One of the better-know soap opera columnists refuses to call herself a fan, and takes issue when others refer to her publicly as a soap fan for fear that her words won’t been taken seriously. Yet her affection for and knowledge of soaps is implicit in every word she writes. So, why not a fan? And one of the television critics for this country’s newspaper of record (at least east of the Mississippi) writes about soaps, primetime and daytime. What she writes suggests her familiarity with and affection for soaps. A fan, no? Yet, she undercuts her expertise with condescending prose; I suspect describing her as a fan would not sit well either.
But words do matter. What we call ourselves, or in this case, don’t call ourselves makes a difference. That’s why the California Supreme Court, following the lead of my state of Massachusetts, overturned the laws forbidding same-sex marriage today. The message is the same: call it something else and it is something else; civil unions for gays and lesbians and marriage for straight people is not equality. That the decision came down on the same day Ginia Bellafante’s piece on the gay relationship between Luke and Noah of As the World Turns, As a Lovers' Kiss Turns a World Around, appeared in The New York Times, only underscores the irony here.
I’ll be discussing the substance of Bellafante’s piece in an upcoming post, “a kiss is just a kiss,” but wanted to get this up today.
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