Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Factoring in Visibility

I remember when Roseanne Barr's character kissed Mariel Hemingway's character on network television. And then there was Madonna and Britney Spears kissing on television during a performance. In the first instance, it was part of a larger fictional storyline intended to break down prejudices. In the second, it was part of a live musical performance that was probably there to titillate. Both generated much reaction.

In recent years, the Kardashians (don't worry, that's the last time I'll mention them in this entry) have gotten much publicity for "incestuous" flirting via tweets and their television shows.

I bring these things up because much buzz was generated by contestants on the television talent contest show The X Factor (the British edition, I think), as the sisters had an "incestuous" kiss on-stage. See, for example, this report at by Ash Percival with the headline "X Factor incest shock as sisters Blonde Electra share live lesbian snog" and the teaser intro "THE X Factor final was thrown into an incest controversy earlier tonight as sister double act Blonde Electra shared a kiss live on air."

Blonde Electra snog on The X Factor Recreating Madonna and Britney Spears’ iconic kiss at the MTV VMAs in 2003, Jazzy and Ruby King shared a full-on snog leaving viewers open-mouthed.
But the kiss itself wasn't open-mouthed. See for yourself. Their lips are closed. People who have no sexual intent share kisses like this all of the time in some cultures and subcultures.

The story and reactions to it were also to be found at in this report by Stephanie Soteriou... 

Not everyone was hostile...

The sisters then retweeted a whole LOAD of messages of support from their adoring fans/ creepy old men, walking away from the competition with their heads held high.
Over at, Daniella Graham says this was a surprise to the staff, meaning the sisters were not encouraged to do it by the show's producers, nor did they inform the show's producers, which is believable because the sound indicates they were supposed to be lip synching instead of touching lips.

Obviously, they were doing it for publicity.

Is that good? It is bad? Is it a mix of both? On the one hand, there are people in serious consanguinamorous relationships and they don't need to be trivialized or treated as a sideshow for ridicule. On the other hand, visibility of consanguinamory or consanguinamorous people generally helps.

It would be great if the sisters followed this up by explaining that they don't feel a need to hide their love and affection for each other. Odds are, however, they're not in a consanuinamorous relationship. If they experimented with each other before they became adults, or even since, they wouldn't be alone in that. But if they were together in that sense, they could actually face criminal charges in many supposedly modern places. So maybe those who aren't coming out because of the possibility of prosecution or discrimination need others to do things like this to chip away at prejudices. Notice that nothing bad happened as a result of this kiss.

It was a kiss.

The world could use more kissing.

And there's no good reason why these sisters, or any adult siblings, should refrain from kissing if they want to.
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