02:15 

#cicada
my kink is when people admit i was right
Policing the Bromance: Platonic Male Relationships in Cop Shows by Alexandra Lamb, 2013
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So how do producers play up homosocial relationships without potentially encouraging homoerotic readings, particularly within the traditionally hypermasculine world of the cop show? Sometimes the relationships themselves are dialed down normally expressed through roughhousing and banter, intimacy is kept at bay by male bravado (Mackinnon 2003:38). Such conduct can be understood in terms of what Anderson calls masculine capital, a form of social currency that needs to be constantly replenished in order to refute suspicion. The more masculine capital you build up, the more (temporary) leeway you are allowed, as he observes with regard to the amazingly homoerotic rituals of team sports and football players wearing dresses to school as a joke (Anderson 2009:43). There are three primary ways of gaining or regaining masculine capital: heterosexuality, homophobia, and physical performance.

... Beyond the constant stream of attractive women in their beds, there is the physicality. Anderson discusses this mostly with regard to sporting prowess, but in cop shows masculine performance translates easily into violence, aggression, and the constant risk-taking and is embodied in the incredibly muscular physiques of the decades top male movie stars. The idea of sacrificing everything for the win remains, but the stakes are higher. Combined with the strong associations between masculinity and violence, and the idea of the public world and state power as masculine, cops particularly cops who work in the field have easy access to masculine capital. As DAcci (1994) puts it, they prove their masculine supremacy by their physical or technological prowess and by skillfully negotiating the dangerous space between social order and lawless disorder (116). In her essay The Buddy Politic about 1980s buddy cop movies, Cynthia Fuchs (1993) suggests that violent spectacle not only emphatically displaces homosexuality but also alibis it; when one partner is in danger and the other partner gets a little closer than might normally be acceptable, impending death allows these exaggerated images of male-on-male contact (202-3).

... The networks still shied away from really engaging with queer experiences; either there was one gay character, often stereotyped, among a larger and entirely heterosexual crowd, or a single episode would be queer-themed and the show would bounce back on its usual course by the very next week. As such, queer visibility on primetime TV mirrored Walterss (2001) description of a society readily embracing the images of gay life but still all too reluctant to embrace the realities of gay identities and practices in all their messy and challenging confusion (10). Becker (2006a) suggests, then, that networks were primarily trying to appeal to the educated, upwardly mobile, gay-friendly-but-straight audiences with the hip factor of gay programming, rather than to actual gay viewers, who were not valuable enough as a niche audience. And as he explores, many of these single-episode stories actually focused more on the straight experience of queerness, as in the homosexual heterosexual sitcom trope where a straight character is mistaken for being gay.

... Sometimes the disavowal of queerness is explicit, with one of the characters explaining outright that theyre not dating. The No, really, were not together moments are akin to Beckers (2006a) homosexual heterosexual plot, although they last only minutes rather than an entire episode. In both, however, viewers have to understand why the confusion occurs, whether its Shawn and Gus pretending to coown a cat, or Johns willingness to drop everything for Sherlock. Viewers are in what Becker calls the privileged position of knowing that its not true, but these comedic situations depend upon and, in the process, reinforce the notion that the distinctions between gay and straight are not easy to discern (2006a:202). Here, the distinctions are blurred not in a single characters behavior, but by the very closeness of the relationship. As Anderson (2009) argues, inclusive masculinity allows men to loosen the restrictions on homosociality, since theyre no longer afraid of being thought gay. ... These moments also serve another purpose, narratively speaking. With broadening queer visibility and the possibility that anyone could be gay, these denials remind the viewers who may or may not take it that way that the characters are not together.

... Heterosexual recuperation is McCormacks term for how high school students reclaimed their straightness in homophobia-free settings, in which gay students are socially included, homophobic language is absent, and heterosexual students do not intellectualize negative attitudes about sexual minorities. The students in McCormacks study used two main techniques to police their heterosexuality, when they bothered to do so at all. First was conquestial recuperation, which involved boasting about the girls they were interested in or had slept with. The second was ironic recuperation, a satirical proclamation of same-sex desire or a gay identity made in order to maintain a heterosexual identity (McCormack 2012:90). Ironic recuperation is a way to alibi transgressive behavior, and it can be used even by boys with low traditionally-masculine capital. The joke, essentially, is, Its funny because were straight. The school setting McCormack describes is similar to the heteronormative but not overtly homophobic world of broadcast and most cable television: gay characters are present (even if theyre often stereotyped or desexualized); when homophobic language is used, it is problematized within the show; and protagonists are queer-friendly. In this context, ironic recuperation would be the writers either foregrounding the queerness of the relationship for the sake of hip humor, or writing a relationship that they recognize could be perceived as queer and then using hip humor to play it off. ... Straight male characters are allowed to have the trappings of queer relationships and use comedy to normalize it, while queer relationships between the two leading males in mainstream media remain distinctly abnormal, in that they rarely occur. There are bromances, but no romances between men. It is Walters and Beckers arguments taken to a more extreme degree: a flirtation with transgression without taking it far enough to be dangerous, or even uncomfortable for those straight viewers. On the one hand, as Rebecca Feasey (2008) points out, these types of friendships can be seen as progressive because these men do not let societal fears of being labeled interrupt or destroy their intimate relationships, and because theyre not threatened by being called gay. On the other hand, in her review of Common Law, TV critic Maureen Ryan (2012) chastises the but were not gay! joke, saying that not only does it act as a distancing technique, something that draws attention to gays and lesbians as something out of the norm, its also unrealistic. Who doesn't know straight men who hang out all the time without anyone thinking about or guessing about their sexuality?

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2015-11-17 20:58 

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2015-11-17 23:13 

#cicada
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2015-11-18 12:06 

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