Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MiCara: Hollywood’s Sapphic fetish

by Ava Jaulin

     "I support gay relationships. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” Kinky Friedman

A new “it” couple fascinates fans and dominates tabloids: MiCara. 
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

In recent months, celebrity-powered relationships have bloomed: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde - to name a few.  None of them garner controversy and mandate ogling like model Cara Delevingne and actress Michelle Rodriguez.

It would be easy to credit this obsession to the merging of two beautiful women, two enviable professions, and the paparazzi, but that would be inaccurate. Delevingne, a social media maven, keeps the public up-to-date.  But the MiCara thirst remains unquenched.

Most consumers seem extremely supportive of the new coupling (based on a casual social media survey).  The late Adam Finley (Huff Post), citing an AP article, believed that “the industry actually seems to be trailing the public in [same-sex relationship] acceptance.”

Headlines, and articles, range from admonishing to just plain sexual. Classicalite’s Gay Michelle Rodriguez Dating Hot Cara Delavigne Drunk Knicks Game Kissing, IV Fluids Instagram, claims that Rodriguez gets drunk to keep up with her younger, bisexual girlfriend. Us magazine’s Cara Delavigne Makes Out With Michelle Rodriguez While Topless in Mexico, is more picture show than article. Finally, classy rag, TMZ’s Lesbihonest We're Dating!!! Excited? But why?

The “authors” never provide real information about the women. It’s as if they are school-girls in a slam book. They’re renowned on their own. Delevingne (whose name is spelled differently depending on the publication) is a reputable model known for a sexy catwalk, Brooke Shields’ eyebrows, and being Poppy’s younger sister. Rodriguez is known for her raspy voice, tough persona, and role in the Fast and Furious franchise.

Why are the press, and the public, so fascinated by this relationship? It’s not as though they’re the first sexy lesbian couple.

Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi, Sarah Gilbert and Linda Perry, Amber Heard and Tasya van Ree and, never to be forgotten, Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson. That’s just the tip of the Sapphic iceberg.  So why all the hoopla?
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

The answer is far too complicated for one article. I believe it’s rooted in history and culture. According to datehookup.com:

[D]ifferent nations and cultures have treated same sex relations differently, and also have had different standards for male and female same sex relations. For instance in the Jewish culture same sex relations between men are forbidden whereas relations between women constitute minor moral issues. Greek culture in general did not regard same sex relations as distinctly perverted though the idea of same sex relations being perverted did prevail in some ways.

The autodidacts on Yahoo Answers agree. One woman states:

[B]isexuality or homosexuality is more tolerated among women because ours is a male-dominated culture and most men view a man with feminine attributes or two men together as an affront or a threat to masculinity. Why would a man feel threatened by two women, though? Plus, the media does its part in making two women seem desirable.

Another states that “maybe it’s because girls have always been close with each other, not in a sexual way. So people kinda got used to the idea of females being together sexually because it didn’t seem to be that weird.” And a man chimes in: “The Bible says nothing about lesbianism because it was written by men.”

For many, same-sex relationships are inherently wrong, but kind of ok if it’s two women. Patriarchy rears its very confused head, as patriarchy tends to do. 

Daily conversations, even in jest, back the sentiment. When asked to have a threesome involving two men, most men balk and act disgusted. Yet women are encouraged to make-out with one another at parties, take part in wet T-shirt contests, and pose half-nude in magazines. Yes, men pose half-naked as well, but the implications are different. Images of men often depict health, not sexuality.  This concludes the prerequisite to Gender 101.

Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG
When celebrities “come out of the closet,” it becomes a political matter.  They must carry the torch for the cause and become role models, or refuse the role and be antagonized. “Research has shown that homosexuality is an example of a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects. Most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”* Maybe this explains the media’s fascination with Delevingne and Rodriguez.

The duo admits to hanging out and sharing a fondness for each other.  They haven’t announced or revealed anything beyond that. They make-out publically, around the world, but don’t deign to give the rumor mill any concrete information. MiCara reveals to the public what they want to reveal – no more and no less.

This iron-fisted control, over their own relationship, fascinates me, not their gender.


*Submission to the Church of England’s Listening Exercise on Human Sexuality, The Royal College of Psychiatristshttp www.rcpsych.ac.uk/workinpsychiatry/specialinterestgroups/gaylesbian/submissiontothecofe.aspx
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