Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The problem I've always had with the admittedly humorous show Sex and the City and the movies thereof was its decidedly stereotypical treatment of gay men. [Also the fact that lead character Carrie is rather shallow and uncultured. Supposed to go to the opera with a guy on one episode, she decides to forgo the Metropolitan and hit McDonald's instead. Huh?]
The two main gay characters on the show were both big queens [not that there's anything wrong in that], one of whom was kind of sweet and likable, and the other of whom was bitchy, grotesque and altogether repulsive. These two went out on one blind date and hated each other almost on sight. So what happens in Sex and the City 2? These two get married in the Big Gay Wedding that occurs early in the film.
Yes, yes, I suppose it's okay to poke fun at gay stereotypes at times, but am I the only person who's getting tired of references to gays and musicals, gays and Liza Minnelli (who officiates at the wedding, which is mildly amusing), and the like. Virtually every gay guy depicted at the wedding is a screaming queen. In one scene at the bar, Carrie's husband "Big" [I never quite understood what she saw in this guy, who is quite a bit older than her in addition to other problems] is hit on by a gay guy who is played by an actor who resorts to such "faggot" mugging that you'd swear you had temporarily switched to The Gay Deceivers or something along those lines.
Then the girls go to an Arab nation on a junket and are each assigned a kind of butler/personal concierge. The gay one is, of course, effeminate and nicknamed "Paula" after Paula Abdul. There are the usual tiresome jokes about gays and hairdressing, decorating, dressing skills, even though most the gay guys I know have little knowledge of any of that shit. It's the old gay-guy-as-straight-woman's-accessory all over again.
What makes it worse is that Sex and the City 2 -- which seems to go on forever -- was written and directed by openly gay Michael Patrick King, who I have to assume must be a Big Ol' Queen or Swishmeister Deluxe with that painfully awful old-fashioned queer sensibility that thinks and/or suggests that All Gay Men are limp-wristed hairdressers. [And a reminder here that even out-of-the-closet gays can be dealing with issues of self-hatred.]
Sometimes if you object to stuff like this you're told by gays and straight alike to get over yourself, because -- after all -- there are gay guys like this out in the real world. This is the justification for a lot of gay humor/fag jokes that can be well-intentioned or mean-spirited. But I mean, the world already knows that some gay men are Big Queens -- can't we just get past it? Surely there's some humor to be mined in the bear community with its chubby chasers and big fat guys strutting around like sex symbols? [Then again -- maybe not. There's a kind of bearish gay couple on a show called Modern Family but they seem to be a couple of Big Queens as well.] Let's see something different and more diverse, please!
The thing is that stuff like Sex and the City -- while it has a large gay following I imagine -- is not directed specifically at gay people. I know that I am tired of the constant linking of gay men with fashion and hair-dressing, transvestism, and "girlie" attributes -- and the snide attitudes this engenders in even gay-friendly straights, many of whom are much more comfortable with obvious gay men and lesbians they can feel superior to [don't get me started!].
Gay men have had a perpetual problem in being taking seriously as men and stuff like The Producers and Sex and the City 2 -- no matter how supposedly good-natured -- don't help at all.