Pretty Little Liars Recap 310: What Lies Beneath Lesbian Relationships

This week we have critically important gay stuff need to talk about ASAP. Because of said critically important gay shit, I will do my best to rush through the straight stuff that we only marginally care about. Except the parts where Spencer looks hot because obviously we care about that A Lot.

We open on Hanna moving around some plants and stuff. The reason doesn’t make any sense and also doesn’t matter because the important thing here is that Hanna finds a letter under a planter that Maya wrote to Emily.

I NEED TO EXPOSE MY EARS SO I CAN SEE BETTER

Now, why the fuck would Maya leave a letter for Emily? We don’t know. But if I had to guess it would be because queer women love a good letter. Seriously, we fucking love them. My best queer friend from Boston wrote me a letter last week just to say good luck in med school and all about how we’re like family and stuff. It was really cute and I’m totally tearing up thinking about it. It was a seriously long letter.

THIS REMINDS ME OF BACK IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WHEN YOU WOULD WRITE A FAUX LETTER AS A PILGRIM AND THEN “AGE” IT WITH TEA

Where were we? Oh right! Maya’s letter! Maya writes that she has something she wants to show Emily but not to text/call her because someone stole her phone. Well that explains all that phone shit from last season. Maya also wants Emily to meet her somewhere but the location of that place has, obviously, been washed out by the rain. Actually Maya’s whole leave a note outside plan was pretty fucking dumb.

How Maya Could Have Made Her Plan Less Dumb
1. Put the letter in the mailbox
2. Put the letter in large envelope/box so it would be seen
3. Tape the letter to the door
4. Email Emily
5. Hired someone to skywrite the letter

Unfortunately Maya didn’t have my cunning problem-solving skills and the Liars are left with half a note that doesn’t give them much info.

PASSING AROUND INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO SECRETLY OBTAIN A COPY OF “OUR BODIES OURSELVES”

The Liars do, however, realize that the letter was dated the day Maya died. Emily seemed upset, but you know, not that upset. In reality it probably takes someone years to get over the death of their first girlfriend, but we only get about three months of TV Land time and 16 hours of realtime per season. So we gotta get this recovery going to get more scissoring action.

YOU WANT ME TO GO A WHOLE OTHER HALF SEASON WITHOUT SCISSORING WITH PAIGE?!

Flash forward to Ezra’s apartment where, as usual, he and Aria are having breakfast. I want to make a joke here about how all these two do is hang out in Ezra’s apartment, except I think that’s probably actually really realistic for a mid-twenties guy who’s dating a high school senior.

OHHHH SHITTTT! YOU BROUGH BAGELS?! YOU’RE THE BEST GIRLFRIEND EVVEEERRRRR!

Either way, remember how mature Aria was last episode? Well apparently that was all a farse and she actually pissed as shit about the whole high school girlfriend Maggie got paid to have an abortion and disappear thing. Well mostly she’s upset that Ezra didn’t tell her. As if those things come up in conversation casually.

OH MAN. IF I JUST SIT ON THIS COUCH I WONDER IF SOMEONE WILL BRING ME A BAGEL. I WONDER WHO WOULD DO THAT FOR ME.

Anyways so Aria’s a brat about it but then later in the episode they reconcile and stuff. Then Ezra drops the bomb that he found the high school sweetie. My money’s on she secretly kept the baby and the baby is Alison’s secret twin. The baby is A.

OH MAN THESE REALLY ARE THE BEST. DID YOU GET THESE FROM ABSOLUTE BAGELS?

Starsweep to the Life Cafe where Hanna is obsessing over Maya’s website. While Emily definitely already looked at every single minute of every single video on that site, Hanna is just giving it a double check.

LISTEN, UM, IF YOU SEE ANYTHING ON THERE ABOUT “LESBIAN BED DEATH” I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT. THAT WASN’T ME I SWEAR.

The Life Cafe is the only coffee shop in town, so in walks our favorite doctor who is board certified in everything. He’s just swung by to tell Hanna he loves her always and forever or at least that he really enjoyed their kiss and would kind of maybe like to do it again some time.

UNIMPRESSED

Okay. Murder, secret texts, dating the English teacher are all things I can suspend my disbelief for. But not Wren. First of all, Wren did a seriously weird time travel thing. First of all, “last year” he was a med student and now he’s like an attending at Rosewood International Hospital. Secondly, at the very youngest (and if he had done medical school in the UK) Wren would be like 25. However, he could very easily be 27 if he had done medical school in the US and not taken any time off. What 27 year-old doctor has the desire to date a 17-year-old? Ezra I can believe because he’s in his early twenties and hooked up with Aria thinking she was a college student. But Wren knowingly pursuing Hanna? This I do not buy. Sorry.

THIS LOOKS LIKE THE FACE OF A MAN WHO’S HAD HIS SCREEN ACTORS GUILD CARD FOR AT LEAST TWO DECADES

Hanna, shockingly, is the one who blows Wren off because clearly this shit doesn’t make any sense to her either. And because of Caleb and Spencer. Wah wah wah.

SORRY. I HAVE TO GO FIND MY OTHER BOYFRIEND. HE’S A DENTIST.

Starsweep to Rosewood where Spencer and Emily are apparently the only ones still in school. Emily’s been reading Maya’s letter over and over again without any real results. “Dead girlfriend” is all fine and good, but we know who has the real problems — Spencer. She laments her recent failure, i.e. getting a B.

FYI THIS WAS ME IN HIGH SCHOOL.

And Toby left! What will we ever do?

GIRL, GET REAL PROBLEMS.

More importantly Spencer leaves when our favorite neighborhood future soft butch heads over.

EMILY’S “HEHE THAT’S MY GIRLFRIEND” FACE

That’s right, it’s Paige and she’s wearing a black t-shirt with an American flag and bald eagle on the front With The Sleeves Cut Off.

I PICKED UP THIS SHIRT FROM THE SALVATION ARMY. INITIALLY I WAS BEING IRONIC BUT THEN I WAS LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT, FUCK THAT. I DO LOVE AMERICA AND I DESERVE TO BE ABLE TO SHOW IT EVEN IF THE GOVERNMENT THINKS I’M A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN

Also, literally the second Paige starts talking soft guitar music starts to play in the background and it’s kind of hilarious but also the best thing ever. The love-birds were supposed to have lunch but Paige has to go see the swim coach about something or other. Emily speculates that Paige is probably going to be asked to anchor the five-hundred meter breast stroke (get it?) relay. And then Paige said “I’ll let you know” (using a voice most lesbians don’t use until their six months in with girlfriend three) and gives Emily a reassuring shoulder pat thing instead of a kiss.

THERE IS NOTHING SEXIER THAN A REASSURING SHOULDER PAT.

Starsweep inside the school where Aria walks in on her mom having a lunch date with Bakery Boy in her classroom.

IF I WERE DATING HOLLY MARIE COMBS I WOULD MAKE HER LUNCH EVERY DAY

Now, I feel like this is wildly inappropriate on Ella’s part as as school teacher but maybe I’m just uptight. And when I say walk in on, I mean they are making out with their mouths.

SOUTH COAST BOUTIQUE IS HAVING A FIRE SALE?!

Just in case you’ve forgotten how young and hot Bakery Boy is, he’s wearing a leather jacket. Obviously age isn’t a big deal to Ella since Piper was married to Leo and he was technically like 82 I think.

REALLY? AFTER ALL THAT BLUE CHEESE AND GARLIC BREAD?

Anyways Aria and Ella’s conversation is brief because Aria has to go change her panties after seeing Bakery Boy, but Ella promises to explain everything later. Later comes over by Aria’s locker. Basically Ella says she’s trying to get her groove on with three different guys. Heyyyy.

AFTER 20 YEARS OUT OF THE DATING CIRCUIT, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LEARN ALL THE FANCY NEW SEX MOVES THE KIDS ARE DOING THESE DAYS?

Emily strolls on over to Hanna’s house. Even though Emily’s mom moved home, I feel like these two living together was really good for the flow of the show because they don’t have to contrive reasons to just hang around at Hanna’s house. Like Emily could just be at Hanna’s because it feels like home still.

THAT’S IT?

Either way Hanna took a whole bunch of those Caffeine Pills from Saved by the Bell and printed out and organized all fo Maya’s photographs. She is searching them for clues. If only Hanna put this much effort into school she could probably give Spencer a run for her money.

WAIT HOW DID SHE GET ALL TEN FINGERS IN?

Looking through the photos, Emily finds one of the last pictures Maya posted — an oh-so-sexy picture of Maya in PJs. Surprisingly, Maya’s posing in front of a sign that says “Kahn.” Leaving aside the question of why Maya takes so many self portraits, this places her at Noel’s lake house during the day just before her death.

1. WHAT IS AROUND MAYA’S NECK? 2. I FEEL LIKE THIS SHOULD HAVE JUMPED OUT AT THEM EARLIER

The two call Spencer, who is at school, to inform her just before she runs in to Noel. Convenient!

I’M STILL UNCLEAR ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT SCHOOL IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW

Spencer has some curt words for Noel about Maya and his party. She delivers them with her usual completely hot timing. Why is good timing so hot?

REFERRING TO THE NIGHT SHE SPENT WITH ME

Spencer lets him know that she knows something is up with him and Maya. Noel says he sometimes sold Maya weed and says “weed” in a way that makes him seem even seedier. I’m really really trying not to hate every male character on this show, but Noel gives some serious crazy eyes.

LIKE THIS IS SERIOUSLY CREEPY RIGHT?

We skip through time and space where suddenly Noel and Jenna are canoodling at the Life Cafe. Nate stops by to see Emily because he’s obsessed with her or something and sees the lovely couple.

I ALMOST KIND OF LIKE THEM HERE

Jenna gives Nate the cold shoulder because she thinks he has a girlfriend and now Jenna has a boyfriend and because he’s fucking creepy as all hell. Nate proceeds to basically harass the heck out of Jenna saying he wants to give her her birthday gift and meet up with her later and all this shit.

I’M GONNA SIT HERE UNTIL YOU PROMISE TO LOVE ME

Jenna’s a big girl and can take care of herself, so she goes in to super firm Fuck Off mode which I absolutely love. Still, Nate comes off really pushy and a little scary here.

HERE, “PLEASE” IS A EUPHEMISM FOR “FOR FUCK SAKE”

Emily is not impressed.

IS WISHING SHE’D TAKEN THAT JOB IN THE LINGERIE STORE

Noel heads off to synchronized diving practice and, though Spencer is supposed to be going home to study forever, Emily texts her to go snooping through his gym locker. At some point in the last six months Spencer learned how to pick locks, and she starts going through Noel’s locker and, consequently, his phone. Obviously Spencer timed sneaking in with the end of practice, so sweaty man bodies start pouring in. Actually, first Spencer hides out while some guys shower, and then the sweaty man bodies pour in. It’s weird.

IT’S JUST A JUMP TO THE LEFT, AND A STEP TO THE RIGHT

Spencer should have done what I did the time I accidentally walked in to the boy’s locker room in high school and just flailing her arms yelling “OH MY GOD WHERE’S MY HEAD I CAN’T BELIEVE I WALKED IN TO THE BOY’S LOCKER ROOM!!” Instead her big plan is… um… to just like walk out in front of everybody and for some reason no one besides Noel thinks this is weird.

I WOULD IMAGINE IT WOULD BE A BETTER BET TO READ AN EMAIL FROM JENNA.

 

PAIGE: CUTTING WOOD AND BREAKING HEARTS SINCE 2004

Back over at the Life Cafe, the soft guitar music starts up again which can only mean one thing — Paige is stopping by to see Emily! Turns out Coach didn’t want her to swim anchor in the breast stroke relay (still funny) she actually bombed a math test and now her average is below a B. Saddy. Does anything good ever happen to Paige? And then Paige dropped this awesome lesbian bomb:

I TOOK FOUR YEARS OF WOODSHOP

Which I’m almost definitely positive was a reference to Ned’s Declassified NOT THAT I WATCHED THAT OR ANYTHING.

PAIGE: CUTTING WOOD AND BREAKING HEARTS SINCE 2004

To cheer Paige up, Emily asks her to come over to watch a movie. I swear Paige acts like she still can’t believe she and Emily are dating. The dynamic is a bit odd, but it’s still super cute. And then they have this super cute moment where Emily kisses Paige to make her feel better and I have a hundred feelings about it.

That was lengthy but I think worth it to experience. Mostly I think it’s funny that the kisses are so chaste even though all high school students normally wanna do is grind against each other in public. With that, Emily heads back to work and Paige heads home. For the record, in the real world, when your girlfriend has a coffee shop job you actually just hang around all day every day.

Speaking of the Life Cafe, Ezraria are inside I guess being public about their relationship? It’s unclear. Either way Baker Boy is there (since he owns the joint) and Ezra peer pressures Aria in to saying hello.

WITH REGARD TO THIS SHOW, THIS COUPLE ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE THEY MAKE SENSE

Throughout their discussion we discover that Baker Boy is crazy about Ella and not seeing anyone else. Is it just me or is it a little weird that Aria is so involved in her mother’s love life? Well, it doesn’t end there. Then Ella and Aria have the most adorable mother/daughter post-yoga moment where Aria tells Ella she should be straight with her man friend about all her other man friends. Like I said, it was really cute. Holly Marie Combs can do yoga with me any day.

I WOULD SAY I WANT ELLA TO BE MY MOM EXCEPT I LOVE MY MOM AND SHE’S THE ONLY MOM I WANT. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

When Ella next sees Baker Boy, the two talk about all of the Feelings and decide to go steady. My favorite part is when Ella points out that she’s ten years older than Baker Boy. Their relationship is officially the male-female relationship I am most heavily invested in.

LISTEN BABE JUST BECAUSE YOU LOOK LIKE RYAN GOSLING DOESN’T MEAN YOU GET TO PUT YOUR HANDS ALL OVER ME.

Also, I’m choosing to pretend that Ella was 18 when she had Aria, making Ella currently 35 which in turn makes Baker Boy 25 and therefore potentially the same age as Ezra. For hilarity I’d prefer if Baker Boy was younger than Ezra but I’ll take what I can get.

Starsweep to wherever the hell Noel’s cabin is where Hanna and Emily decide to take a look around. How is it still daytime? The two just walk in the front door because no one keeps their doors locked and find a completely destroyed living room.

ALTHOUGH YOU DON’T NEED TO LOCK YOUR DOORS IF YOU’RE TAKING SURVEILLANCE

They comment that it’s probably from a party but I feel like someone actually broke in and the Liars are gonna get framed for it.

OH THAT’S WHERE I LEFT THAT

The place is full of mounted deer heads and red solo cups and what else but a secret door to a secret room where someone has secretly been staying. Super sleuth Hanna even finds an overnight bag belonging to one miss Maya.

THIS BAG IS JUST FULL OF BIG BLACK DILDOS

Items in the Bag

+One (1) scarf
+One (1) knife with the initial L.J.
+One (1) birthday card Emily gave to Ali
+One (1) unused ticket to San Francisco

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH L.J.’S MORE FAMOUS BROTHER B.J.

First of all, L.J. is definitely the name of the guy who Maya was dating at True North who is also definitely probably Nate. Also, I personally think this stuff could have been assembled by A to frame the Liars, but then again I’m paranoid.

LIKE I THOUGHT IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT MAYA NEVER LEFT ROSEWOOD. BECAUSE SHE DIED THERE…

Or am I? Because just then all the window shutters shut and the door locks trapping the Liars in the lake house. Emily grabs a poker thingy and yells to see if it’s Noel. Instead of a response, the power blows. They scream. Obviously.

O FACES

Emily goes in to super hot escape mode and breaks the glass out of a window like nobody’s business.

THIS IS SUPER HOT

Hanna, on the other hand, somehow stabs herself while trying to pry the shutters open. Emily wraps up Hanna giant bleeding wound and the bashes the shutters open with a baseball bat. For real. The two hop out of the window (unfortunately off screen) and are confront with a big painted note from A. God, A paints fast.

LIKE COLD RIBS IN THE FRIDGE

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Spencer gets an email (potentially from Noel) telling Spencer to stop putting her meaty little fingers all over his locker. Attached is a surveillance video from the night Maya died. 9:30pm and a girl bikes up to the house. What girl? You totally already know. Duh, it’s Maya.

NOEL’S HOUSE LOOKS LIKE THE OUTSIDE OF A CRACKER BARREL

Emily and Hanna get back to Hanna’s place where she’s clearly bleeding out. Hanna refuses to go to the hospital even though she could totally just say she dropped a knife doing the dishes or something. Instead Emily calls Dr. British over and Hanna tells him she cut herself “cutting a really big carrot.” He believes her zero percent. Wren stays to cook Hanna some dinner, and the two flirt. Even though Wren’s motives make no sense, I’m actually in to this because Caleb is tragically boring.

I CAN’T BELIEVE HE CUT THOSE CUTE PINK JEANS. I SPENT THE WHOLE EPISODE THINKING THOSE JEANS WERE SO CUTE. SHE SERIOUSLY COULDN’T HAVE CHANGED OUT OF THEM?!

Emily finally gets home and finds Nate on her doorstep. He’s all ” Wah wah wah sorry I acted like a crazy person to Jenna earlier. Wah wah wah I miss Maya. Love me.” Emily shows Nate the bag she found and he rifles through it. Nate starts pulling things out and breaking down crying.

LOOK HOW NEGATIVE EMILY’S BODY LANGUAGE IS

I really thought what was going to happen here was that Nate was going to see something and accidentally blow his cover (because I still think he’s the ex-boyfriend).

That is not what happens.

Instead they fucking kiss.

WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT?

 

AT FIRST I’M LIKE

The second they kiss you absolutely know Paige is going to see them. And then I though, “Oh good. Emily is going to pull away and run in to Paige’s arms crying.” Or maybe Paige will see them kiss but not see the part where Emily pulls away upset. Except then they just kept kissing.


So Paige strolls up the sidewalk with the cutest little grin on her face– like an “I’m gonna get some lady action” grin and sees her goddamn girlfriend making out with someone else on her front step.

AND YOU REALLY DON’T WANNA MAKE PAIGE ANGRY

And there was nothing I could do to stop it.

You can just see the wheels turn in Paige’s head. What did I just see? I just saw Emily kissing someone. I just saw Emily kissing a boy. I’m so sad. No wait I’m mad.So she knocks over a trash can like a champ.

VIA FUCKYEAHPAIGEANDEMILY.TUMBLR.COM

It’s perfect because Paige is having all the same feelings I was. The two finally pull away and Nate say some shit about feeling close to Emily and having wanted to kiss her for a while. But Emily doesn’t say anything. The scene cuts away before Emily can admit feelings for Nate or tell him to go fuck himself or whatever. She just looks a little blank.

WELL THIS IS AWKWARD

At first I was mad at the writers. Really really mad. Not because I thought they were turning Emily in to a bisexual — I love bisexuals — but because I thought they were ditching our girl-girl relationship after really only two episodes of dating. How could they do that to me? But then I realized, that’s not what they’re doing at all.

First and most obviously, we don’t know what Emily said after that kiss. She could have said “I’m sorry Nate. I know we’re both grieving and wanted to feel close to someone for a moment but I love someone else.” Or, “Oh Wow. That was a mistake.” For all we know, she could have said, “Yep. Yep. Definitely gay.” Sometimes people are sad and they just kiss someone. They want to comfort themselves or act out or just feel something other than bleak numbness for a minute. I can’t speak for Nate, but I think that’s what was going on with Emily.

Even though it broke my heart in to a million pieces to see Paige’s face, I think I’m starting to understand why all this shitty shit happens to Paige. Paige isn’t one of the Liars, Paige is one of us. The Liars get stalked by mystery figures and blackmailed and constantly sexually pursued. But Paige? Paige deals with shit like being second best on the swim team. Paige has to do things like resolve unwanted sexual feelings, come out to her bigot parents and deal with self hatred. Paige gets dumped because she’s not ready to come out and then watches as the girl she likes falls in love with someone else. Paige has to learn to control her anger and maybe has a bit of a drinking problem. Paige is too scared to go to a pride group. Paige’s bike is constantly breaking. These are our real problems. So while I love Emily in all of her accidental steroid using, fake scholarship getting, breaking and entering, talking doll receiving glory, sometimes I wish she would just stop seeming so perfect and have a couple of the regular high school queer problems. And Paige? She has all of them. So yeah, of course Paige sees her girlfriend kissing a guy. So for me, it makes a lot of sense that Paige doesn’t say anything and just turns around and walks away and kicks a trash can. It makes sense that when she sees Emily again, she gets super passive aggressive and sort of acts like she didn’t see anything but maybe kind of vaguely hints that she did. Because Paige is one of us and honestly, at her age, I would have done exactly the same thing.

I’M JUST GONNA PRETEND THAT EVERYTHING IS OKAY AND WE’RE JUST GOING TO DATE UNTIL ONE OF US DIES

Moving along the Liars watch more surveillance video from Noel’s place. The video shows Noel and Jenna going in to the cabin at 1:14 am followed by Maya coming out of the cabin. And at 1:14:45 am someone grabs Maya and pulls her off screen. Dun dun dun. Sorry, these things are much more dramatic to watch rather than describe.

MAKE-BANDITS

SNATCHED!

So:

The Events of April 12/13, 2011
9pm: Maya is seen getting in to a car with Garret
10:04pm: Maya arrives at Noel’s cabin
Midnight: Garret is arrested at Spencer’s house
1:14am: Noel and Jenna go in the cabin and Maya is snatched
Between 1:15-2am: Maya is killed at the DiLaurentis house where her body is later discovered

A few notes. First of all, the first season, which based on Maya’s death took place Labor day weekend 2010. This means that though the show is now taking place in the past, when it initially aired (June 8, 2010) it was taking place in the future. Second of all, if Noel, Garret, Jenna were all out of commission, then I have no idea who killed Maya. I do know this episode was a real trek.

Next week we’ll do more speculation on Paige’s slow but steady march in to a soft butch fashion paradise and I’ll make my strongest predictions for who will betray the Liars in the mid-season finale. Spoiler Alert: It probably won’t be Mona again.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 274 articles for us.

75 Comments

  1. Thumb up 9

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    Wren is also secretly a dentist, masseuse, and after an apprenticeship with Tobias Fünke, the world’s second analrapist. Wren is all of the things. All of them. (Except not-creepy. His not-a-creeper card was confiscated earlier this season due to his habit of kissing teenage girls who are friends with each other.)

  2. Thumb up 2

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    I have a lot of Paige-related feelings. Here goes:

    I love you so much Lizz for giving Paige props. The Ems Nate kiss was icky and gross and ugh and can we honestly just like have A snatch his ass into “out of town” permanently just like he did Maya? (Side note – every time we do snatches in crossfit I giggle incessantly like a 13 year old. And the coach says snatch like, 400 times. So that’s a lot of teenage giggles…)

    I have never ever identified more with a lesbian character on tv than Paige motherfucking McCullers and I love love love that I. Marlene King is fleshing her out to be just so real. The way Riese feels about Santana is how I feel about Paige. So. Kiss = icky and gross and ugh. Ems has a LONG night of groveling ahead of her with our girl Paige. But I feel the whole grief makes you act like an asshole sometimes thing. Paige = awesome and holy shit I want her in a tux always or in some sort of cycling outfit running into shit or falling or overturning trash cans via Chinese food assault.

    That is all. Feelings out.

    PS. Nate, Mckayla Maroney is NOT IMPRESSED WITH YOUR AWFULNESS. (I am sure someone has a .gif for this)

  3. Thumb up 2

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    So first, my nickname’s L J…..awkward haha!
    Second, I gasped when Emily&Nate kissed but yes thank you Lizz for pointing out that her actions may just be *normal* at some point. However that doesn’t stop me from feeling bad for our baby dyke Paige… but hey I loved the Jigglypuff gif! =)

  4. Thumb up 13

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    So, a few comments:

    WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THAT SCHOOL’S SCHEDULE!?!? I was so baffled that Hanna and Emily were chillin’ at the Marin’s, while Spencer was still in school? What the hell. I just. Ugh.

    Emily breaking down the window like a fucking boss was seriously the hottest thing I’ve ever seen her do.

    But then I wanted to throw my laptop against the wall when she kissed Nate. He was just SO INAPPROPRIATE! Fine, her kissing him was bad enough, but he has to follow up with the most fucking entitled comment ever: “I’ve wanted to kiss you for a long time.” Please let him die in a fire next episode.

  5. Thumb up 6

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    I really want to live in a place where when you get up in the morning, you have four hours to kill before school/work starts and then you can just pop in and out all day and no one cares. Rosewood is awesome.

    Great writing about the kiss Lizz. I’m so tired of Nate, but I’m starting to think the kiss is more about Paige’s story line than anything else and yes, I do identify so strongly with her. I was right there with her, ready to flip shit after that scene. I sure hope we can dodge the Emily gets knocked up bullet.

  6. Thumb up 6

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    I like reading these recaps/the comments on these recaps because I can pretend that the whole world is as in love with soft butch Paige as I am. Unlike when I read the comments of pictures of her on fb where people are like “wtf is she wearing I don’t understand I’m so heteronormative blah blah blah.”

    WOODSHOP!

  7. Thumb up 4

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    oh my god lizz i don’t even watch this show — literally have never seen an episode in my life — and you just made me almost cry with that paragraph about paige being one of us.

    WHAT IS IT WITH RECAPS ON AUTOSTRADDLE MAKING ME FEEL FEELINGS ABOUT SHOWS I HAVE NEVER WATCHED IN MY LIFE?!?

  8. Thumb up 3

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    ^THIS

    Also:
    No, no, no, no. NO FUCKING WAY. How DARE Nate do this!?
    Thank god I have my own office because I saw/read that and literally squawked in shock like an angry exotic bird. I wish I could hug Paige so hard right now.

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      Aaaand that’s exactly what I think the writers wanted to do.

      I’m stealing this line of thought from Heather Hogan, who writes the PLL recaps over at AE and it generally amazing, but yeah – think of the Emily/Nate kiss this way: There needed to be something that brought Emily down to size a bit and that made us love/feel for Paige and get on her team. Especially since, y’know, she did try to drown Emily that one time. And Emily is a main character, Paige is not. So the writers have basically just given the Paige character a giant, we-want-you-to-succeed plot present.

  9. Thumb up 4

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    +1 for squawking. When it happened my squawk woke my cat up and she gave me that “HUhhohhh wtf?” look. Sad thing is I kinda felt it coming. I continued “AH HELL NO YOU DIDN’,”-ing for a good 2mins afterwards. I had to stop it and go back to watch Paige throwing over the trash cans because it was 3AM and I couldn’t do the same thing.

    I am still processing this even and while I applaud you Lizz for trying to make better of it, I’m not so sure I can feel the same way even though I’ve had gay men kiss me in weird situations and it was no biggie between us they were just sad or drunk whatever. Ugh

    !All caps warning!

    HEY YA’LL LESBIAN CHARACTER IN POPULAR TEEN SHOW YAY! OH HEY LET’S KILL HER GIRLFRIEND! OH HEY LET’S ALSO HAVE HER MAKE OUT WITH A DUDE TOO! AND LET’S HAVE HER NEW LOVE INTEREST SEE IT HAPPEN! HUZZAH WE ARE BRILLIANT!

    I like this show, I really really do. But this was so unneeded. If it’s gonna be a whole confused about her sexuality thing – take that stuff to another show, these characters have all been tortured enough.

    Anyway, I feel like this show has become all about showing off Troian Bellisario’s long gorgeous legs and they are doing a fine job at that so I have no more complaints. I actually just caught up on the whole season last night and have nothing but praise in most departments for the writing and execution of this program. They just really really need to lay off the queers thx.

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    Oh Paige, let me hug you. I actually didn’t hate the kiss on the account of “omg Emily kissed a guy! she’s going hetero now!” Like really, what was with that reaction all over the webs? Was I watching the same show? From what I saw, she didn’t kiss him out of wanting to mack on him, she kissed him cause they were having a Maya moment and she was like “oh, well you’re kind of like Maya…oh wait, whoops, no you’re not, crap…” I’m more on the concern that if she’s still all trying to kiss creepy Nate to have some kind of connection to Maya still then maybe she shouldn’t be dating another girl already, because Paige loves her like no other, and Paige deserves more than that. I hope this gets resolved next week, Emily begs for forgiveness, that this stupid act was Emily’s last thing she needed for closure so she can finally begin to love Paige, and they go riding on that rainbow chopper down main street.

    And Nate is SO Maya’s true north stalker.

    Oh and Lizz: “I swear Paige acts like she still can’t believe she and Emily are dating. The dynamic is a bit odd, but it’s still super cute.” I got that feeling in the cafe seen too. I don’t know if that is what is on paper, Lindsey’s own take on it, but I thought it was a nice added touch to that dynamic. I think it totally makes sense with Paige’s personality. The little breathless face she makes after the kisses totally got to me.

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    not gonna lie, i got really excited when nate and emily kissed because the entertainment value of this show directly correlates with how fucked up things are
    (and paige throwing the chinese food and then going on a neighborhood rampage was the most unintentionally funny part of the episode)
    i just hope that paige’s rage/emotional instability is directed at ‘cousin’ nate at some point. he’s the creepiest dude in rosewood, which is saying something.

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    Considering Paige kissed Emily while she still thought she had a gf & then tried to kiss her while she crying over her gf, I don’t feel bad for her at all…………then there’s the whole drowning thing or as Spencer put it in the sneak peek don’t think of it as a “love dunk.”

    Nate has to be the stalker, Emily was badass, Aria and her Mom was fun to watch, Spencer could probably solve this case all by herself, the Emily & Nate kissed made me roll my eyes.

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    Is it weird that I actually watch this show and think “Omg Lizz is going to comment on that T-shirt” or “I can only imagine what Lizz will have to say about Emily’s boy makeout sesh”…

    Its obvious I enjoy your recaps way to much.

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    I love Paige. She is one of my favorites on this show. I am so excited for her show down with Spencer tomorrow.

    But I have very little sympathy for her. Lindsey Shaw is abnormally talented. She is even better than Troian. So I did feel bad because she is so clearly heart broken. Realistically? They have been dating about a week in this time line. Emily has been very forgiving. Paige began their courtship by gay bashing and trying to drown her. And all Emily did was chew spencer out for trying to get Paige thrown off the team! Paige refused to come (which is fine she wasn’t ready) but still tried to string Emily along that she would soon. Paige sprung unwanted kisses on her twice and sort of took advantage of her when she was drunk. After all of that Emily is comforting her and encouraging her over her swimming skills. And then next episode Emily is going to defend her from Spencer again.

    So, in the end, it sucks a lot but Emily has earned the right to screw up here and they have been together for such a short amount of time. I don’t have an issue with the guy aspect since Emily has always come off as bi with a very strong preference for girls. She was attracted to Toby she just wanted Maya more. She is attracted to Nate but she wants Paige more.

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      Congratulations Producers. You can tell people over and over Emily is a lesbian while playing to individuals who want the lesbian with a guy with the Toby flirting and Nate kiss. Reminds me of a certain character named Tea:)

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        The Toby flirtation is from the books (they were pretty faithful to the books up until about seven episodes in) where Emily is very much a bisexual and the Nate character is a mix of a few people but none of them are obvious stalker/murderers like he is. It isn’t much like Tea. Emily kissed a guy who reminds her of her connection her dead girlfriend and goes back to her current girlfriend in the next episode (it is all over the promos). She didn’t sleep with him and he will probably try to kill her.

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          Also has the show kept saying Emily is a lesbian? I don’t think so, really. Em made a big deal about being scared she wasn’t really that person and Hanna pointed out she wasn’t signing a contract. She has mostly dated women but she very rarely refers to herself as a lesbian. Neither her friends nor her put much of a label on it. She is just Emily.

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            yes, they have.
            and yes, she is just emily. gay emily. you are talking about an instance that happened very early on when emily was just coming out and treading water. subsequently the gay references and identification became significantly clear.
            so, let’s cut this shit out.
            i’m not sure why people are hanging on to this. maybe the younger girls trying to come to terms with their own sexuality, and it’s safer to keep emily bi in their minds? or they’re just not watching the damn show.
            deal with it, kids. she’s gay gay gay.

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            Emily said to Paige in season 1 that she only tried to talk herself to be interested in boys (when she was not out).

            And yes, she said she is gay. Which is synonym to lesbian.

            And that’s why those cliches are so harming. Just look at that comment.

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        I just have to point out that Emily is nothing like Tea (it always bothered me that her name was spelled like that). Tea very clearly stated that she was gay, but then proceeded to hook up/ fall in love with Tony. Emily made out with Nate, but like Lizz said it’s probably because they were both grieving.

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    As series after series and film after film falls back on the lesbian has an urge to kiss (or do more with) a man, the attempt to find compelling thoughts on why the series or film needed to go there becomes more eyerolling inducing. It is hard to expect respect when we go that’s okay. I am not concerned with Paige or Emily’s responses. They are characters. I could care less that Emily will affirm her lesbianism an episode or two from now. I am concerned that another television series is so out of ideas and so informed by the a need to make straight audiences happy, that it falls back on the “lesbian kisses a guy” trope.

    I will no longer watch the show. If the show has no respect for a segment of it’s audience and actually has the nerve to treat them as idiots then why would I bother. For the show to offer that the kiss was a one time thing out of grief is embarrassing. The recaps are fun. Watching a show which ridicules a minority isn’t. The very essence of this plotline is one of titillating straight preteens who want Emily with a man while acting like it is some deep storyline. It is not. It is crass, hateful exploitation. It is the last thing I wish to support.

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      Bisexual people exist. Emily has always been one. And she probably won’t ever actually date men like she does in the books.

      I have been on tumblr and a lot of boards. I don’t know any preteens that want Emily with a man. The days of people shipping Toby/Emily are long long dead. And pretty much everyone has figured out that Nate is Maya’s stalker/murderer on every board I have been on. Nate doesn’t have a ton of fans. And they have done everything to telegraph that he is a creep. So, I find the idea that they would have a long loving kiss between Paige and Emily and this awkward weird kiss with Nate in order to titillate preteen fans.

      They are telling a story about a girl grieving her dead girlfriend and connecting with someone she thinks is related to her (event hough he clearly isn’t). They are setting Emily up for the reveal. And she spends next episode tearing Spencer a part for making perfectly valid observations about her girlfriend.

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        Except Emily is not bisexual. She comes out as bisexual later, in the books, but the show is not faithfully following the books at all and Marlene King has actually clarified more than once that Emily is capital G gay. So there shouldn’t be any doubt about that.

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        Look at Youtube videos showing Emily and Nate kiss. Most comments are from ‘straighteners’.

        And like noted above, you confuse book Emily with show Emily. Book Emily never even said that she’s gay (although it was implied). Show Emily explicitly says she’s gay and she’s not interested in boys. What’s more, Marlene King (creator of the show) promised they won’t change that. So this plot point is just like kick in the face.

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    this. is the problem. you see, emily is not bi. she is a lesbian. how do we know that? because she identified herself as gay on multiple occasions. so when you have viewers start projecting their own sexuality or their own opinion on what a character’s sexuality really is, it is quite problematic. you can read into anything, obviously, but emily doesn’t have an attraction for nate or had one for toby for that matter. re: she’s gay. the fact that a viewer would come away with that really showcases how the writers are playing up to those that need emily to have an attraction to males. so, this points to one thing: viewer fail.

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      Emily hasn’t really identified as gay “on multiple occasions”. She expressed herself that way to her parents who really were just coming to terms with it all and didn’t need further complications. But when she was discussing coming out to the more receptive and understanding Hanna she explained that her issue was one of confusion. That she had feelings for Maya but she didn’t know if she was “that person” i.e. gay. Hanna pointed out that it would be fine. That she wasn’t singing a contract. That she was Emily who ever she dated.

      She has no issue being refereed to as gay or identifying that way but mostly she doesn’t use the labels. The creators have always said that she had a strong attraction to Toby and they liked the dynamic of there being something there but not acted on. But she wanted Maya more. And the storyline it was based on in the books made it more explicit (and she does date men and women).

      And I don’t know any fans who are into Nate or like that Emily is hooking up with someone who clearly killed Maya. I don’t really think they made him so overtly creepy to please fans.

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        “when she was discussing coming out to the more receptive and understanding Hanna she explained that her issue was one of confusion. That she had feelings for Maya but she didn’t know if she was “that person” i.e. gay.”

        No, this was her just coming to terms with her new sexuality.

        And she is gay. This has been explicitly defined by the show’s creators– on multiple occasions. Sorry, lose the fluidity argument here, it’s not valid.

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        “The creators have always said that she had a strong attraction to Toby and they liked the dynamic of there being something there but not acted on.”

        Sorry, you made it up. Whatever creators show, they always say that Emily is 100% gay. And honestly, book Emily is just a combination of offensive cliches (not only falling for a boy, but also pregnancy cliche).

        And that’s what Emily said to Paige back in Season 1 – ‘When I was trying to talk myself into being interested in boys, I would… look for guys like you’

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        Cherith, the producers never said that about Emily and Toby. It is one thing to disagree in pushing your Emily is bi thoughts. It is another to say something was said when it wasn’t.

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    What is with all this TV show Emily is bi nonsense. It has already been stated that TV show Emily is gay unlike book Emily that is bisexual. Emily on the show said that she was gay so all because she kissed a guy doesn’t mean that she’s magically bi all of a sudden.

    This is why that scene was a bad idea because it just perpetuates the stereotype that all a lesbian really needs is a some good dick and magically she will no longer like just women. I don’t see them having Ezra kissing some dude, or Spencer kissing some chick. Which makes having Emily kiss Nate so ridiculous.

    Even with all that crap with Nate, Emily is still gay gay gay gay goldstar gay gay gay gay.

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    Is it just me or did it seem like Emily knew that Paige had seen the kiss? There was a lot of side eye in the locker room scene at the end.

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    Not that Im a fan of the whole Nate and Emily thing… no chemistry at all! But I think why this was put in there was b/c in the books Emily does have some pretty big bisexual scenes. So maybe they are trying to bring that in?…but if the show went by the books a lot of dif. things would have happened…

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      They promised they won’t bring that, Emily will stay gay.
      If they would follow the book, it would be one of the most homophobic shows for a very long time. In the show Emily explicitly said she’s gay (in books – not) and that she’s not interested in boys. And Maya didn’t end up dead in books.

      So if they would follow books at this point, then lesbian’s girlfriend is killed, she finds the right guy who turns her bi, and she ends up pregnant.

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    my problem with the emily-nate kiss isn’t about whether emily is gay or bi, or whether it was good for the story or not. maybe it was good for the story and I’m asking for the writers to sacrifice their art to please one part of the audience, idk. but my problem is this; as a gay girl who watches tv, can I please just get to see one lesbian couple whose relationship, whatever other drama they have, is not complicated by a guy? come on, tv gods, throw us a bone here. not to be confused with a boner.

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      Yeah, I’d love to see more lesbian story lines where this isn’t a trope. I’ve been talking to some other folks about quantifying/tracking some of these tropes in lesbian onscreen story lines, because they are pretty ubiquitous and not very representative of the typical experiences of lesbians in the real world. (Yes, for some women this is their experience. I’m just saying that it’s disproportionally represented onscreen.)

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    I may be in the minority here, but the Nate/Emily kiss didn’t bother me. At all.

    I won’t purport to know Emily’s cemented sexuality. If she’s super lesbian. If she’s figuring herself out. If she’s somewhere in the middle. All I know is she had one boyfriend on screen who she didn’t seem attracted to and all subsequent romantic interests have been females, with the exception of Toby flirtation.

    That being said, I’m pretty fluid, although I think I have an affinity for women. But if there’s an emotional attraction and physical one, I’m not against exploring it despite the sex. Throwing that out there in case I’m being biased.

    So… Emily is a, for the most part, a feminine looking girl. Hell, even Paige is. I’m attracted to them both for that reason. Why wouldn’t Nate, a man who likes women, be attracted to Emily? And someone mentioned this “most fucking entitled comment ever: “I’ve wanted to kiss you for a long time.” ” in the comments regarding Nate’s comment after he kissed Emily. -_-. What Nate did, has happened to me, by a girl. I’m pretty sure I’ve done that before. Didn’t really get the anger there.

    As far as Emily, I think too many of us get to caught up in male vs. female, straight vs. lesbian, straight males are the devil, etc…

    What happened on that stoop seemed pretty natural, considering Emily is grieving her ex and found some intimate connection in Nate via Mya. When people get sad and vulnerable, it’s like they’re drunk. They just want someone to hold them, some intamcy, even if it’s ill-advised. Even if they don’t like the person. I’ve had straight friends hookup with guys no one would find remotely attractive (personality and physical appearance) because they were in some vulnerable state necessitating being felt up. Nate wanted that (let’s pretend we don’t know he’s a stalker cray cray). Emily may have wanted that or maybe she felt like she had to comfort him and in that moment, responding to HIS kiss felt like it would accomplish that. Who knows.

    I read a book like this once. This closeted black lesbian chick was best friends with this straight guy who was in love with her. And one vulnerable night they had great sex and although she admitted the sex was pleasurable, she knew it only happened because of the state she was in. He on the other hand thought it was a pronouncement of their love even though he knew she was a self-identified lesbian and then the book gets sad but at the end she has a committed girlfriend and he finally accepts it’s never going to work out between them and they remain besties.

    All I know is Emily is supposed to be a teenager figuring herself out. I’m not outraged because that scene didn’t leave me thinking “oh no, writers can never let the queer girl stick strictly to women” The scene’s emotional drivers seemed more complex than “Emily likes boys.” I still don’t think that’s her preference and I don’t think the show painted it in that light. Simmer down everyone.

    Sorry for the rant.

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      At this point it looks like the writers are just trying to surpass each others at more convincing excuse for putting lesbian character into guy’s arms.

      The same thing happened when Skins US pulled out the same thing. “This is so convincing why she had sex with him”. And Skins UK. And The Kids Are All Right. And in plenty of other movies and shows.

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      The thing that bugs me about these story lines, though, is that they never work the other direction. You never see a storyline about a guy trying to figure himself out and kissing another guy “in confusion.”

      You might see a gay guy kissing a girl “in confusion” as a young teen, but it’s still a pretty rare storyline.

      You don’t really see a straight girl kissing a girl “in confusion” and then realizing she’s really straight much either.

      But if you sat down and tracked every onscreen portrayal of lesbians, you’d find this story line of “trying out kissing a guy/having sex with a guy” in the vast majority of the stories.

      Why is this such a common trope in lesbian story lines, more so than in any other teen love scenario?

      It’s problematic for that reason.

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      “I read a book like this once. This closeted black lesbian chick was best friends with this straight guy who was in love with her. And one vulnerable night they had great sex and although she admitted the sex was pleasurable, she knew it only happened because of the state she was in. He on the other hand thought it was a pronouncement of their love even though he knew she was a self-identified lesbian and then the book gets sad but at the end she has a committed girlfriend and he finally accepts it’s never going to work out between them and they remain besties.”

      Oh please. Was that book written by a straight man? News to you – most straight men don’t care that they would not be ‘loved’ by women they hit into. They just want to have sex with them.

      Homophobic stereotypes about lesbians are basically the reverse of stereotypes about gay men. While gay men are perceived as promiscuous and that they can’t commit to loving relationship, lesbians are basically only about deep love for each other and holding hands, but they are basically sexless on their own – women’s sexuality is guided by men, including lesbians’ sexuality.

      So this whole story about “sex was pleasurable” but relationship couldn’t work out seems to be just about it.

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        No it wasn’t written by a straight man. A queer woman, actually.

        “News to you – most straight men don’t care that they would not be ‘loved’ by women they hit into.”

        Yeah… you sound incredibly absurd and completely interpreted everything I said for your own biased, probably misandrist, perspective. I really can’t stand arguments like this. I bow out. You win. Only lesbians understand love. And lesbians have never sought out purely sexual interaction with other gals. Because us queer chicks are all so pure and wholesome. You, have multiple seats.

        Wait… I just read the rest of your comment. The biggest contradiction! People, not lesbians and gay men and straight girls and straight men, but people have the capacity for intimacy on some deep level or for fucking for the sake of fucking.

        But I’ve lost my argument. I’m just annoyed you’re only able to view one side of it. And as someone who has dated both side of the spectrum, there are just as many “player” lesbians as there are “player” guys. And just as many “supremely loving and affectionate” guys as there are “supremely loving and affectionate” women. Round out your pov why don’t you.

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            Haha, that is pretty much what I took from that comment, I have never seen anyone use that word seriously and I did not expect to see it on this site.

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          So it was written by a queer woman? And what does she have to say about lesbian sexuality if she is not one? Many queer or bisexual women try to reinforce the belief that everyone is like them – if they are attracted to both, then lesbians have to be to some level too. If they claim they aren’t, they have to be “misandrists”, huh.

          You didn’t understand what I was saying. I only showed what homophobic stereotypes are about lesbians and that this way of thinking only panders to it. I personally believe that anyone could love anyone, but it’s sexual attraction that defines orientation. Love without attraction is simply deep friendship. And lesbian identified women who base their identity on belief they could never fall in love with a guy, but like to have sex with them, have tendency to end up in relationships with men. As various studies on sexuality show.

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            -_- So misadnry may have been an overstep because I don’t know anyone’s underlying sentiment, but the comment it was in relation to showed its ignorance as well. So I’ll call a spade, a spade. Ignorant. Hope that’s better.

            But you’re right. Queer women shouldn’t project their experience on lesbian women and vice versa. But I don’t think I said that, nor did the book, nor did the woman who wrote the book.

            The last person I dated was soft butch and identifies only as lesbian and is sexually attracted to women exclusively, but dated guys back in HS. But that was only because she was in the closet, had a conservative family, etc… It actually shocked me she had ever been with guy. Long story short, she had sex with guys. Then, long long time agao. And from our conversations, it wasn’t a totally “ugh, ewww” experience. Granted, I doubt the level of intimacy wasn’t there because for reasons, she’s a big lesbian, it wasn’t the same as with a girl. But it wasn’t a cringeworthy experience. My point is, her past doesn’t make her any less a lesbian. Not queer. Not bi. She’s a lesbian. The physicality of sex and noting that if just the mechanics of arousal were present doesn’t taint her sexual identity. That’s a very personal thing and I dislike when others like to come in and assess the purity of someone’s identity. That’s there’s. And only there’s.

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            I personally don’t understand this way of thinking – butch = more gay than femme. Being butch is only about gender expression, and I know a handful of previously butch lesbian identified trans men who turned out to be gay men after transition (I don’t mean here that butches and trans men are the same, but simply that sexuality and gender expression are completely different things).

            It’s obviously difficult topic, as rape victims sometimes too can get orgasm, some women even get it from breast feeding, but there is common ground – it’s unwanted experience. If a woman likes having sex with men (which is not the same thing as having orgasm after for example picturing in the head really hard a woman in place of the guy during sex with him, as some lesbians experienced), is motivated for it, is turned on by male body, then I personally would not consider such woman as a lesbian. Not in “biological” sense, but if she wants to call herself that, it’s her choice. Although some women seem to try to catch men for casual sex on that, and such behaviour I despise.

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      “What Nate did, has happened to me, by a girl. I’m pretty sure I’ve done that before. Didn’t really get the anger there.

      As far as Emily, I think too many of us get to caught up in male vs. female, straight vs. lesbian, straight males are the devil, etc…”

      The difference between straight guy hitting on out lesbian and queer girl hitting on a woman is a fact that situation of straight women and lesbians is not the same. Lesbians are oppressed sexual minority which sexuality is constantly put under the question. What’s more, lots of lesbian women faced sexual harassment based on their orientation, and “corrective rapes” are really big problem in many parts of the world – and people from all around the world watch those shows. The same is not true for straight women – everyone is by default straight until they explicitly say or show otherwise.

      And your second sentence is just, wow. So, lesbians are pissed off by Emily storyline because they hate men? Because it’s “male vs. female” and “straight males are the devil”?

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        “And your second sentence is just, wow. So, lesbians are pissed off by Emily storyline because they hate men? Because it’s “male vs. female” and “straight males are the devil”?”

        I’m not saying that’s always the case. It’s not the case with my lesbian friends. It’s just most of what I seen on the internet. A very loud minority seems to demonize straight men? Again, not this site perse, but a lot of reactions to the show has been that.

        And I totally understand the socialization and identity pov. But again, I’m being biased. I’m thinking about my circle of friends. My male friends are the most open set of kids like ever. Same with my female friends. They all belong in another time. So my apologies for offending anyone. It’s just hard for me to view anything as “us” and “other.” Even when technically, I’m as marginalized as they come in America. queer black women. *bowing out*

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    Thank you for pointing out the Wren thing! Seriously, they do lay a decent enough case for getting you to believe in Ezra, but there is just no excuse for Wren. Are there no late-twenties women in Rosewood at all?

    I’m still waiting for a scene where Wren and Ezra have a beer together. Wren says, “high school girls, wtf? and Ezra says, “yeah, but high school girls, man, am i right?” and then they both smile sleezily and clink glasses.

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