Recent Television Trend for ‘Lesbian Kisses’

Over the past three years there has been a recent trend in lesbian sub-plots in the Australian Soap operas Neighbours and Home and Away. This trend has led to a great deal of controversy, however, I find it interesting that Australia’s two strongest soaps are continually adding lesbian sub-plots. I argue that the rising power of female sexuality on Australian TV is a reaction to the dominance of the masculine australian types over the past 50 years of television. Autumn Affair, an earlier australian soap,  featured women that depend on men for their  happiness. The introduction of lesbian scenes in Australian soaps, reveals the reversal of this traditional dependency. Below I have selected three clips (2 from Neighbours and 1 from Home and Away) that feature lesbian relationships.

1. Neighbours included a subplot where Donna kissed Sunny. (See Clip Below). Their kiss is led on by Donna complementing Sunny. When Donna gives her a “peck,” however, Sunny accuses her for taking her first kiss….The Drama continues…It seems as though the Lesbian kisses disrupt the a desire for attention from men.

The press flipped out about the Kiss. Australian Family Association accused this plot line as “normalizing” same-sex relationships on TV. Susan Bower, the executive producer of  Neighbours said, “If we were going to do a lesbian story – and “Neighbours” is not against lesbian stories – we would do it properly. This is a teenage romance story. There’s nothing sexual.” Furthermore, actress Margaret Robbie deny’s that the kiss even  “real.” She said, “It’s really not a big deal at all. It’s not an actual gay storyline, it’s just kind of an impulsive peck,” Robbie told the Herald Sun. “It’s just like another day on set really. I have to kiss other characters all the time and usually that’s real kissing.”

2. Neighbours also includes another lesbian subplot  between Rosie and Pepper. Their kiss in the clip below is set up almost identically to Sunny and Donna’s kiss . Rosie tells Pepper that she is beautiful and should be more self-confident. Pepper tells Rosie that guys just treat her like a “doormat.” This lesbian affection seen in the clip below, is the female backlash against Australian masculinity. In other words, way of dealing with Australian feminiity

3. Home and Away included a lesbian subplot between Charlie and Joey. Unlike the two clips above, Joey already identifies as Gay. The controversy in the storyline results from Charlie’s sister, Ruby, not accepting the fact that Charlie is gay. Furthermore, unlike the other plots, this storyline forces the actresses to really portray a lesbian love, rather than deny the lesbian sexuality like Margaret Robbie, Donna, did in the press following the airing of her kiss with Sunny.

To read more about this recent lesbian trend check out the following sites:

http://www.samesame.com.au/news/local/4005/Lesbian-Kiss-On-Neighbours-Another-Beat-Up.htm

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/s14/neighbours/news/a157025/neighbours-star-downplays-lesbian-kiss.html

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