CommunityPam's House Blend

Know your lgbt history – Flowers of Evil

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Last Saturday, I posted a classic episode of The Jeffersons that presented what I thought to be a positive look at the transgender community.

I received such a positive response from it that I've decided that, from time to time, I will post clips of past movies and television episodes to give a feel as to how lgbts were and are represented in the media.

Today, I am posting something less positive.

In the 1970s, actress Angie Dickinson starred in the successful Police Woman television series. This particular episode, Flowers of Evil, was so controversial that it was only shown once due to protests by the lgbt community.

It dealt with Dickinson getting to the bottom of a case in which three lesbians running a retirement home were stealing money from their residents, drugging them, and then gruesomely murdering them.

As this minisode (an abridged version of a television episode)shows, there is a lot to be desired from this particular episode:



Trust me when I say that the full episode is much worse, specifically the stereotypical portrayals of the three villains:

The Bitch (Gladys) – The ringleader of the trio. Beautiful and sleek enough to supposedly “fool” men about her sexual orientation. She is the one who commits the only murder shown in the episode and it's not a nice scene. Her sadism is only matched by her lust; a quality that leads Dickinson to successfully go undercover at the retirement home.

The Butch (Mame) – Coarse, crude, and detached to a fault. She enjoys watching Gladys commit the murder.

The Femme (Janet) – The supposed “true woman” of the trio and as such, the one with a conscience and the “weak link.” While Gladys strangles the victim and Mame watches, Janet stands outside in the rain crying in guilt. She can be prodded with kind words or a hard slap by Gladys.

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Alvin McEwen

Alvin McEwen