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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lesbian "Femininity" on Television


Over the past five years, lesbian images on TV have generated a multitude of headlines like these.1 The L Word, Work Out, and South of Nowhere have triggered battles among critics, scholars, and members of the TV industry about the implications of lesbian femininity on television. Each show predominantly features stereotypically feminine lesbian characters. Showtime’s soap opera The L Word follows a closelyknit web of lesbian friends and lovers living in West Hollywood. Bravo’s reality series Work Out stars openly lesbian gym owner and personal trainer Jackie Warner, and shows the daily lives of Warner, her entourage of personal trainers, and their clients. The N Network’s South of Nowhere is a teen drama about a family dealing with charged issues like teen pregnancy, interracial families, and the daughter’s coming out experiences.

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