums. I don’t get it. I’ll see if i can be talked into watching this move…;-)

  4. Chach Says:

    Jill, you are totally right on!

    (From your blog):”I guess my problem is that we just seem to be reinforcing the idea that men and thus the mainstream, just cannot possibly identify or be interested in a lesbian story unless it involves them sexually in some way. When we present this idea in media over and over again, it sends a message.”

    Why can’t a movie just be about two people who happen to be gay without throwing in something for the straight crowd? ESPECIALLY the supposed lesbian in a long term relationship who suddenly goes gaga for dick! Or she has to have been brutalized in some way for justification purposes. Bull-loney!

    I like a good story, whether it be gay or straight, and I think I’d have a lot more respect for any filmmaker who just tells it the way they see it WITHOUT trying to find favor with the mainstream and/or any specific group. (And before anyone jumps on that and wants to start shit-I’m not talking about anyone in particular I’m just stating my opinion.)

  5. Evy Says:

    Really looking forward to the next The Gloves Are Off. I tend to agree with Jill so I’ll see if I can be talked into wanting to watch the movie. 😉

  6. Steph Mineart Says:

    I so agree with this. Looking forward to the debate.

  7. Mike DiRubio Says:

    Really I don’t see how or why it is anybody else’s business weather or not any Lesbian would desire a man or not! If she does, she does and if not who cares! Does this make her any less of a lesbian or a person? NO! People are curious by nature. I don’t care if a woman is a lesbian…As a man, If she catches my eye and is desireable then I do not have a problem with it. Why, once again, would anyone care about secret desires and if you acted on them or not?

    • Lesbians are not bisexuals!!!! Says:

      I think Mike should act on his secret desires to fuck a guy. All straight males do!!!!

      • Mike DiRubio Says:

        sounds like you’re covering up a secret desire of your own! Really that was an ugly comment and I was NOT being ugly! Maybe this is why many gay and lesbians are judged because of ugly comments like yours! I was not judging, I was asking why is it anybody elses business what desires of anyone else are. You want to judge a lesbian just because she might have the desire to be with a man? Who made it your business? Clearly you are uncomfortable with who you are. Don’t condemn me because of the question, a question which I did not ask!

  8. Cindy Says:

    I’m in total agreement here. First words out of my mouth after leaving the theater were, ” can’t we have a lesbian film without there being a Dick in the middle of it?”

  9. just watched the vokle vlog Says:

    Just watched the newest video chat, and wanted to say a bit.

    I thought it was a really good episode tonight. Paula was awesome and really funny.

    A lot of good discussions. I think the main sticking point in Jill’s frustrations was that there were no other alternate lesbian films to go along with TKAAR. If there were more lesbian films being made that didn’t include infidelity with a man I don’t think Jill would be so opposed to TKAAR. Honestly, I think that is the same case for me. TKAAR was pretty much the only lesbian film of note recently that garnered such a wide release. It’s like 100 heterosexual films per 1 lesbian/gay film. So, yeah, in that respect, it puts much more responsibility onto just the one film. We need options. We need more lesbian films being made, point blank (and if they are good, it’s a bonus). That is why we are so vocal, so passionate, so divided sometimes when it comes to lesbian films that get a wide release. Because they are in such small numbers, they have to represent so much. And it seems these days they are just representing infidelity with a man.

  10. Joanne Says:

    To follow on from Sue ann’s point …. I’m curious. Did the makers of this film ever specifically call this a ‘lesbian movie’, or say “we made this movie to fill the gaping hole in dyke cinema?” .. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that was their intention.

    I never thought this was anything other than a “mainstream” movie. I get that we *are* part of the mainstream (whatever that means), but film financiers don’t. They’re thinking of numbers on seats and profits. The choice of lead actors spoke volumes. This was for straight American housewives. I doubt many men even saw it, despite the usual tired protest that a penis was only inserted (no pun intended) to appease male audience members.

    I’ve noticed that we have this almost desperate habit of jumping on any film or tv show (some with only the slightest hint of the gay) and declare it a project catering to “us” .. ‘HURRAH!!’ 😉 .. when that is usually not the case. It’s almost always about hetero profit and some titillation.

    Inevitably, we’re left disappointed: Maybe a stereotype is touched upon or perpetuated, or a taboo is addressed…. Tell me again, why *is* a consenting adult having sex with another considered a gay crime? It happens.. it isn’t my experience, but other identified lesbians have told me of their life experience. It’s funny, we lesbians will freely talk about any topic … but most won’t dare admit to *that*, for fear of the backlash. The movie Go Fish addressed this a long time ago and we haven’t evolved much!

    Long diatribe short, we need to be more open minded. We need to stop virtually *stoning* the few lesbian film & tv show creators we have, just because we disapprove of one project or a storyline. It’s foul and self destructive.

    Finally, the only way we might get something even close to pleasing us all, is if lesbians are able to fund their own work (without being stood over by hetero honchos or gay Hollywood mafia who couldn’t care less how we’re being represented. Lesbians need to financially back lesbian content. I know the majority of us are broke, but I also know that some of us are *extremely* wealthy. Those women need to stop pulling the ladder up behind them and start writing some large cheques to the appropriate people.

    When Autostraddle has to put their hat out for a mere 20 grand to stay afloat, you know something’s seriously f*cked up.

  11. Marty Says:

    I agree with Jill, but also I am happy that one of the “lesbians” doesn’t die at the end of the film.

  12. Jessica Says:

    I am in full agreement with Jill’s original blog and subsequent thoughts during the recent episode of The Gloves Are Off. I will even take it one step further and say that it is my belief that lesbians are hurt by the storyline because by re-enforcing such a stereo type as it only takes the right guy to turn her straight or that guys are an option at all empowers men even further to more aggressively pursue a lesbian who tells them no. This may not be as big an issue in the cities but, in rural America it can already be a bad situation without more fuel added.

  13. Alicia Says:

    I totally agree with Jill. Julianne’s reaction to Mark’s penis was a bit over the top. I was thinking…dang, what ya doing with a woman if a penis gets you that excited? After that, the movie didn’t make any sense to me, not to mention it made me feel embarrassed and insignificant, I haven’t felt like that since high school. Congratulations, film maker. I’m sorry I paid to watch the movie.

  14. Robyn M Speed Says:

    Here in NZ…Shortland Street… Maia, the lesbian character fell for a female Dr, this female Dr was having feelings she did not understand and kissed Maia. Maia, knowing there is something between them, tells her bisexual partner and decides they should break up — they had not been getting along well anyway. When she tells the female Dr the Dr freaks out (still not sure how she feels but unable to deal with) and leaves the country. Maia, leaves the series (which the actress had chosen to do anyway, so nothing to do with writing out the lesbian character.). Her former bisexual partner….you guessed it: turned straight to the nearest male.


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