On the gay sex scene on ‘Amer­i­can Gods’

Metro USA (New York) - - Entertainment -

So many ar­ti­cles have been writ­ten about the re­cent gay sex scene in the third episode of “Amer­i­can Gods.” I just wanted to add my two cents.

My two cents, by the way, are com­ing from a straight white woman, and they should be taken in that con­text. My horse in this race is con­nected to the way women vs. men are por­trayed in sex scenes. I will leave it to those who are part of the LGBTQ com­mu­nity and the Mid­dle East­ern com­mu­nity to make the in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant points about how this scene, be­tween the char­ac­ters Salim (Omid Ab­tahi) and the Jinn (Mousa Kraish), af­fects them. All I can add with any au­thor­ity is the an­gle that af­fects me per­son­ally: equal op­por­tu­nity nu­dity.

Showrun­ner Bryan Fuller spoke about how Starz re­quired equal op­por­tu­nity nu­dity, some­thing we’ve seen in shows like “Spar­ta­cus,” “Black Sails” and “Power.” One wouldn’t think this should be a rad­i­cal thing, but the way sex has been por­trayed through­out the his­tory of tele­vi­sion (and film and video games, etc.), it is.

If you ever wanted ev­i­dence that the greater part of en­ter­tain­ment is fo­cused on the straight male gaze, all you have to do is con­sider any se­ries that shows nu­dity. “Game of Thrones,” for in­stance? When it has male nu­dity, it’s usu­ally when that part of the body is suf­fer­ing some sort of harm. Couldn’t pos­si­bly make that sex­ual, could we? Then look again at how so many scenes fea­ture naked women just as back­ground dec­o­ra­tion. Nu­dity is fine in my book, as I’ve said many times. The way it’s fo­cused al­most ex­clu­sively on pleas­ing straight men is not.

We see this over and over again. Go ahead and put your fa­vorite films or TV shows to this test. Whose nu­dity did you see? I’m not talk­ing about butts here. Whose ac­tual naughty bits were put on dis­play? How of­ten is it the woman you see com­pletely naked but not the man?

For the an­gle I’m cov­er­ing here, I’ll say this: We’re told, as women, that our bod­ies are ob­jects and that the straight male gaze is far more im­por­tant than our own. We’re told we aren’t sup­posed to want to see these things, but it’s fine be­cause guys do and we’re here to please them. The fact that Starz has taken this step, ac­knowl­edg­ing that straight white men are not the only peo­ple who ap­pre­ci­ate sex­u­al­ity and want to see their own rep­re­sented, is en­cour­ag­ing.

STARZ

A sex scene be­tween Salim (Omid Ab­tahi) and the Jinn (Mousa Kraish) has be­come the cen­ter of some great dis­cus­sions re­cently.

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