On True Blood

True Stud

Jason Stackhouse in Search of Masculinity

By Kirsty Walker

With every push for equality there comes a panic from those whose freedoms and privileges others are looking to enjoy. The feminist movement, the race equality movement, and lately the equal rights movement for gays and lesbians have all faced aggression and conflict from those whose power those movements threaten to dissipate. True Blood shows us a society in a unique state of change–vampires are “coming out of the coffin,” and they are demanding rights akin to those of humans. In the equality movements we have experienced in the real world, reasons for limiting others’ rights have often been spurious and based on prejudices surrounding genetic inferiority. In retrospect there has been no reason for different genders, sexualities, and racial groups to fear one another. Vampires, however, have more than the weight of folklore and superstition on their shoulders–they need human blood to survive. This fact alone is enough of a threat to make humans wish to limit the freedoms and social acceptance of the vampire race. But the vampire race is also threatening to humans, and human men in particular, by virtue of their raw and often violent sexuality, and True Blood offers the viewer a window into this threat, primarily through Jason Stackhouse.

In True Blood, parallels are drawn between vampires and many real-world marginalized groups, but in discussing sexuality, those between vampires and black men are particularly instructive. Stereotypical views of black men–large genitals, physical strength, and the always seductive pull of  …

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