A few weeks ago I posted a video on YouTube expressing, rather sarcastically, my opinion that Dawn Porter’s documentary “Dawn Goes Lesbian” trivialised the issues around discovering sexuality, specifically that of young women who felt they might have lesbian or bisexual tendencies.
I’m not going to cover that ground again here, but what I am going to talk about is the comments the video provoked.
On the whole they were unremittingly negative and mainly abusive. There were a couple of commentors who disagreed and put their points across in a civil fashion. There were two or three others who agreed with my opinion that show was bad television and a vehicle for Dawn Porter to further her career. In one of the replies to a comment I had to point out that I had no problem with Dawn herself, I can see her becoming very rich and famous, very fast. She’s pretty, has intelligence and obviously has the attention of commissioning editors both here and in the US, so she isn’t going to listen to me.
But for the most part the commentors not only felt the need to tell me that I was wrong, but that I was stupid, “old”, homophobic, bigoted, sex-starved, had issues with my own sexuality, that I should get over myself … it goes on. The act of expressing an opinion seems to have brought out the pack mentality in some of Dawn’s fans. It’s not enough to disagree with me as a couple of the commentors did, but they felt the need to attack me personally too. I got the feeling from some of the comments that they had either not watched my video or had not listened to its contents. Maybe they had just read the previous comments and thought they’d take a pop at me?
I’ve never experienced anything like that on this blog. Yes we occasionally get comments that are overtly hostile, or disagree with what we have to say, but on the whole commentors seem able to hold differing opinions without resorting to playground name-calling.
The answer may I feel come from a couple of the comments which seem to indicate that their authors feel it is OK to make a TV programme that is in their words “entertaining”, even if the subject matter is not properly explored, may be presented in a way which is easily misinterpreted and is fundamentally important to those it affects.
Sexuality is a matter for everyone to decide upon with as open a mind as possible and with real information available to them. Some people might explore the possibility they are homosexual and realise they are straight after all. I never want to be in a society where a person’s sexuality is restricted because they feel pressured one way or the other. Repressing your true sexuality only results in bad decisions and unhappiness. Exploiting the often painful process of discovering your sexuality for entertainment is just wrong.
The “Get out of jail free card” or “It’s OK, it’s entertainment” doesn’t wash with me at all. Bad television is bad television no matter how famous, or popular the presenter, or how “entertaining” some of the audience find it. This all disturbs me and doesn’t bode well for the future of TV programming in this country.
As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing else to say on the matter, but it’s been an education. LOL
On the subject of playground insults, this article caught my eye too. On the same theme, about changing attitude towards homosexuality and the terms we as a society apply to it. When people feel that they can use words that some sections of the population find offensive under the guise that they “didn’t mean it like that”, where’s that going to lead. That sort of covert bigotry is even more difficult to tackle than the obvious kind that minorities in society used to (and still do in some cases) have to put up with.
Not being homosexual I can’t say if I would feel upset or not by any of the words mentioned in the article. What I can say is that the lazy use of language leads to misunderstanding and that leads to unnecessary conflict in any scenario.