Monday, July 20, 2009
As an avid True Blood watcher, I had to read James Brady Ryan's piece on AlterNet, entitled "Rough Sex With Vampires: What Does 'True Blood' Tell Us About Women and Sexuality?"
To talk about True Blood is to talk about sex: barely a scene goes by without something between innuendo and a full-on orgy. This isn’t new to vampire fiction, as Latoya Peterson pointed out in a piece for Double X. That the sexuality of the female leads is under heavy scrutiny is no surprise, given how much horror fiction has centered on feminine helplessness. To Peterson, the current crop of pointy-toothed dramas continues the genre’s fascination with sexual violence and the idealization of the chaste woman. I can’t fault her for taking issue with eroticized depictions of abuse, often against women. But she’s wrong to equate the sexual politics of True Blood with those of the abstinent, repressed Twilight.
It's extremely important to keep analyzing and criticizing how women are portrayed in mainstream media; it is undeniable that what is seen on TV, read in magazines, and heard in songs greatly influences public opinion and the stereotypes individuals hold. True Blood, quite frankly, isn't perfect when it comes to portrayal of its woman characters. There is a minuscule amount of female vampires, and the few that are shown are often overtly evil and manipulative. Additionally, the show's main vampire, Vampire Bill, states on more than one occasion that he "owns" Sookie. However, to put it bluntly, Sookie is a tough bitch, and can take care of herself with or without her vampire keeper.
Has anyone else seen this show? If so, offer your two cents please!