Drawing Manageable Boundaries for the Discussions Taking Place in this Forum
As your salonnières it is our job to set parameters for the conversations that will emerge here and to keep this forum's focus clear...
HERE ARE SOME POINTS OF CLARIFICATION TO KEEP IN MIND IN TERMS OF THE SCOPE OF THIS INTERACTIVE BLOG:
- This is a space for discussing sociocultural & political themes in HBO's hit series True Blood and talking about the show's wider impact from a uniquely feminist perspective
- We are focused on the television show True Blood NOT the Sookie Stackhouse aka Southern Vampire series of books written by Charlaine Harris. We do not read the books and therefore cannot discuss them intelligently. It seems like people tend to conflate True Blood with the Harris-penned books or at least blur the lines between the two; we see them as separate entities.
- Our musings about the show and the conversations that flow from them will span the entire True Blood canon which at this time includes Seasons 1, 2 , 3 & 4.
|True Blood Season 1|
|True Blood Season 2|
|True Blood Season 3|
|True Blood Season 4|
- We're also NOT discussing the "cult of celebrity" surrounding the show; meaning the personal lives of the actors, the red carpet events they attend, who they're hooking up with, etc. are outside the scope of this forum. Not that we're not interested in that stuff in addition to our more intellectually-related True Blood pursuits, but there are already plenty of other places to discuss these kinds of things.
THE TOPICS WE EXPLORE HERE WILL BE BROAD AND WIDE-RANGING AND MAY INCLUDE, AMONG OTHER THINGS:
- Engagement with the major overarching themes of the show in general and of Seasons 1, 2 & 3 in particular.
- Analysis of specific episodes and/or scenes, for instance the now infamous final scene of Season 3, Episode 3 entitled "It Hurts Me Too" which drew the ire of the National Oganization for Women for what NOW called a “messed up depiction of women, men, violence, and sex”, prompting its call for feminists to deliver a “thanks but no thanks” message to HBO.
In our view this deliberately unsettling scene raises vital issues that are better addressed through thoughtful dialogue than censure and several questions ripe for discourse spring immediately to mind, for instance:
If Lorena is as NOW suggests the classic “bitch” archetype; the vamp viewers are encouraged to hate—a characterization that reduces her to a monolith—how might this comment on our culture which has long fragmented the Feminine; that so readily casts women as either virgin or whore? What kind of cultural context would need to exist for us to think differently?
Why does this scene disturb us so? Is it too hard to reconcile the genteel and romantic Bill Compton (currently tenuous grip on his humanity and all) with his willful despoiling of Lorena; his determination to utterly ruin her—and harder still for us to place such a rapacious mindset not at the margins of what this nation is all about, but at the center?
Could Bill's pillage and defilement of Lorena be seen as a visceral rearticulation for a contemporary audience of the overthrow of the Great Goddess by the warrior god as peaceful, egalitarian society was supplanted by patriarchy in a hostile takeover bringing disparate peoples into violent conflict some five millenia ago - the collective memory of which still pulses in our modern psyches?
You'll see this kind of analysis of this scene in the very first posts on our home page since it was this scene and its impact on us that spurred us to take on this project in the first place!
- Character studies that look at the role of, and attitudes about, women and representations of the Feminine that speak to issues of identity, body image, self-esteem and self-worth, empowerment and agency, and how gender roles (both male and female) are co-constructed in dynamic interplay with each other will be part of our discourse; for instance:
|Pam & Eric|
|Sara & Steve|
|Queen Sophie Ann|
the irrepressible Lafayette
- what IS The Masculine, what IS The Feminine - can they be rigidly defined, or are their boundaries porous?
Hopefully you have gotten a taste for the type of discourse you can drink up at The Pierced Pomegranate Tavern here!