Thursday, June 25, 2015

Secret's in the Subtext

So I’ve got another new Women & Hollywood column up (or about to be up) this week. This time I went through a chronology of lesbian films through the decades to show how far we’ve come (and still need to go). One of the films I included, “Fried Green Tomatoes,” continues to be a lesbian favorite despite not featuring any explicitly lesbian content.

But we all knew, we alllll knew. Those of us who read Fannie Flagg’s source material knew with even more certainly, but still anyone with even a modicum of gaydar knew that Idgie & Ruth were a couple. Not best friends. Not gal pals. Not business partners. They were girlfriends, they were a family.

Yet, through the magic of Hollywood, two women could live together, raise a child together, start a business together yet still somehow be just friends. Some folk’s willful ability to delude themselves is truly impressive.

Still I think, despite the silly subterfuge, what “Fried Green Tomatoes” is really a great example of is our ability to embrace the narratives we want to see. A story that perhaps back in 1991 was too risqué (Women! In love! Gasp!) has been reclaimed by our community. And, better yet, in the years since we’ve been able to tell our own stories with total clarity.

Our progress since means it’s OK to keep a soft spot for the ladies of the Whistle Stop Café. Plus, I dare you to call yourself a true lesbian if you haven’t named at least one pet Idgie, Ruth or some combination of the two. Pet names for each other count, too. Secret’s in the sauce, ladies. Secret’s in the sauce.

You can read the column here.

p.s. That food fight continues to be one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. She’s tryin’ to teach me how to cook!


Anonymous said...

I believe Idgie's been a bad influence on you!

Seriously, the best part is how the community not only tolerated but actually supported the relationship, even the preacher.

Carmen SanDiego said...

That movie is a joy to watch