The “Normativities & Their Discontents” Edition

Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Allison Kaplan Sommer, Noah Efron and prodigal son Ohad Zeltzer-Zubida discuss three topics of incomparable importance and end with an anecdote about something in Israel that made them smile this week.

Temporary Regulations Make Temporary Governments
Israel’s government fails to renew temporary provisional regulations first put into place in 1967 by then Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, and renewed 18 times since then, regulations that allow Israeli law to apply to Israeli citizens living in the West Bank which, by Israeli and International law both, is not part of Israel proper. What now?

Can’t Spell “Heteronormativity” Without TV
Israel’s biggest reality show just married off two hunky, dreamy gay guys? Is one small step towards heteronormativity a giant leap for LGBTQ folks?

I’ve Got BDS On My Mind
For our most unreasonably generous Patreon supporters, in our extra-special, special extra discussion: As Ohad buys pencils and notebooks to get ready to go to PhD school in America, is BDS on his mind?

All this and Shim, ahead of her new EP and launch party!


  • Don’t Tell Me
  • Nothing changes
  • Damage is Done

Previous Episodes

4 comments on “The “Normativities & Their Discontents” Edition

  1. Susan Jacobson says:

    Hi, I always enjoy your shows. I really like the lively discussions. They are always so interesting and you all have such innovative takes on the subject at hand.
    I am so intrigued by what you are going to say next. But just as I was listening to the final part where you are all saying something personal at the end, the line goes dead and I want to know what you all have to say. Was it just my phone or did anyone else complain? Can you send me a repetition of just that part?

    1. TLV1 says:

      The audio seems fine. Perhaps refreshing the page will load the full audio file again.

  2. Rafael says:

    Fantastic as always. Although I have mixed feelings about Amit’s point that the producers played it safe with the gay couple, Guy and Matan. I understand the point but I wonder if we should delve a bit more deeper rather than looking at top/bottom and Grindr as the go-to in modern representations of gay/bi lifestyles of millennial + Gen Z men.

    I mean I read an article this week in The Guardian, it focuses on how Grindr now has a ‘Side’ category for men that are neither top/bottom. They speak to a sex therapist, Dr Joe Kort who explains that defining penetration as the sole standard for sex is a heteronormative construct that gay people have the opportunity to challenge.

    That being said, I think they way they bring in Grindr in the Israeli movie, Sublet is very well done as they examine the generational gap. And Ran Danker and Zohar Strauss break taboos as Haredi men in love that have penetrative sex in Eyes Wide Open. But I think there’s also room for TV and cinema to represent gay/bi men that are ‘sides’ and may not be interested in Grindr.

    1. Amit says:

      Hi Rafael, Amit here. Thanks so much for your comment! I think the point I was trying to get across is that both the lives and the very images of the gay men they brought to the show are somewhat sterilized. Lots of times when gay men are portrayed on TV and in films (and also in our political system) they’re these fit hunks who very much conform to Israeli stereotypes of masculinity, often militarized, devoid of any elements that might threaten the mainstream – in their politics, in their preferred family structure, and yes also in their lack of explicit sexuality. It’s fine that this is who Matan and Guy happen to be, but it’s a very very conservative choice, active choice, by the makers and editors of the show. And this choice definitely resonates and reflects the lives of some gay men in Israel, but it flattens their image in a way that creates unreasonable expectations and is to me just narrow, boring, and very oldfashioned. It also sets a very “high” bar for gay guys who might think that for their parents to accept them, and for them to be successful gays they have to look like that, make a lot of money, conform to these military notions and politics, have kids, and they have to hide their sex lives in an era where they are very much out in the open for the straights. All this also at a time when gay life is so vibrant and diverse and free (though admittedly not everywhere, which was also kind of absent from the show). I just wish they brought more of those colors into the show, and I hope they will in seasons to come.

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