Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Home & Away is a soapie television series that airs on weeknights at 7pm here in Aus and its main audience is teenagers.

At the end of the month, they're introducing a lesbian storyline. There's nothing overtly sexual or in-your-face about it. The two women dance, share a kiss, and over 5 weeks their relationship evolves into love.

That's cool, no? Gay characters in the media play a huge part in acceptance of gays.

Of course, when our state's favourite newspaper hears what's happening it becomes front page news...


Yep. Front page too.

But don't worry. In the article, we hear from some level-headed people with reasonable arguments.

"They (Home and Away) continue to market to kids and they continue to develop quite sexualised plot lines," Pro-Family Perspectives director Angela Conway said.

"The plot lines that young kids and teenagers should be presented with should be about really authentic relationships that are not just sexualised."

I see. I see. Damn those homosexuals and their unauthentic, sexualised relationships, ruining our young kids' minds.

I say, good on 'em. I just can't believe the newspaper is presenting the story in such a way. I mean for fuck sake, it shouldn't even BE a news story, not to mention - front page news!! The headline is practically BEGGING for a negative response!

Luckily, we hear from one of the actors as well.

Actor Esther Anderson, who plays Charlie Buckton, talked to gay friends in the lead-up to filming.

Anderson said kissing another girl "wasn't that big a deal", and young viewers would accept the scenes.

"You learn pretty much everything at school," she said. "I don't think it's like I'm lifting the lid on something they don't already know about.

"To me there's no difference - love's love. The fact that your partner's the same sex is no different. You just want to be loved."


Deadwing said...

That something like that is front page news is really sad. All it does is perpetuate negative stereotypes of gays. At least there were some positive remarks too - "love is love". My guess is that there is a higher percentage of straight couples who are only in relationships for sex than gay couples. There are and always will be same sex couples. And simply because we are attracted to members of the same sex doesn't mean we are incapable of or not wanting love or companionship. Most of the gays i know are more apt to enter a relationship for love, companionship, and friendship rather than for sex only than the straights i know. There are going to be people who only want sex on both sides of the fence, and for those people i am sad.

PoisonedHappiness said...

And that girl showed this newspaper who know about today society and who don't. I wonder what will newspaper in my country say... or catholic organizations....

exalen said...

That paper is all about scandal and sensatinalising everything.

Good on H&A for reflecting some important social issues (if they do it right).

One love.

Alien Son said...

Hey, MB! I had to read the article online (I read our real newspaper - The Age - not Rupert's grubby little tabloid, lol). I hope the online version was pretty much the same as the print version, because they didn't use the humongous "look at this!" headline in the online version.

I agree that the headline and the general tone of the aricle are intended to inflame. That's what the Herald-Sun does best - and its readers can be counted on to respond. To be fair, they did include positive views, although they were tucked away at the end of the article.

However, the person quoted in the part of the article you posted does make a valid point, in my opinion. Young people do need to see "really authentic relationships that are not just sexualised" - whether straight or gay. Unfortunately that doesn't happen too often in the media popular with kids, and I guess that person was implying either that relationships in H&A are always sexualised or that all gay relationships are only about sex. I haven't watched H&A for years, so I can't comment on the former, but reading the quote, I'm guessing that this was her intention. If it was the latter, then she is clearly wrong and it's sad and unfortunate that she chooses to believe that.

Relationships are about love, commitment and values as well as about sex. If that balance can be portrayed in the media in a way that provides positive role models and leads to informed and rational discussion (even if the relationship portrayed is controversial), then society will enjoy the benefits.

However, if relationships are portrayed as just being about sex, that cheapens sex as well as love, and we will reap the consequences.

An online reader commented about the article: I thought we all got over the gay issue when in the 1970's soapie "Number 96" we saw ageing sex symbol Abigail trying to crack onto a bloke who suddenly announced to her they could not be lovers as he was in his words "...a homosexual". The character he refers to was even in a relationship with an older man. If I remember correctly the relationship was implied rather than shown onscreen, but I do remember seeing the older guy and the gay character together.

It's kind of surprising that this topic can still be controversial, although you can bet that someone at the Herald-Sun deliberately set out to interview the people who would provide the most quotable quotes, with the intention of creating a controversy.

John / Alien Son

James said...

That last quote is really the best response to the "Pro-family" author. I think it pretty much says anything there is to say on the matter.

Lol, I love the comment about what we learn in school. XD Yeah, ain't that the truth.

Anonymous said...

Just a stunning poem by prof. A.E. Housman, regarding the Oscar Wilde trial:

Aek said...

There's a reason I don't like the media much.

Hopefully in the future, when you're a top award-winning journalist, you'll present things as they really are rather than playing with the wording just so, or finding just the right people, to present things slanted to the public.

Duncan said...

gotta agree with james on that, its nice to hear somebody bring up the argument that "love is love" every now and then, instead of the whole "OMGGGG HOMO" thing.

Planetx_123 said...

Ridiculous-- I look forward to the day where people look back and scoff in disgust at how those 'simple', 'bigoted' people used to treat each other so poorly.

Much Love,