Sometimes a kiss is not just a kiss.
It’s a firestorm.
For way too long heterosexual love has been the very hallmark of love and marriage. The Hallmark channel takes this very literally.
The channel known for serving up a syrupy, saccharine fare, pulled an ad from wedding planning company Zola featuring a loving Lesbian couple kissing on their wedding day. Apparently, it was too spicy for some of their viewers, upsetting their delicate, conservative tummies accustomed to the bland menu dished up by Hallmark.
The trouble started when the ad caught the eye of the conservative group “One Million Moms.” They received complaints from folks watching Hallmark and saw the commercial of gasp… two women kissing.
“The Hallmark Channel has always been known for its family-friendly movies,” the group wrote. “Even its commercials are usually safe for family viewing. But unfortunately, that is not the case anymore.”
In case they hadn’t heard, same-sex marriage is the law of the land. Two consenting adults pledging to commit to each other for life is not offensive. It’s love. It’s romantic. It’s the very essence of Hallmark movies.
To their credit, Hallmark eventually apologized for dropping the same-sex wedding ad after facing a firestorm on social media.
In this case, love eventually won out.
But old notions of who can love one another still linger like a toxic overspill.
Hours after the horrific news broke of the shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016, the gunman’s father suggested to the media that the sight of 2 men kissing may have prompted his son to go on a killing rampage.
Now more than ever, it’s time to end the shame of being attracted to partners who fall outside the range of who our society tells us we should love.
Love is Love.
The selling of who we may love may finally have reached its expiration date.
In a country that long prided itself on endless choices of toothpaste, breakfast cereal and shampoos, for far too long there really was only one choice when it came to who you could love.
You stuck with the brand you knew and trusted.
Heterosexual – It’s the right brand. Time tested…dependable…AMA approved…loved by millions. Don’t accept substitutes.
Don’t Box Me In
Today there is a cultural shift as we slowly begin to shrug off the need for definitions and labels in how we conceive gender or who our society has told us we should be sexually attracted to.
The choices are widening, encouraging those who are uncomfortable being slotted into a gender binary.
The Normal Heart…Love Honor and Obey
With the media obsessed with defining and exaggerating gender codes of masculinity and femininity, never was the insistence that everyone fit into a heterosexual cisgender model stronger than in mid-century America.
Images of happy heterosexuals as the norm permeated popular culture, scattering its potent assumptions of family, marriage and who we should love deep into our collective psyches.
When it came to learning about love, teen girls turned to romance comics, ground zero of mid-century hetero-normative love. The Hallmark Channel of its day.
With names such as Young Romance, Girls Love and Secret Hearts , the colorful, pulpy pages were filled with heart throbbing stories about the rocky road to love in the quest for Mr. Right.
The formulaic stories were instructive, telling the readers how to find a man, how to keep him, how to be beautiful for him and most importantly how to get him to put a ring on your finger.
Skating on Thin Ice
There was only one path to true happiness and anyone who veered from that was headed for trouble. Fast girls who got pregnant got the shame they deserved but could be redeemed, but a girl who wasn’t boy crazy?
No one wanted to be thought of as being “That Kind of Girl!”
Let’s follow the instructive story of “Liz” the not too subtly named Tomboy who queerly enough shows no interest in boys. Despite the taunts, leering comments and shaming pointed her way our hero… er …heroine stands firm.
That is until… she meets the Right boy, in a story entitled “That Strange Girl!”
That Strange Girl
Failure to conform to these confining roles meant there was a whole lot of shaming going on.
The Key to Femininity
She Doesn’t Go For Boys!
What Do You Think I Was…?
This story appeared in a romance comic from the early 1970s. Still grounded in the morality of the 1950’s, the Love Comics genre could never adjust to the new changing morality despite trying to deal with contemporary themes, eventually dealing a death knell for romance comics.
Today’s changing morality has likewise signaled a death knell to limitations on love.
Take pride in who you love!
(©) 20019 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved