How to Get Away with Murder

Bi Erasure in Film and TV: The Difficulty of Representing Bisexual People On-Screen

How to Get Away with Murder

As frustrating as our erasure and stereotyping is, however, I’d like to go beyond the question of “good” and “bad” representations of bisexual characters to ask this: exactly what it is about bisexuality which makes it so hard to represent on-screen? And why, when bisexuality is visible, is it so likely to collapse back into dominant stereotypes of bisexuality as either promiscuous or merely a phase?

Call For Writers: Bisexual Erasure and Representation

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People who identify as bisexual are part of an often maligned group. Both straight and queer community members frequently express discomfort with the concept of bisexuality, feeling threatened by bisexuality’s refusal to fit cleanly into an either/or binary system of sexuality.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

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Check out what we’ve been reading this week – and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

Bad Mothers Are the Law of Shondaland

Scandal Maya Lewis

It’s fascinating that all four of Shonda Rhimes’ protagonists have strained relationships with their mothers… Shondaland’s shows work to combat the stereotype that if you don’t have a functional family unit, replete with a doting, competent mother, you’re alone in the world.

Never Fear: Unlikable Black Women on ‘Orange Is the New Black’ and ‘Luther’

Viola Davis at the SAG Awards

When I searched my mental rolodex for Black female characters in film or television who are unlikable my mind continued to circle. I was lost.

“Mama’s Here Now” and Dynamics of Sexual Trauma

Cicely Tyson and Viola Davis in 'How To Get Away With Murder'

But last Thursday’s episode, “Mama’s Here Now,” hosted a surprising masterclass on dealing with the fraught topic of sexual abuse on network television.

Call For Writers: Unlikeable Women

Call For Writers: Unlikeable Women

‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Is Everything “That” ‘New York Times’ Review Said It Is

“Oh wow, she wrote Crossroads!” – Me, researching Shonda Rhimes

Fortunately for everyone, the show deliberately plays with archetype. She’s introduced as a singular image we all know, and over the course of the episode is shown to be sexy, amoral, vulnerable (Or is she? This is that kind of show; who knows!?), and an effective, if unorthodox, mentor. She’s a three-dimensional character that happens to fit the description.

How to Get Away with Dynamic Black Women Leads

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Not only does this kind of stereotyping delegitimize Black women’s feelings, but it functions as a racist and misogynistic social policing tactic that pressures black women to self-censor their opinions, feelings and needs, or else be written off as a “type.” In fictional representations, the Angry Black Woman labeling and policing limits the types of black women we see in film, literature, comics, television, and other media.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

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Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

Angry or Complicated?: Misrecognizing Black Women

Shonda Rhimes

At best, the White Gaze can be challenged on Twitter (see: #lessclassicallybeautiful); at worst, it can get you killed (see: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Renisha McBride, Trayvon Martin). And for black women, in particular, our complex experiences disappear in the crossroads of intersectional oppression. Where racism and sexism meet, we fall through the cracks.