Pop Culture Fix: Lesbian Bachelor Contestant Couple Insist Maxim Cover Isn’t “Fake Anti-Feminist Lesbianised Male Fantasy”

Welcome to the pop culture fix, your weekly fix of all the news that’s fit to pop!

+ The Bachelor contestants who fell in love with each other, Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon, appear on this month’s cover of Maxim Australia. They have been named “couple of the year.” It’s unclear if this honor has ever existed in the past, but now it does, and here we all are right now together as a family witnessing this monumental event.

From their interview:

What do you love most about this photo shoot?
Megan: I just love the feel of the whole shoot – it’s great that we are really in our element and surrounded by nature.
Tiffany: What I love most is that I actually got to do this with Megan. She just lights up in front of a camera and helped ease my nerves. It felt very natural to be doing these pictures with her.

Predictably, this story has garnered the happy couple some heat about the male gaze and the fetishization of lesbian sexuality. They have responded to the criticisms on instagram, with Megan declaring, “I want to note Tiffany and I aren’t specifically trying to break down the mysogenstic (sic) attitudes of men. We are trying to increase the normalisation of desire and love in any form.”

Tiffany has chimed in with, “If you think that this is some fake anti feminist lesbianised [sic] sexual male fantasy then you are only aiding in the judgemental [sic] backward thinking of society whether you are straight, gay, bi or however else you choose to label yourself.”

In conclusion, Donald Trump is going to become president of the United States in like 23 days, so.

+ Welp, The Daily Mail got their hands on some sex scenes from Netflix’s second season of Sense8, and they are very sexy! The basic thrust of The Daily Mail‘s article is that Freema Agyeman, who is known across the pond for her role in Doctor Who, will be having lesbian sex with her girlfriend, who is transgender, and also with all the other characters!

+ Here’s how lesbian cinema is being reinvented by a new crop of filmmakers and festival organizers. I’ll give you a hint: BRITTANI NICHOLS.

+ Comedian Rosie Waterland has come out as bisexual.

+ A Lesbian web series received $100k from NZ On Air to make their tiny vision into a big bright new reality.

+ ‘Duck Dynasty’ vs. ‘Modern Family’: 50 Maps of the U.S. Cultural Divide

+ Overwatch has confirmed its intent to feature its first lesbian relationship. Russia is banning it.

+ Four important queer moments in pop culture in 2016

+ 2016 Was the Best Year Ever for Gay Movies

+ George Michael, dead at 53, leaves a subversive legacy.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, 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. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. I was going, 2016 can’t be the best year for gay movies because Carol came out LAST year. Then I realized Oh wait, it means specifically movies about gay men. LOL I’m glad they had a good year cause in terms of films for lesbian and queer women I can’t think of any that left much of a mark on me this year.

  2. Wait, can we include Ghostbusters in lesbian cinema? Because we all know Holtzman was a gigantic homo. I would watch a movie just about her. Maybe it could be about her college days. *dreamy sigh*

    • I think of them in terms of the old line, “It may be your purpose in life simply to serve as a warning to others.”

  3. So looking forward to Sense8 :D … I thought only the 8 could ‘sense’ each other, so, from Amanita’s perspective, is she the only gal in the room? It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

    • Part of me eyerolled when I read that they were doing another orgy scene, but another, larger part of me got pretty excited looking at those stills… :-D

      • If it’s the orgy scene from the Christmas special, which is available now and I totally haven’t watched it like several times for that scene alone, then as a card carrying Bisexual I must say that I did not hate it.

        At all.

        *daintily dabs at sweaty brow with a tiny Bisexual Pride flag*

    • Yes, from Amanita’s perspective it’s just her and Nomi since she’s not a Sensate.

      As for the orgy, the stills are the ones from the Christmas special that just aired but I wouldn’t put it past them to have more scenes like that when Season 2 is officially released in May.

  4. this is a sidenote in a way, but could you post that Daily Mail article in a way that doesn’t link to the ”paper” itself? It’s a dreadful right-wing rag that constantly demonises LGBT people, Muslims, immigrants, the poor and disabled.. and they make money from every ‘hit’ they get, Ta!

    • I second this. Would you link to Fox News? It’s not a million miles away. And if they’re your only source then maybe you should rethink the bit.

  5. I learned so many new and weird things from that 50 maps of fandom article. Like, NCIS is popular amongst Trump supporters? Once Upon a Time is really popular with Mormons?? FAMILY GUY WAS THE MOST CORRELATED WITH HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTERS???

  6. In regards to the Daily Mail, I don’t know if in the U.S it has been recognised as such, but it is an insidious and frankly disgusting publication.

    It often features stories, ‘news’, that often put people’s sexuality as the blame for some other thing they deem to be bad. Look up the death of Boyzone’s Stephen Gately. Look up their coverage of the NHS offering a live-saving HIV drug as a “life-style drug” that leads to a “screwed sense of values”. Or the suicide/death of teacher Lucy Meadows, who was publicly outed by the Daily Mail? Or the countless other headlines shaming LGBT+ people.

    I get that sometimes the Daily Mail might have a good story or two, but on the whole, it’s an awful publication. Even if you disregard how it treats LGBT+ people; the poor, the disabled, the non-white, the non-Christian, plus many others are all subjects of their venom.

    In light of this, should Autostraddle really be giving them ‘clicks’? Should we allow them to make money off of the ‘pink pound’, that they are so easy to tarnish and despise? Especially when those stories you are linking to are the same kind of stories which in the UK at least, do a very good of perpetuating hate, violence, and maintaining prejudice and discrimination. Do we really want them to profit off of us even more?

    I can’t say that I do, and I feel uncomfortable that the article linked above, isn’t even one of their rare ‘nice’ articles. But more of their bile, more of their hatred, more of their prejudices dressed up as ‘news’, and anyone who has clicked on it has now not only given them money, but more impetus to publish more of the same.

    Linking to archived versions of websites are the best way of providing sources of content (which are likely to be changed and/or updated – especially on the Daily Mail as they often have to ‘correct’ or amend their stories), and bypasses the monetisation of their site.

    Apologies for the essay, but this isn’t the first time I have seen Autostraddle or other LGBT+ sites directly link back to the Daily Mail, and it makes me sad. And angry. But mostly sad.

    • I thought I proof-read that, but apparently I cannot read or type today, and there’s no way to edit the comment? :(

    • Glad that other people are mentioning this. Whenever I see it linked to I can’t help but think about Lucy Meadows, you know? The harm it does as a publication can’t really be overstated.

    • Thank you for the essay! I hate seeing DM links on Autostraddle but have never actually done anything about it other than go ‘ugh’ to myself. Which is not a very effective way of providing feedback.

  7. Given that I know what it’s like to not-have money, I never feel like I have the right to judge anyone else for what they do for money, as long as it doesn’t involve active harm to other people.

  8. You know, it’s possible to disagree with what Marx and Scanlon are doing without 1) holding them to a higher standard than you’d hold a man/woman couple, or 2) talking about them like they’re dumb

      • There are ways to quote people who can’t spell very well without rubbing it in how they can’t spell very well, especially because spelling ability is perceived as linked to intelligence when it really is not.

  9. Haaaah as someone who hails from Australia I was really excited about the Tiffany and Megan thing and now it’s just turned into the worst. Tbh I really thought for a couple of girls who seemed so well-read about all things feminist they’d probably understand how porn culture has a massive impact on lesbians (especially femmes) and contributes to things like reparative therapy, corrective rape and pretty much constant sexual assault. But I suppose this is a very perfect example of how straight feminism and queer politics fails lesbians?

  10. You don’t need to write “sic” after “lesbianised”, unless you are just disagreeing with whether “to lesbianize” is a verb or not, which it probably isn’t – but in British English (used in Australia), it would indeed be written “lesbianised” rather than “lesbianized”, if indeed it were a word in the first place.

  11. Maxim is basically a PORNO magazine for men lmao, I’m disgusted by those two women. Way to give straight men an outlet to continue their fetishizing/sexualizing of lesbians. Ugh.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I find it sad that they don’t realize this at all. If they did not look like the straight male’s fantasy of a woman with long blonde hair, pale white skin and big breasts then they would not even be on the cover. If their hair was cut short, their breasts were smaller or they had more muscles to their skin then they would not have been asked to be on the cover. Then there is the whole beach shot which is a favorite of the straight man. I find it surprising that they are unaware of how even a little alteration in their personal appearance would have made them “unattractive” to this magazine.

      • I suppose that I can understand how people may feel the need to monetise their 15 minutes of fame. However, I truly wish that they had thought about the impact of their actions for us all.

      • Ok, this has nothing to do with anything, but…36h over here laughing at the idea that their breasts are big…any boob you can put a hand over is a sweet, cute little boob to me! :D

    • Am I missing something? I mean, weren’t they on The Bachelor? Why are we suddenly expecting them to have become the exact opposite of what they were before, just because they started dating? I think it’s a cute story that they got together, but why are we expecting them to suddenly become the non-problematic feminist mouthpiece of LGBTQ women around the globe?

      I mean, it would be great if lesbian sex were this magical doorway to Deeper Enlightenment and the moment you touched a boobie you realised The Truth, but I don’t think it works that way. (It would really be awesome though. Someone needs to make that into a movie script or something.) To me it is not surprising that someone who would choose to be a contestant on a reality TV show to compete to be the hottest chick to marry a rich dude (as is my understanding of The Bachelor) would later choose to go on the cover of Maxim after being offered lots of money.

      In the meantime: they are pretty, the story is cute and funny, and if we want any sort of interesting discourse about the fetishization of lesbians, there are many other places we can get it.

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