Faking It Episode 308 Recap: Just Pick “Bisexual” So We Can Have Christmas!

Welcome to the eighth recap of the third season of Faking It, a show about that time it rained so hard that my house floated away on a river and eventually docked on a distant port just in time for a lesbian whale-watching cruise. This program is brought to you by the same network that brought you Pimp My Ride, which was also about my house floating away.

I’m sorry this recap is many hours late and honestly, several dollars short. It’s been a really stressful week!! BUT I SURE HOPE WE CAN COME TOGETHER TO DISCUSS THIS SHITSHOW.


We open in Amy’s subconscious, okay? I’m just gonna do you the favor this show did NOT do me, and let you know straight-away where we are. Like say if you watched the Faking It mid-season trailer and saw this scene and thought it was a scene that would eventually transpire in this very narrative I want you to know that you were wrong. You were tricked. It is, indeed, a fucking g-damn DREAM, Y’ALL.

C'mon, just take my hand! We're off to never-never land!

C’mon, just take my hand! We’re off to never-never land!

You mean "Babeland," right?

You mean “Babeland,” right?

Yup, so, in Amy’s dream, Karma approaches her, says she’s identified the source of her jealousy, and then shares a series of intense but tongueless kisses with her best friend for life, donut and horror movie enthusiast Amy Raudenfield.

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Hey-o!

Hey-o!

Then Amy’s like, “no! I cannot go back there with you!” at which point Karma turns into Sabrina, and there’s a wind machine, and it’s like this whole thing.

Come with me, Amy, I'm the only fake lesbian you need

Come with me, Amy, I’m the only fake lesbian you need

ok

ok

And then, of course… she wakes up!

WHOA. I Just had the worst nightmare about how every time I kiss a girl on this show, it turns out to be a dream sequence

WHOA. I just had the worst nightmare about how every time I kiss a girl on this show, it turns out to be a dream sequence


Cut to Java the Hutbucks, where a tiny sign on the cabana indicates we are merely seven days away from Christmas, my favorite holiday! Even though I’m Jewish. Anyhow, Amy admits to Shane, who says this situation reminds him WAY too much of that other situation, that Sabrina admitted to Amy that she had a “sexy female dream of her own.”

I KNEW it, I KNEW it was you

I KNEW IT! I knew it was your lipstick that messed up an entire load of laundry!

caption

Uh, what brand of lesbian do you think I am? That was tinted chapstick!

Karma shows up and is alarmed to see that Amy is wearing her “crush boots,” which kill Amy’s tender golden arches but are also really good at seducing people. She demands Shane reveal who Amy’s dressing up for — IS IT SABRINA??!!! Karma says Amy’s gonna get her heart broken again but Shane refuses comment, instead shoving a taco into his mouth. An actual taco.


Lauren’s Lovely Lair: LIAM, PUT DOWN THE BABY JESUS. PUT IT DOWN. THIS IS A CHRISTMAS HOUSE, NOT A HANUKKAH HOUSE. ALSO IF IT’S REALLY 7 DAYS BEFORE X-MAS, CHANCES ARE VERY GOOD THAT HANUKKAH HAS ALREADY BEGUN.

Okay, sure I can see how this might make the tree a little top-heavy but I don't know why you won't at leas t let me TRY

Okay, sure I can see how subbing this in for an angel might make the tree a little top-heavy but I don’t know why you won’t at least let me TRY

Just because you're the only one who can reach the top of the tree doesn't mean you're the only one who can knock it over and crush you to death with it

Just because you’re the only one who can reach the top of the tree doesn’t mean you’re the only one who can knock it over so it falls on top of your body and crushes you to death, buster

HERE LIAM, YOU CAN HAVE ONE SQUARE FOOT FOR YOUR MENORAH AND YOUR DREIDELS, OKAY? ONE SQUARE FOOT. MHM. HAVE SOME TINY PIECES OF GELT. LIKE DIME-SIZED GELT. MAYBE FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THAT ONE SQUARE FOOT LAST FOR EIGHT SQUARE FEET, OR SOMETHING.


Back at Hester Heathen High For High Kicks and Fun Times, Amy and Sabrina are figuring out whether or not Sabrina is an Ellen Page type or a Portia De Rossi type, which’s tough to figure out because Sabrina isn’t gay.

Listen, I think we both know when you say "Portia De Rossi type" you're asking if I'm into you

Just come over later and help me file my nails, okay?

Also WHERE did they find this rare print edition of Autostraddle.com?

Just wanted you all to see this xoxo

Just wanted you all to see this xoxo

Amy suggests they hit up LeZ-BINGO, which must be taking place in Fantasyland, but before Sabrina can excuse herself, Karma slides in like a wet banana and suggests something Sabrina wants to do even less: attend movie-oake as the Three Amigas! They’re doing Mean Girls and Sabrina would be so good at it, because she is a mean girl! Sabrina and Amy lie very poorly regarding their plans for this evening and Karma buys it because she is a goldfish.

Karma warns Sabrina against doing anything that might lead Amy on. Unfortuanetly, Sabrina is a heartless bitch.

No, that's not possible. Amy hates anal.

No, that’s not possible. Amy hates anal.

Correction. Amy hates anal WITH YOU.

Correction. Amy hates anal WITH YOU.

FI308-00083


Elsewhere in this institution of secondary education, Shane and Noah are linking pinkies and gazing into each other’s eyeballs when Karma interrupts just in time for Noah to duck out of the convo because, as Shane tells Karma, Noah always ducks out when things get sexually suggestive. Maybe he has IBS.

Are you guys having lesbian sex???

Are you boys having lesbian sex???

Errrr pretty sure this isn't how lesbian sex works, Karma

Errrr pretty sure this isn’t how lesbian sex works, Karma

Shane wonders if Noah’s not out yet, but Karma says at least he’s got something to be out ABOUT, unlike Amy’s crush, Sabrina McStraightypants. Then Karma has an idea! She’ll try to save Amy from the fake lesbian storyline by pushing her further towards the boyfriend storyline! She casts a determined glance in Felix’s direction. Felix always seems a little bit confused that he’s even on this show, you know?

Having Brian Krakow-ish thoughts

Having Brian Krakow-ish thoughts


Out in the previously cheery outdoor hallways of the Hester Hippie Hoe-Down, Penelope Delia Fisher is ripping down mistletoe like the motherfucking Grinch and declaring that Christmas Break is cancelled because um, it’s offensive. To somebody. Hypothetically.

C'mon, really? You want me to put those cheap IKEA lights back up?

C’mon, really? You want me to put those cheap IKEA lights back up?

"Those cheap IKEA lights" are from Overstock.com, bitch. And they were NOT cheap.

“Those cheap IKEA lights” are from Overstock.com, bitch. And they were NOT cheap.

Penelope: In an ideal world, everybody would just wear labels that told us how NOT to offend them. But they don’t!
Lauren: What if they did? If we can get everyone to label themselves, can we get our holidays back?

Penelope’s unclear on how, exactly, that could be “pulled off.” I’m unclear on how, exactly, you could cancel holiday break a few days before holiday break. Surely these fancy students have so many scarves in their wardrobe for a reason and that reason is probably “Colorado” or “Vermont.” Can’t wait to find out what the point of this weird plot device might be!


Karma locates Felix hanging out by himself in a Grandpa sweater and tells him it’s time to begin wooing Amy ’cause we’re a mere two weeks away from the end of his No-Dating period. The End Of Felix’s No-Dating Period has arrived much sooner than I expected!

Guess who just got a pirated copy of Season Two of The Great British Bake-Off ?

Guess who just got a pirated copy of Season Two of The Great British Bake-Off ?

You know when you have that terrible date in your future that you’re dreading, like “the day taxes are due” or “the day you have to drive all the way to Warren so your doctor can make you feel bad about yourself”? That’s how I feel about The End of Felix’s No-Dating Period. It was so far away it almost didn’t exist, and I got through the days just forgetting that day would ever come, just pushing it right on out of my mind…. and now here it is! Right before our very eyes! My stomach hurts just thinking about it! I thought it would never come!


Good news: Liam and Lauren have come together to institute mandatory labeling ’cause obviously they didn’t read Michelle Tea’s bizarre article in Cosmo last week. This new system will enable everybody to avoid offending each other by um… being really forthcoming about their identities? I cannot believe Lauren of all people is into this!

It's everybody's favorite party game, The Identity Booth! Where you have a chance to be whoever you want to be!

It’s everybody’s favorite party game, The Identity Booth! Where you have a chance to be whoever you want to be!

This is Liam. He picked the "ARTIST" label even though we all know most of his work are just photocopies of his own butt!

This is Liam. He picked the “ARTIST” label even though we all know most of his work is just photocopies of his own butt, stapled together and super-glued to giant planks of styrofoam!

All I can say is it should be a lot easier for Amy to find another lesbian at this school once this system gets put into practice… but will it?

Shane’s concerned this’ll make Noah uncomfortable, because Shane thinks Noah’s problem is not being out. Then Noah strolls up proudly displaying his “Gay” label and also “Musician.” This throws Shane off. What could Noah be hiding if it isn’t his homosexuality? There’s only one way to find out: following him home. Which leads to Liam and Shane rolling up outside a building called “Fitz’s Place,” which is where Fitz and Olivia hook up on the weekends and also where Noah has friends who he hugs and says hi to.

Okay I DEFINITELY hooked up with that guy at Tunnel last week

Okay I DEFINITELY hooked up with that guy at Tunnel last week

Welp, it turns out that Fitz’s Place is a shelter for LGBTQ youth that is so well-funded that a guy walks over to their car and knocks on Shane’s window to ask if they need a bed. 

Shane: Uh sorry, I’m taken and he’s straight.
Liam: Wait — what is this place?
Guy: A homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth.
Liam: Oh, uh, sorry. Our mistake. Thanks.
Shane: So now he’s cheating with a bunch of homeless guys! [pause] OHHHHHHHHHH.

Yeah, so this is intense and also thankfully not where I thought this story was going!


Amy’s front yard: much to absolutely nobody’s surprise, Karma thinks Felix’s best chance of snagging a New Year’s Eve date with Amy is to stand outside her window and PRETEND to play her a romantic tune on the guitar.

"Hey Soul Sister..."

“Hey Soul Sister…”

Nobody really likes that song, sorrry!!!

Nobody really likes that song, sorrry!!!

Karma will be hiding behind a tree playing the guitar herself to help Felix’s ploy. Alas, in a truly tragic turn of events, Farrah’s the only one subjected to a few lines of this undoubtedly epic ballad. She lets the kiddos know that Amy’s gone out for the evening with Sabrina. Felix and Karma are both sad, for different reasons.

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2847 articles for us.

59 Comments

  1. Well, I’ll quote the comment I wrote on different site. Given the show’s history with gaybaiting lesbian viewers, the way they handled the labels issue feels like, yet again, attempt at mocking lesbian fans who wanted to see Amy to finally label herself as a lesbian (not me, but there are still such people), and there’s no better way to do it than by pretending you’re coming from high ground of great open mindedness, facing some unenlightened masses who just want to put people into tiny boxes.

    Because, for reminder, we came here from there:

    “I don’t know about Karma’s path, but for Amy, she is a lesbian, and Carter and I talked about that. We don’t want it to be a tease, we don’t want people to feel like they can relate to this vulnerable process that she’s going through, and they can relate to this girl because she’s a lesbian and then have that taken away, like, “Oh, never mind, you know, I’m into guys now.”
    http://community.ew.com/2014/0

    “Her sleeping with Liam is just a way to bury that because he’s a guy. It doesn’t even matter that it’s Liam to her, it’s just that she wanted a guy. It’s her effort to not be a lesbian. She’s trying to deny her feelings which won’t work, because that’s not who she is.”
    http://www.zap2it.com/blog/fak

    “Amy isn’t going to wake up wondering if she likes boys. Boy or girl, it makes sense to me why Amy slept with Liam (Greg Sulkin). They connect through their mutual love, and then hate, for Karma. /…/ It makes sense to me. It wasn’t the right decision, but it is understandable. It doesn’t mean that Amy likes boys.”
    http://starrymag.com/?p=3327

    (I want to stress out I don’t put a blame on Rita for this leading on, it’s obvious she couldn’t say those things on her own – especially in 3 separated interviews – because she would get in trouble for contractual reasons. Clearly she just repeated what Carter told her and encouraged her to say, very likely even genuinely believing it’s true).

  2. Good recap per usual, but Person of Interest is showing this show up so much that it’s even more striking just how frustrating it’s gotten. At least until PoI kills off Shaw and Root.

    John and Harold will probably go first, so even that potential plot point isn’t as bad as some of the shit Faking It has been pulling. Particularly how they keep introducing love interests for Amy who are terrible.

  3. oh interesting i thought shane’s worried face in that last scene with noah was about his inability to keep secrets/horrible history of outing people.

    anyhoo <3 the recap as always, thanks for brightening our collective lives, happy wednesday, etc.

  4. However you feel about labels and such not, this episode didn’t feel like that was what it was really talking about. It feels like Carter Covington, instead of apologizing for the whole “Amy isn’t a lesbian” fiasco, was trying to shame us for something he did wrong.

    • Yeahhhh….like there are ways to make queer characters not use labels in ways that affirm their identities but this wasn’t it. Like “I’m queer but not into labels” or “I’m a member of the LGBT community but don’t really identify strongly with L vs B.” or “I’ve stop questioning my sexuality because I’ve decided I don’t need to figure it out right now or ever. I’m happy dating girls and the occasional guy and that’s what matters.” But this shit wasn’t it. Amy didn’t even explain *why* she feels uncomfortable with the bisexual label—there are valid reasons, which I myself have experienced. But is was so clear Carter has no idea what these reasons are beyond “I’m a free spirit.”

      Also the fact that Amy was 100% gay before sleeping with Liam “Lesbian Conquerer” Booker and then became “no labels, likes boys” is the real problematic part of her identity. Like as a bisexual that shit is so offensive, sleeping guys will not “dequeer” me. And the only significant lesbian character on the show was evil and biphobic. And the only “significant” character who used the bisexual label was only there to be a threesome plot device.

      Sigh.

  5. Amy’s speech about how nobody should have to label themselves is they aren’t ready, or just don’t want to, if it hadn’t been for the whole history of the show saying in interviews that Amy was gonna figure herself out as lesbian, and not fluid/questioning.

    • I typed too quickly there. I meant to say “Amy’s speech about how nobody should have to label themselves if they aren’t ready, or just don’t want to, would’ve been a lot more powerful if it hadn’t been for the whole history of the show saying in interviews that Amy was gonna figure herself out as a lesbian, and not fluid/questioning.”

      • Agreed. I hope show runners realize that their promotion of the show hurts them more than it helps.
        Carter and company should have just kept their mouths shut about it and let it unfold in the story

  6. Oh man, I have so many thoughts on this episode, but Riese, you nailed most of them perfectly.

    Like how is it that LAUREN is the one all for public labeling?! That makes no sense with everything we’ve learned about her.

    And how is it that Penelope can just cancel government-mandated school holidays!? I thought this was gonna go in a “War on Christmas” direction, with Liam protesting the name of the holidays because of his newfound Jewish identity, but it TOTALLY took a different, even weirder, turn.

    I, too, thought that Shane’s look at the end had more to do with his inability to keep secrets and terrible history of outing people than with any discomfort about Noah being trans. At least, I hope that’s what it was about. Shane outing Noah would be terrible, but at least it’s a terrible in line with Shane’s character as we’ve come to know him. Shane having problems with Noah being trans would just be plain terrible.

    Riese, your Judaism jokes this season have been ON POINT. Thank you. As another Jew who loves Christmas, your commentary this episode was SO GREAT. But with Liam’s whole storyline, I could ALMOST buy that he was excited about Judaism because it made him feel closer to his father. Fine. But now that his father’s not even Jewish!? Ughhhhhhhh. WHYYY.

    People upthread have mostly covered the issues with the labeling thing in regards to Amy and the showrunner’s flipflopping on her label, so I’ll just co-sign all of that too. But seriously, did the show just replace the central Amy/Karma “is-she-into-women-or-isn’t-she-into-women” with an identical Amy/Sabrina story?! Like, it is the exact same story beats, with the fake being a lesbian and the dreams everything! Is ANYBODY ACTUALLY A LESBIAN ON THIS SHOW!?!

    I’ll just end this rant by saying that Person of Interest is now airing on the same night as Faking It, and there is LITERALLY NO COMPETITION as to which show I will watch the night of, and which show will just have to wait until whenever I find the time. How does a CBS procedural about artificial intelligence and national security treat its queer women better than an MTV sitcom about teenagers!?

  7. Ughhhhhh the “labels suck!” speech. Obviously, labels can be oppressive. But I hold onto my identity as a lesbian because I fought HARD for it, and it took my 19 years to finally come to terms with it. I also lost a lot of friends and family in the process. I don’t even like queer as an identifier for myself because it’s become so ambiguous (and used by way too many straight “allies” in an effort to remain relevant). I’m a lesbian. A 5.99 on the Kinsey scale. I only like women. I have zero yearning for male anything. “Lesbian” in just one word says so much about my journey thus far.
    Amy’s journey throughout the show has been so consistent with my own experiences that I really and truly don’t think she’s anything but a lesbian. But, as in all TV shows, that’s not palatable for audiences I guess and she has to be bisexual. Like, where are the characters that have never, ever slept with men? All of the characters on television are either all over guys before they come out or end up sleeping with guys still after they come out or both. The only one I can think of is Arizona Robbins. And I adore her for it.
    I just want to see myself represented in characters.

    • To be fair, bisexuality is still the most under-represented on TV. But Amy should be gay. Is gay. It’s just obvious to anyone watching the show (except maybe a couple of straight people). I’m bi and I’d love more bi representation, but Amy is not it. And the way it’s handled on this show, she wouldn’t even be a good bisexual character by this point…

      • Amy was stated to have her body respond to men against her brain and that men turn her into “Sexual Hulk” back in Season 2, and Carter Covington further confirmed she is sexually attracted to men, about 3 on Kinsey Scale (there was a longer discussion on AE podcast about it, but that’s the logical conclusion of his words).

        So TBH, after all those shitty things (shitty because of earlier promises about her being lesbian) that have been done with her portrayal, I’m not sure if Amy labelling herself as a lesbian wouldn’t be even more offensive.

        • She can be homoromantic and mostly bisexual with a preference for women, though. Then lesbian would be a good label. It’s not like we demand every straight woman who’s ever felt attracted to a woman call herself bisexual…

          But I guess some of the clarity of the first season has been destroyed a bit by now. Any way this goes, it’s not looking good.

      • Yeah, I completely disagree that bisexuals are less represented than lesbians, unless you’re specifically talking about bisexual men, in which case yes, they never happen and can probably claim least representation on TV and film amongst the majority of LGBT identities. But bisexual women? Lol. I mean, the bulk of the main characters on the L Word are bi!
        Callie Torres? Bi. Santana and Brittany? Bi. Piper Chapman? Bi. Jenny Schecter, Tina, Alice? Bi. Emily Fields and most of her lady friends? Bi. Annalise Keating? Bi. Alex Kelly and Marissa Cooper? Bi. Julia McNamara? Bi. Lisbeth Salander? Bi. Willow? Bi. Even Mystique is bi. I looked up the list of “fictional lesbians” on Wikipedia and most were really obscure…basically, it boiled down to Bette, Shane, Alex Vause, Nicky Nichols, and Arizona Robbins. And actually, celebrities are way more likely to be bisexual or ambiguously queer than lesbian. Google “famous lesbians” and the lists are mostly bisexuals…which is aggravating for both parties, I’m assuming.
        Look, I don’t want to argue about this. I was stating my experience and feeling like there’s so little representation of my experience as a lesbian (who hasn’t dated men, and has zero attraction to them).

        • Okay… I think if we’re going to state which group is more represented on TV, facts are a good thing. But you may very well be right about female queer characters – when I think about it, a lot of them turn out to be bisexual. It’s usually not good bi representation, but it’s there.

          • Generally GLAAD reports on representation suggest there’s a little more lesbian characters than bisexuals on TV, while last year it was reversed in Hollywood movies (IIRC overall 6 bisexual women, 3 lesbians, 3 bisexual men, 16 gay men in movies from largest Hollywood studios).

            But it was raw numbers including ANY, even guest, characters, the quality of representation wasn’t specified, so I suspect the treatment from the CW network, which I examined due to Lexa’s death, could be common. From the informations I gathered during last 12 months CW shows had 8 recurring lesbian characters. None of them was lead, each one of them was merely a guest star, appearing on screen only in a handful of episodes of any given show for a short period of time.

            What’s more, 5 out of those 8 lesbian characters have been already killed off.

            Meanwhile the CW has 2 bisexual female leads currently in their shows (The loo and Legends of Tomorrow), and both of them are apparently going to get set up with men.

            So I think sexist mentality of showrunners could explain why there’s a bit more lesbian characters than bisexuals. It’s easier to show some “clear-cut” sexuality when you don’t want to put a lot of work into the character’s arc and portrayal of some redshirt you’re only going to bother with for a short amount of time but still receive “brownie points” for being inclusive. Those lesbian characters are just cannon fodder for the story of the important, usually straight male leads.

            Bisexual female characters are a bit more problematic in portrayal because many people still don’t understand bisexuality, but they have that advantage over lesbian characters that they can not only serve the story of straight male leads by dying, but also by being their love interests.

      • yeah statistically speaking bisexual women are more represented than lesbians on television. bisexual men are the least often represented.

        and yeah, super annoyed by the continuing promotion of the idea that eschewing labels is more evolved or progressive than having them. it’s a luxury to even to be able to think that way! everybody should feel free to label or not without having to argue that one way is more “real” than the other.

  8. Regardless of Carter’s intentions…
    This issue is going to keep coming up.

    I did find it interesting that Sabrina told Amy she was straight, then ended up kissing Amy anyway. Are they trying to say her feelings turned genuine? Considering she admitted she was straight after the confrontation with Karma.

    The ‘lesson’ Carter was trying to teach about labels was a bit heavy handed, as necessary for make believe television.

    IRL though, I had to science it and I did notice that in many the studies on sexuality, a good portion of people aren’t identifying.
    The CDC study (34,557 adults) in 2013 had…Among all U.S. adults aged 18 and over,
    96.6% identified as straight,
    1.6% identified as gay or lesbian,
    and 0.7% identified as bisexual.
    The remaining 1.1% of adults chose
    ‘‘something else’’ (0.2%), selected ‘‘I don’t know the answer’’ (0.4%), or refused to provide an answer (0.6%).
    1.1% didn’t really identify. More than those who identified as bisexual and pretty close to those who identified as gay or lesbian

    The CDC study before (2008, 13,495 adults) had 1.7% women who chose ‘something else'(0.6%) or did not report (1.1%)
    Did not report includes ‘‘don’t know’’ and ‘‘refused’’ responses.
    That study had 93.7% identify as straight
    1.1% identify as lesbian/gay
    3.5% identify as bisexual
    So the people who didn’t identify outnumbered gay/lesbian people

    The CDC study before (2002) had 5.6% women who chose ‘something else'(3.8%) or did not report (1.8%)
    In that report, 90.3% identified as straight
    1.3% identified as lesbian/gay
    2.8% identified as bisexual
    5.6% is more than LGB combined.

    When you get to adolescents (students 14 and up), that shit just falls apart.
    A study in Quebec showed that In raw numbers, more heterosexually identified students reported same-gender attraction (n=95) or same-gender behavior (n=33) than GLB-identified students (n=44 and 29, respectively).
    They came to the conclusion that, “‘Nonheterosexual’ youth are a heterogeneous group that cannot be identified accurately using a single question. In both research and clinical settings, the best way to assess sexual orientation, consistent with American Academy of Pediatrics, is to ask multiple questions that address the dimensions of identity, attraction, and behavior. All youth who endorse any combination of nonexclusively heterosexual identity, behavior, or attraction are potentially at risk for the ill effects of direct and indirect discrimination.”
    I agree completely.

    Point is, by comparison, We’re talking about a significant amount of people who are changing our cultural view of sexuality. I’d also like to point out that heterosexuality (straight) was a derogatory term created in the early 1900s to mean an ‘Abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex’; which means any sexual activity that is not for the purpose of procreation within marriage. This change seems to be a movement within an otherwise straight community.

    I don’t see the point in fighting this change.
    I’ll stick to my idea that people should be able to identify however they want, or not.
    But, I wish people would be comfortable with just saying they don’t know.
    Or even be brave enough to tell people it’s none of their business.

    • Few things. You can’t put into the same box people who refused the answer about their sexual identity with people who don’t identify as anything, because there could be many different reasons for it not involving actual lack of identity.

      Another thing, I remember Lisa Diamond’s longitudinal study on sexual minority women and it showed that “label-less” women overall were virtually identical in terms of their attractions and sexual behaviors with women who identified as bisexual. So I really disagree that there’s any change of society’s views on sexuality. That kind of argument definitely was used to erase exclusive lesbianism (of course not male homosexuality), but even as for it, people start to push back.

      • That’s the government’s decision to put them together, not mine. Of course people who refuse to answer aren’t the same as people who don’t identify.

        Lisa Diamond’s conclusion was this:

        “The findings of this research suggest that there are, in fact, appreciable boundaries between the long-term developmental trajectories of lesbian, bisexual, and unlabeled women, but these boundaries are relatively fluid.
        Hence, the present study supports the notion of bisexuality as a third type of sexual orientation and also supports the notion of bisexuality as a capacity for context-specific flexibility in erotic response. In contrast, the findings are inconsistent with the long-debated notion of bisexuality as a transitional stage or “phase.”
        ***Of course, this study is limited by its reliance on a small (79), exclusively female, disproportionately White and middle-class sample, and future research on larger and more diverse samples of sexual-minority women and men is important for determining the generalizability of the findings.***
        Nonetheless, the results have important social and scientific implications. They contribute to researchers’ emerging scientific understanding of the basic nature and longitudinal development of female sexual orientation, and they provide critically important information for educators and clinicians attempting to understand the distinct challenges and meet the unique needs of bisexual individuals over the life course.”

        I’ve seen this study used to draw conclusions about female sexuality in broader populations, that is a misuse of the data. This data just shows that Bisexuality is not a phase for the white middle class women in this study.
        Again, Lisa Diamond’s study doesn’t prove anything or say anything about ‘label-less’ less women in general. It calls for further study.
        Lisa Diamond chose to put unlabeled women and Bisexual women together, much like the government chose to put those who refused the answer about their sexual identity with people who don’t identify as anything. Like you said, there could be many different reasons not involving actual lack of identity.

        • You quote the first paper on Diamond’s study if I’m not mistaken. I referred to her book where she spoke about her research in greater detail, and there were many interesting points. While Diamond overall tries to push the idea of universal “sexual fluidity”, she actually admits her study showed that sexual preferences are solid, and this “fluidity” came from simple fact that majority of her subjects didn’t have exclusive sexual attractions.

          Like majority of lesbian identified women (who were quite young) from the beginning of her study in 1995 were sexually attracted to men but believed they could only ever love a woman. And most of such women eventually fell in love with a man and dropped lesbian label.
          The only, as she called it, “extremely solid group” were women who have always been exclusively sexually attracted to women.

          It was also pointed out that on average, both bisexual identified women and “unlabeled” women reported more or less equal amount of attractions towards men and towards women.

          • Diamond’s book doesn’t validate her research. The research is based off of a sample size of 79 white middle class women. They were 18-25, that’s not quite young considering there are studies of 14-18 year old women now.
            Her research isn’t valid for any population outside of the women she studied.
            The book was written to make money. The book is not a primary source.
            I’ve looked through most of her other research and I haven’t seen any valid sample sizes.
            Again, other research has refuted the claim that most bisexual or unlabeled women have equal attraction to men and women, and I seriously doubt Diamond said that either.

            “Over 10 years, 2/3 of women changed the identity labels they had claimed at the beginning of the study, and 1/3 changed labels 2 or more times. Yet, contrary to the “transitional stage” model, more women adopted bisexual/unlabeled identities than relinquished these identities; few bisexual/unlabeled women ended up identifying as lesbian or heterosexual. Overall, the most commonly adopted identity was “unlabeled.”

            Honestly, her research is irrelevant.
            If anything, Her sample showed more women giving up labels.

            Getting back to the Lesbian erasure idea. In Diamond’s study, the meager amount of lesbians she had who were attracted to men ended up taking on a bisexual or unlabeled identity. Isn’t that a good thing? I’d assume you wouldn’t want women who are attracted to men to label themselves as lesbian.

          • One last thing about Lisa Diamond.
            When lesbians use her data to try to prove something or the other, I’m convinced that they are misinterpreting her.

            Especially based on later publications. This month she published Scrutinizing Immutability: Research on Sexual Orientation and U.S. Legal Advocacy for Sexual Minorities

            “We review scientific research and legal authorities to argue that the immutability of sexual orientation should no longer be invoked as a foundation for the rights of individuals with same-sex attractions and relationships (i.e., sexual minorities).
            On the basis of scientific research as well as U.S. legal rulings regarding lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) rights, we make three claims:

            ****First, arguments based on the immutability of sexual orientation are unscientific, given what we now know from longitudinal, population-based studies of naturally occurring changes in the same-sex attractions of some individuals over time.***

            Second, arguments based on the immutability of sexual orientation are unnecessary, in light of U.S. legal decisions in which courts have used grounds other than immutability to protect the rights of sexual minorities.

            *****Third, arguments about the immutability of sexual orientation are unjust, because they imply that same-sex attractions are inferior to other-sex attractions, and because they privilege sexual minorities who experience their sexuality as fixed over those who experience their sexuality as fluid.*****

            We conclude that the legal rights of individuals with same-sex attractions and relationships should not be framed as if they depend on a certain pattern of scientific findings regarding sexual orientation.”

            All this refutes any claims I’ve seen lesbians make using her data.
            First, she is and has always argued that sexual orientation is not fixed.
            Second, she doesn’t think those who are fixed in their sexuality should be privileged over those who are sexually fluid.
            She has never advocated for women with exclusive same sex attraction/behavior.

          • From Lisa Diamond’s book “Sexual Fluidity” in which she discusses the data of her research:

            “If we examine correlations between women’s initial percentages of same-sex attraction (in 1995) and the size of their subsequent changes, we find a strikingly consistent pattern: the more same-sex attractions a woman reported in 1995 (and, in fact, throughout the rest of the study as well), the less her attractions changed over time, in either direction. Thus women who reported predominant or near-exclusive attractions to women in 1995 tended to remain pretty much the same. The women with more nonexclusive attractions—those who identified as bisexual or unlabeled—underwent the most sizeable shifts.”

            “If we use these changes in attractions to make inferences about changes in sexual orientation, we must conclude that _____there is not much evidence for change in orientation_____. The small shifts experienced by lesbians nonetheless kept them in the lesbian range (for reminder, by “lesbians” she meant there just all women who identified as lesbians by 2005 — Amelia), and even the sizeable shifts experienced by unlabeled and bisexual women kept them in the bisexual range: they almost never jumped to near-exclusive same-sex attractions or plummeted down to near-exclusive other-sex attractions. Note, in particular, that the women who had reidentified as heterosexual by 2005 did not undergo much change either: they had always reported less frequent same-sex attractions than the rest of the sample; they simply came to label and interpret these feelings differently over time.”

            And from an interview in which she discusses the causes of “change”:

            “The only group of women who showed extreme stability in their identity labels over time were the women who basically described themselves as being 100 percent attracted to women from the very beginning. They showed almost no identity change. So it was very clearly connected to this understanding of your own capacity for different types of attractions and behaviors over time.”
            http://bigthink.com/videos/why-lesbians-switch-sexual-identities

          • So jacks, tell me, how is it not self-contradictory. In the paper you quoted she (although she wrote it with someone else) argues against the argument of immutability of sexual orientation when in different place she argues that there is no evidence sexual orientation could change. And I’ve been following her long enough to know she didn’t change any views because she was similarly contradictory even at the time she wrote her book, or gave that interview.

            I assume it’s oversimplification done for political purposes (after all the paper you quoted is barely scientific, but intended to affect the lawmaking). And notice that even there they only point out about changes in __SOME__ individuals, so I would argue how does it make “unscientific” the argument of immutability of sexual orientation if most people actually have immutable sexual orientation.
            But if I understand it correct, laws of sexual minorities in US are based on that argument, IIRC Diamond talked about it in one of sympoziums I watched on YouTube, she even talked about how her research wasn’t almost used to take away the rights from queer people, so on that basis perhaps it is justifiable to stretch the truth.

            BTW, what’s even more hilarious, if you read Diamond’s book you would find out she has consistent theory about sexual orientation. She argues it’s “proceptivity” (term borrowed from animal studies), which here means generalized sexual attraction and lust. And she actually thinks this part of sexuality is fixed. But there’s also “arousability”, which means attraction triggered by some environmental factors. And depending on your “fluditiy potential”, ranging from non-existent to high, this arousability could allow you to feel attraction to specific person of a gender you normally aren’t attracted to. Important part in this theory is also the assumption that romantic preferences aren’t fixed (after all majority of women in Diamond’s study who reported exclusive same-sex romantic attractions eventually fell for a man), and that emotional feelings could trigger “arousability”.

            Diamond also discussed in her book bisexuals (or just “people with non-exclusive attractions”) whose whole sexuality seems to be more dependent on environmental, situational factors, and also “people with person-based attractions”, which matches perfectly what Tumblr later called as “demisexuality”.
            According to her theory, those people are basically asexual in terms of their sexual orientation, but have high “fluidity potential”, arousability, which allows them to develop attraction to a person they fell in love with.

          • By the way:

            “All this refutes any claims I’ve seen lesbians make using her data.”

            Lisa Diamond identifies as a lesbian herself. Though somehow I truly doubt she considers herself to be a “lesbian without fluidity potential”.

          • Maybe I’m not making myself clear. I don’t value Diamond’s research. Her sample size is too narrow to draw any valid conclusions. Her book or any other appearances she has made don’t indicate that she has done further research with a more representative sample of the population.
            Her overall point is people who are attracted to both sexes aren’t going to change that pattern. I could have told you that without the research.
            My point in quoting her is to show that her weak data doesn’t support the conclusions people are drawing from it.
            Either the inadequacy of her study allows for contradictions or people are interpreting her data wrong. I think it’s a bit of both.

            No one is arguing against the fact that women who are 100% attracted to women will always be that way. Again, that’s irrelevant to this situation. So is Diamond’s sexual identity.

            I was discussing the trend of people who choose not to label themselves for whatever reason.
            One of those reasons is that they may have been pressured to identify as straight in the past even though they have had some degree of same sex attraction.
            Adolescents today do not have the same amount of pressure. So they do not automatically choose a straight label. They often choose to not label themselves.
            My point is that the number of young people who are not labeling themselves is growing. And that’s Okay. That growth doesn’t significantly affect the number of people who identify as lesbian/gay.
            And that’s what is being reflected on this show.

            In the context of the fictional character of Amy, she has stated that she has some attraction to men and women. She has every right to not label herself. Though I’m pretty sure she has completely taken herself out of the Straight camp. In your definition of lesbian, she doesn’t qualify for a lesbian identity either.
            As an aside, to highlight a previous point, No one questions Shane’s gay identity. This is not a show of better gay male representation. If I’m not mistaken, Shane said that he has had sex with a woman before but no one doubts he is gay. This just reiterates the idea that no matter what a man does with the opposite sex, any same sex attraction make him gay.

      • and I’m really not buying into the relevancy of lesbian erasure.
        People can choose not to label themselves, that doesn’t cause erasure of lesbianism.
        If a woman knows she is not exclusively attracted to women, then her identity has no bearing on lesbian identity.
        The issue is when women who are exclusively attracted to women don’t label as lesbian. I haven’t seen that. And honestly, it would be her decision.

        Exclusive lesbian existence isn’t erased by the acknowledgement of other sexualities.
        The whole idea that someone else’s sexual identity would erase lesbian identity is so ludicrous. A valid concept shouldn’t be silenced because stupid people try to use it to their ends.
        Exclusive lesbians exist. They always have.
        I know this without any data, I know this even when people try to tell me otherwise.
        I know this even though, unfortunately, there aren’t any studies of exclusive same sex behavior. And I’ve only seen one CDC study that surveyed exclusive same sex attraction; the numbers were obviously lower.

        It’s pretty evident, younger people are moving away from STRAIGHT identity. The percentages for lesbian/gay have remained pretty static.

        Oddly, Diamond’s research was trying to disprove the erasure of bisexuality. An idea held by some straight and gay people. Ignorant Straight people think bisexual women will end up straight. Some Lesbians have a distaste for bisexuals because they think they will end up going with a guy (AKA they will end up straight). Asshole Straight and Gay people think bisexual men will end up gay; which is why there is no apparent erasure of gay men. If a man shows any inclination toward males, he’s automatically assumed to be gay for life.
        If a woman shows any inclination towards women, ignorant straight people will hope she ends up with a man. Fearful lesbians just assume she’ll end up with a man.

        • I’m not sure what does it have to do with my points. I spoke about erasure of lesbianism specifically in context of this problematic show and actions (lies) of its lesbophobic showrunner. Apart from that, I showed presumption that most people who don’t want to label themselves are attracted to both men and women, which apparently you actually agree with if you haven’t seen women who are exclusively attracted to women not wanting to label themselves.

          • Sorry, my mistake, I actually referred to in context of the words that people not wanting to label themselves “change our cultural view of sexuality”. Which usually comes hand in hand with arguments that we are all deep down bisexual, that we are not born with fixed sexual orientation and that we could chose to change. Which definitely is lesbian erasure.

            I’m not saying that’s what you had in mind, my reaction was caused simply by the fact that my sexuality was attacked and invalidated many times by such arguments. If you simply mean that people are more truthful in their sexual identities nowadays, then I agree it’s a positive thing. But I don’t really see how does it change cultural view on sexuality. That everyone is not only either 100% gay or 100% straight? Sure, but I think it stopped being a thing when it comes to views about female sexuality long time ago.

          • It’s possible that we aren’t having the same discussion.
            I don’t see how anything you have said refutes anything I said.

            I don’t think a person’s refusal to label themselves affects anyone but themselves, and I’m fine with people not labeling themselves. I presume people who don’t label themselves aren’t exclusively attracted to men or women.
            I don’t draw any conclusions outside of that.

            I see a trend in more people not labeling themselves and I think that is fine. I don’t see any causation of lesbian erasure. Any data collected doesn’t even support a correlation between lesbian erasure and non-labeling.
            It does not go hand in hand with any assumption that all people are bisexual.
            People who claim all people are bisexual are speaking out of confusion and are dismissed (by me) or they are speaking about themselves, justifying the normalcy of their same sex attraction.
            Again, I dismiss it. I can’t be bothered by people who make claims that are not based in fact. Even people important in my life.

            I’m not going to make any assumptions about the phobias of the showrunners. I really don’t care. I don’t see it reflected in the show. Amy doesn’t want to identify as a lesbian. I’m fine with that. Volk made some comments about Amy being a lesbian. Apparently she was mistaken, unless Amy will identify as a lesbian when the series ends.
            I’ve said before, show promoters should stick to talking about what has already happened on their show. No spoilers and no promises.

            I don’t know your life. But I know the statements I’ve heard people use to invalidate or attack people’s sexuality are used regardless of how other people identify.

            Again, the change in the cultural view of sexuality is that people who have any same sex attraction don’t have the same pressure to identify as straight. There is a trend of less people identifying as straight and more people choosing not to label themselves or labeling themselves as bisexual. That’s a clear measurable cultural change.
            And on that point, The rise in people not labeling themselves has not affected the number of people who label as bisexual. Both numbers are rising. So the idea that non-labeling causes any sort of lesbian or bisexual erasure is not supported by facts.

    • I missed the most recent data. The CDC published a study in January 2016.
      In women aged 18-44
      81% were only attracted to the opposite sex and
      0.8% were only attracted to the same sex.
      1.2% weren’t sure.
      The rest (16.9%) were attracted to both in some degree.

      Table 12. in women aged 18-44
      92.3% identified as heterosexual,
      1.3% identified as lesbian, gay, or homosexual.
      5.5% identified as bisexual,
      0.9% didn’t report.

      Still shows that the fluctuation is between straight and bisexual. With bisexual identity increasing. Lesbian attraction and identity have remained fairly stable.

  9. I feel like this show has chosen major plot points over…actual plot? Like how is Shane “really falling for Noah” when they have met a total of 3 times? And Lauren is deciding to label everyone when like 3 episodes ago she was still super uncomfortable being labelled? Why is it Christmas already when Halloween was also like minutes ago? Why have Amy even bother telling Shane not to tell that Sabrina is questioning when Karma finds it all out 3 seconds later and also Shane has never not told someone any private information he has received? Has Lauren’s mom literally ever been mentioned before?

    In my heart of hearts I really hope they are going to play Sabrina as having developed actual feelings for Amy, and this whole plot turns into a “10 Things I Hate About You” style “I started dating you for the wrong reasons but I really like you know” dramatic teen thing.

    Also I’ll be real mad if Liam and Lauren become a thing. REAL MAD.

  10. I’m full on hatewatching now. It’s unclear to me why I am doing this to myself.

    I did like Liam’s plumbing supply menorah and I want to make one, too. I’m annoyed that I didn’t think of it myself.

    But if his father was Jewish, and his mother wasn’t, and he didn’t convert formally, then he is not and never was Jewish. Are we going to not only mock labels but also appropriate them? All at once? Lauren got on my nerves this week, and I hate that the show is making me hate even the characters I used to think they were doing right by before.

    Also, while it’s actually rather hilarious to me to think Liam got kicked out of the synagogue because he slept with the rabbi’s wife, it was actually the rabbi’s daughter. Even this show doesn’t think Liam is in the adult league.

    Sabrina’s sexual orientation is manipulative sociopath. Or maybe BECAUSE she’s a manipulative sociopath the show will decide she IS a lesbian!

  11. I am 1000% on board for bisexual Karma AND bisexual Amy. I have zero stock in the lesbian Amy fund so I find it interesting that so many lesbians are upset that Amy might not be lesbian (granted, due to false promises by the showrunner) because it’s not a thing I’ve given much thought to. I assumed with the whole Felix thing there’s a good chance she’s bi. Which is great for me becauee it means potential bisexual representation.

    For me, the “label free” storyline is a slap to the face because of all the women who refuse to ID as bi because god forbid we say the word bisexual (especially on tv) and it NOT be an insult to those wishy washy greedy bis. Being label free is a great thing for people to be, but it’s a double edged sword when the label being avoided is “bisexual”.

    But it’s Faking It, and giving Amy and Karma labels besides “??” and “straight” would end the “will they/wont they” dance and god forbid we’re put out of our misery and get an actual show about two queer girls dating, breaking up, dating other people, dating each other again, and getting married in the series finale. I mean, you dont see straightpeople romcoms doing that! Wait…

  12. Riese, first off I am really loving your recaps. At this point I feel they are one of the only things keeping me watching the show! Secondly, where did you think the Noah storyline was going? I’m really interested what you thought was his deal!

    What an episode though. I’m really interested in the Karma getting a crush on Felix because that would get Felix and Karma out of Amy’s love life and possibly finally allow her to be happy! Also, I am very worried for Noah. Shane’s love of outing people will not be good for Noah and I really hope that Shane grows as a human and becomes less the most terrible person on the planet.

    Thanks so much for keeping these going!

    • Noah storyline: I assumed from the preview and what happened in 307 that the place Shane & Liam were going to follow him to was gonna be like, a support group for trans guys, but that Noah wasn’t going to tell Shane that he was trans, and that the reason he needed money so badly was for surgery. And then we could all talk about surgery forever like in every trans storyline.

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