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Lez Hang Out Podcast Ep. 614

“I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night. She’s gotta be strong, and she’s gotta be fast, and she’s gotta for sure be a dyke.” This week Leigh and Ellie hang out to talk about the ‘Dyke In Shining Armor’ trope, which we will forever be referring to as a DSA. The DSA shows up repeatedly in the media, but is also pretty prevalent within real life lesbian relationship dynamics. This trope really toes the line of being a little problematic, because it is inherently heteronormative in that it is based on the concept of a big strong man swooping in to save a helpless damsel. Yet, when we see it reflected in our onscreen queer ships, we eat that shiz up. We talk about when this trope works, whether it can apply to villains (Lucy Diamond anyone?), and whether the dynamic can truly exist outside of the confines of heteronormativity. We view a DSA as a dyke who will protect and rescue her chosen person from all harm. We love this dynamic because it subverts the stereotype by replacing the male in the media landscape. The other great thing about a DSA is that when there are two women in this type of relationship, typically they switch off on saving one another. Think about Nicole Haught and Waverly. Just because Nicole is the main protector, that doesn’t mean Waverly is helpless or won’t rescue her protector from time to time. This differs from the straight ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ trope in the media, because the hero is capable of being saved, whereas in a heterosexual couple this is avoided in order to refrain from “emasculating” the male character. There’s also the option in queer ships for a couple to be DSA for DSA, like Xena and Gabrielle. Xena is basically the quintessential DSA. She is literally a full on dyke saving people with a sword. Yet, she falls for Gabrielle, who is very much also a DSA. So many ‘strong female characters’ embody the DSA archetype, but Hollywood allows so few of them to actually be gay. We want more dykes in shining armor! Problematic patriarchal implications aside, this dynamic is delightful to see on screen and honestly is so relatable for so many queer people. If you want to treat your girl like a princess and protect her from any and all harm, potentially at the risk of your own life, you just may be a DSA.




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