Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Glass Closet

Cameron Diaz has joined the ranks of Christina Aguilera, as female celebrities eager for some cheap publicity, overpublicize their supposed sexual liberation and bisexuality. Since when has finding the same sex attractive become such a shallow marketing ploy?

Diaz told "Playboy" magazine that she "can be attracted to a woman sexually, but it doesn't mean I want to be in love with a woman." She adds, "If I'm going to be with a woman sexually, it doesn't mean I'm a lesbian."

We haven't seen such masterful parsing of language since Bill Clinton sought to define the word "is" and courted liberal groups while publicly disavowing being a "liberal" himself.

If Diaz is truly attracted to women, why does she have to qualify it? Why go to "Playboy" magazine, the embodiment of passive female degradation, to extoll her enigmatic sexuality?

It's interesting that this marketing ploy only works for women. Although there are a few male celebrities, like Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, who have admitted to having bisexual tendencies, for the most part, men are sex symbols precisely because they fit into the popular mold of male virility. They wear their rugged sexuality on their sleeves, and are unequivocally attracted to women. What would it do to Brad Pitt's or Robert Pattinson's career if they publicly admitted to being bisexual?

Women like Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, and now Cameron Diaz are being told that ambiguous sexuality is a strong selling point. They cannot be lesbians, but they can be bisexual; yet these supposed "bisexuals" are never seen out with dates other than men. So, is your sexual proclivity even relevant? If you're married with children (like Christina), engaged to a man (like Katy), or simply engaging in shameless self-promotion (like Gaga and Cameron), then why do we care? It's not like you're a tireless activist for the movement. Your "bisexuality" is simply part of your marketing plan. Shock value, titillation. (yaaaaaawn)

Cameron's disavowal of lesbianism is hardly an endorsement. It's like having a spokesperson who films commercials cavorting with your product, only to turn around and tell everyone that she doesn't even use your product, or she only uses it sometimes.

Note to Cameron's publicist (and Christina's, and Katy's, and Gaga's as well), just stick to the entertainment. Leave the fight for true equal rights and acceptance to those people who don't have to pretend.

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