Retrospective from a Femme Perspective: The Real L Word Season 2

Hey peeps!

So the Real L Word Season 2 is over. Were you watching? That went fast, right? I’m mostly just going to talk about the femme parts, because that’s what we do here.

Okay so clearly the diversity was a little better this season. We’ve got some different races and gender presentations, which is good and important. You all know I love femme visibility, but we also have to have a little balance, amirite?

Character Breakdown

Sajdah and Chanel

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez)

Chanel is gorgeous, smart, and I want her to be my new best friend. Sajdah is… young. It’s endearing, but also frustrating. I felt bad for Chanel because it often seemed like she was trying to have an actual conversation but Sajdah just wasn’t listening. Saj had constant one-track-brain syndrome like a teenage boy. Also, if my partner ever humped me in a laundromat, I would shove her in a washing machine.

My favorite lines of the season were all from Sajdah’s mom. How adorable was she? “I ain’t on the bottom of nothin’!” I was impressed with how frankly Sajdah and her mother spoke about sex; I wish all parents would be that open. Also their back story – Saj being born when her mother was 16, her grandmother dying 5 years later – was incredibly moving.

Additionally, Chanel saying, “I thought I was a soft stud,” was cute and funny. Identities belong to ourselves and only ourselves, Chanel, and if you want to claim “soft stud,” then go for it, and don’t let anybody take it away from you. I would’ve pegged Chanel as a femme, but that’s why you should never assume!


I don’t have a whole lot to say about Claire except that she came off as a huge asshole. I don’t know if that was the show’s doing or her own, but either way, I bet she has more than a few regrets – not least of which is that she ruined her relationship with this girl:

Vivian is covering her nose from all the bullshit Claire was spewing


First of all, if you don’t read Autostraddle, you should go read this article about how their photo shoot of her essentially got stolen by Showtime.

photos by Robin Roemer, via Autostraddle

Francine coming out to her conservative Asian mother was my favorite scene of the whole show. Her mother’s reaction was just absolute calm love and acceptance – it made me jealous. What a special thing for Francine to have recorded for all time!

Romi & Kelsey

Wow, Romi really got her shit together, right? Kelsey clearly wasn’t ready to, so I think it was best for both of them to separate.

Have you seen Romi’s jewelry? It is fabulous! Here are a few of my fave pieces, via

Also, check out the interview Romi gave to The Fab Femme for her coming-out story and more!

Kacy & Cori

I’m obsessed with these two. People keep saying that they are boring, but I thought Cori was the funniest and most entertaining character on the show. Kacy and Cori are so madly in love and you could see it in their eyes whenever they look at each other. Also I love the dynamic of their relationship: so equal and so kind to one another. It’s a beautiful thing to see.


Oh Whitney. She was much more put together this season than last, wouldn’t you agree? I was so proud of her when she stopped seeing Sara and then…


My main reason for even writing this retrospective, however, is because I have beef with Whitney.

“Pants vs. Pumps Lesbian Field Day” was adorable and fun and looked like a blast to participate in. Three-legged-heel racing! Speed neck-tie tying! Chocolate wrestling! But seriously, Whit, you should watch how you are defining pants and pumps.

“Pumps take a little longer with their eye make-up.”

Alright Whit, I’m going to prove you wrong with one photo:

I think we can all agree that Shane would NEVER allow herself to be on "Pumps"

“I’m pants ’cause I know how to swing a hammer.”

UGH. I was so offended when she said that! Seriously, Ash had to talk me down.

Role Reversal Relay, via Autostraddle

Do you see what’s wrong with that statement? First of all, I can fix my own toilets, and I have my own toolkit (which, granted, I rarely use) and I can make my own canvasses and hang paintings on walls using – guess what! – a hammer. Doesn’t make me any less of a femme. Or “pumps,” or whatever we’re calling it.

The problem is that Whitney described pumps by their appearance and pants by their ability. It’s the same age-old gender dichotomy at work here as judging women on their looks and men on their accomplishments. I expect more from a member of the queer community. “Pants” just refers to the masculine-presenting side of the spectrum, and “pumps” the feminine. Please don’t try to tell me that masculinity is more capable or competent than femininity, or I will have to knock your teeth out! With a hammer.

Also, here’s an idea, Whit – why don’t you just let people pick what side they want to be on, instead of assigning people to their team? If you weren’t mandating which teams people were on, then you wouldn’t have to try to explain to yourself what “pants” and “pumps” means, and end up sounding like an ass. Problem solved!

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, I was entertained. I guess that’s the point of reality television, right? There were some beautiful moments between mothers and daughters, and I thought Rachel’s storyline involving addiction and mental health was sensitively played.

However, the sex scenes were frankly unnecessarily long and often. It’s creepy to watch people you have sort of gotten to know have sex; I felt like I a peeping Tom. This is not fiction, where you know it is pretend, and it’s not porn, where you know nothing and project your own fantasies, desires, etc. I just felt supremely uncomfortable whenever people were shown having sex, and I can’t help but think it was designed to pull in the straight-man crowd.

But in general, I enjoyed the show. Ash and I would watch it together, and it was certainly nice to see part of myself reflected and acknowledged by the entertainment industry. I have to admit I will be excited for a season 3.

What were your thoughts? Did you watch? Why or why not?

Also, for some reason it seems to me that the most entertaining/funny characters are often in the supporting cast. So in this spirit, answer the poll question:

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Categories: Femme Theory, The Archives

One Comment on “Retrospective from a Femme Perspective: The Real L Word Season 2”

  1. August 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Great post! I pretty much agree with all of what you said. I adore Chanel, can be both be best friends with her? haha. Poor Saj- acting like a teenage boy.. ugh couldnt deal with that! her mum was adorable & I loved the soft stud scene too.

    Romi most definitely saved her image from last season to coming out tops as our fav.

    We also love Cori & Kacy- they are great!

    We agree, the sex scenes were unecessary and off putting. Don’t want to see it!

    M x

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