- You can be a madonna, a whore, or Sue Sylvester. Rachel and Tina get to have reasonably healthy sexual debuts, but then Rachel dates a gigolo and completely swears off men once Finn dies, and Tina goes crazy and vapo-rapes Blaine and proposes to Mike because reasons.
If you’re a Madonna and you have sex, you’ll get pregnant. Whores never get pregnant, no matter what they do.
2. If you choose to drink, you will become either giggly, dramatic, a stripper, or too needy. There are no other options. Guys can take advantage of these states, avoid them, or just dance and get sloppy, but girls MUST fall into one of these four categories. Probably you should never drink, ever.
3. If you enjoy sports, you’re probably really a guy. I don’t want to take away from the power of having a character transition genders on television, but did it have to be the one woman who played football? Couldn’t we just have a woman who played football? I liked that she was tough but still wanted to be loved by a strong man, even if she did pick a jerky one.
4. Makeup is very important. You should spend a lot of time on it, no matter what kind of girl you are.
5. The only way things work out is if a guy is in charge. Sue can’t run the school. Biest can’t stay a woman and run the football team. Rachel can’t run the glee club by herself. Or star in a Broadway show. Or a TV show. Women writers are weird. Women teachers are crazy. The only person who deserves to be prom queen is Kurt.
6. Being on the receptive end of sex is a wee bit shameful. At least, I think that’s what “that sign” means.
I’m assuming it was supposed to say “Blaine is the bottom” but the censors wouldn’t allow it. And Blaine is really embarrassed, not because a teacher is making a big deal out of his (nonexistent, at the moment) sex life, but because it’s not true. (Not really.)
But what’s wrong with being a bottom? Presumably, even if he’s a top, he’s in love with a bottom, so why so shameful?
One of the things that’s so nice about Kurt and Blaine’s relationship, once they finish growing up, is that they have a lovely balance of the stereotypically male and female. Blaine cooks and likes his towels clean. Kurt is into fashion. Blaine loves to protect Kurt. Kurt is taller, and leads when they’re dancing. Both are strong. Both are vulnerable. Both have been bullied and beaten. Both came out young, and fight to be who they are. Blaine loves sports and “guy talk,” but Kurt is the one who is strong enough to face the bullies. Why did Glee have to go to the misogynist place where being a bottom is shameful?
7. Romance is more important than anything. The thing that burns me the most is something that never actually got made. Ryan Murphy has said many times that he always knew what the last scene and line of Glee would be. Rachel would walk into the choir room, Finn would be teaching there, and Rachel would say, “I’m home.”
That means that Finn’s death might have been the best thing to ever happen to Rachel Berry.
Honestly, how do you write a character who only wants to be a star of stage and screen, and then have her end up married to a teacher in Ohio? Finn could have moved to New York to be a teacher at a performing arts high school or to help Rachel’s bio mom with her Broadway Daycare business or to be an actor, but they wrote him as a person who could never be happy in New York. When one person in a couple wants to live in a huge city and the other person wants to live in the country, they have to break up. There’s no compromise there. And the thought that Rachel Berry of all people would give up her career for some guy she dated in high school is ridiculous, antifeminist bullpoop.
Glee did a lot of good for a lot of people, and they did try to deal with sexism and inequality in relationships a few ways. There was the conversation in the Madonna episode about treating girls like human beings. There was the great discussion between Mr. Schuester and Miss Pillsbury about why she didn’t want to go to Washington with him. (Although that turned out to be a wedding-ruiner, didn’t it?) There was Sue Sylvester. And Santana Lopez. About a gazillion episodes against body-shaming, slut-shaming, and conforming. But underlying it all was a subtle misogyny that can’t be denied. The shameful messages are still there, drumming away.
The fight is not over.