On Spencer and Ashley’s getting caught “sex scene.” [x]
My babies… ♥
The Importance of Visibility, History, and PLL’s Paily in the Noir Episode
I always have my staff meeting after Pretty Little Liars airs, and luckily, a good chunk of them watch it. So we always spend about 10 minutes either before or after the meeting deconstructing it. Now, the majority of my staff members are 18-20, and all of them are straight, so I usually end up pointing out the nuances of Emily and Paige’s relationship. (Also, they know my one rule- No badmouthing Paige!)So tonight was the 1940 Film Noir episode. I assumed we would have a longer then usual talk, and I was right. They LOVED the black and white framing, plus the “old fashioned” language. I was shocked to discover, however, that they didn’t “get” the Paily scenes.Staff #1: “I thought Paige and Emily were over the fear of being out. Why did they put them back in the closet?”Staff #2: “Yeah, and the scene between Paige and Aria? What was that about?”After I picked my jaw off the floor and remember I was talking to people born 25 years after Stonewall, I started to explain."The fear of being an out queer person in the 1940’s was real. Things like electroshock therapy and lobotomies were considered legit cures. Doing things like not leaving a bar at the same time, not patting each other on the arm for too long- those were all things that were HIGHLY regulated."I then went on to explain the scene with Aria."Tomboy was a double edged sword. You could be a tomboy when you were young, but the minute you hit a certain age, like 15, you better be sure to start acting like a lady. Being called a tomboy when you are 8 was cute, but being called one at 15 is an insult."I then explained things such as the raids on gay bars, and how if you weren’t wearing 3 pieces of clothes that matched your biological sex, you were arrested.Staff #1: “How did they know if you were wearing girls underwear and stuff?”Me: “They made you strip right there to prove it.”Needless to say, they were shocked. Who knew that Pretty Little Liars and Paily was going to turn into a Queer History Lesson?Those scenes with Paily were brave. You could see the fear, the despair of ever being “normal” and the utter JOY when they both decided “Oh, fuck it!” and be together. Those two were braver then I ever could be. I don’t think I could have survived living at a time like that, especially as someone who identifies on the more masculine side (I could never give up my bow ties! NEVER.)Let’s not forget the fight of those who came before us.
"You’re my Never Gonna Happen Crush. You’re it, you’re my fantasy girl… Misty, I get you, okay? I get your whole thing. I mean, I know in New York you had a ton of friends and then you moved here and in Hollywood, no one cares about who you are or what you think, but I do. And I think that space camp is awesome! Look, I know what it’s like to pretend to be something that you’re not and I’m tired of doing that. I just want you to know that you don’t have to pretend with me, because I just like you. I’m sorry that I ruined your night.”