My Husband’s Lover (MHL) was a popular soap opera in GMA 7 that took the primetime slot for around four months last year. The story of the soap was about a girl named Lally who was married to Vincent, but apparently was gay and has an unfinished affair with his college lover, Eric.
Applying post-structuralist analysis, we should tease out the binary opposition in the text and deconstruct the hierarchy of the opposition. One obvious opposition was “Individual versus Society”. Being gay was something that was not fully accepted by the society in which Vincent belonged. This was further reinforced by the fact that his dad was a retired military officer. He was even sent to the military school by his father with the desired outcome that Vincent would not be gay anymore after the training in the camp. It seemed that the society, as represented by Vincent’s father, was dominant over the individual for the text presented how Vincent suppressed and delayed his admission of his true gender preference. The text made it appeared at first that it was wrong to have a gay member in a family as articulated by the acts of the father. However, towards the end, this opposition was reversed. The soap ended with Vincent’s full acceptance of himself and his reconciliation with his father. Lally also gave Vincent the blessing and his freedom to pursue his relationship with Eric.
Using a postmodern framework, MHL presented the main conflict of the story, which was infidelity in an unconventional way. In most Filipino soaps, the one who committed infidelity usually was involved with an opposite sex. MHL presented that same-sex relationships can be a reason why marriages can become shaky. Moreover, there were characters in the text that can be considered to be postmodern. The gays in the text were not the usual representations of gays who cross-dressed and just play the roles of those who were in salons and the like. The gay lovers are professionals and are portrayed having a more dominant masculine side. Also the mother of Eric was to be considered postmodern for he fully accepted his son to who he was.
In discourse analysis, one question to be answered is “What does the author intend the audience to get from the text?” One is that marriage is not a universal solution to early or teenage pregnancy. Lally got pregnant while they were both in college and they decided to get married to be saved from society’s judgment. Moreover, Vincent used the marriage to cover his true identity by becoming a husband and a father. Second is that one’s gender preference should not be suppressed and be controlled by the society. The society should not dictate someone who he or she can or cannot love. The text is somehow a resistance to the common beliefs of the religious conservatives.
What were not presented in the text were other several social issues concerning homosexual relationships. These were health related risks, the oppression coming from the religious institution, and the lack of support from government such as legal support for same sex marriages and discrimination bills.