Oh, Glee why do you insist on driving me bananas in the midst of midterms?
First of all, we all know that Jayma Mays’s Emma Pilsbury has a ton of issues with intimacy, or as she so aptly put it “terrified of the hose monster,” but who decided she should be the arbitor of what’s healthy for kids to know about sex? Like the last time I wrote about Glee I’d like to point out that I have a sense of humor and understand why Emma Pilsbury not being able to say sex, think about sex, or come to grips with her issues is hilarious but come on! Sexual experience as a locket no one can ever open?
Gwyenth Paltrow’s insatiable and maybe slightly annoying Holly Holiday is brought into the glee club to teach the kids about sex. The students are wildly and comedically unknowledgeable–like babies come from a stork unknowledgeable–and Paltrow confronts the issue head on. The two resident abstinent girls (Rachel and Quinn) pipe in a “what about those of us who choose to remain celibate?” Naturally, Holiday has to say “Although I think you’re naive and possibly frigid I do admire your choice” served with a giant wink.
Throughout the series Quinn’s abstinence goes from being a total joke, considering she’s the president of the celibacy club and pregnant (Do we all remember the “It’s all about the teasing and not about the pleasing” line?), to being understandable because of the pregnancy’s 1,001 consequences. But what’s with Quinn folding? I’m all for girls making informed choices but why can’t there be one abstinent girl on TV. The only one I can really think of is Donna Martin and that was in the 90s.
Rachel’s choice, on the other hand, is reduced to a girl who refuses to give “it” up. Despite her repeated prounoucments that she wants to focus on her talent she’s labeled as the big ole prude of the show and how dare she keep ‘it’ from dear, sweet Finn.
Can we all agree that abstinence is not respected on this show?
Just when Rachel said “I realize that while all of us making our celibacy pledge is wonderful one day we’re going to fall in love with someone and choose to be intimate with them” I thought the show was going to give abstinence and the beauty of future sexual experiences some credence, her statement was left floating out in the air.
We all know how much I love to chat about abstinence, no seriously I do, so it would be nice if it was discussed in a positive way in more public places, like a TV show that a ton of young people watch
The sacred, sexy sharing circle
There were, however, way more gems in this episode than things that bugged me. Who else loved the “sacred, sexy sharing circle?” Yes, to frank talk about sexual attraction and working through feelings!
And it was fabulous for the show’s writers to point out that a) sex ed is sorely lacking in this country and b) information is not made available to the LGBTQ community in schools. When Darren Criss suggests “Maybe we can talk about it. I’ll share what I know” and then the sheer panic on Kurt’s face is priceless and a real endemic of why young people need to be empowered. I doubt Criss’s Blaine would have given Kurt wrong or inaccurate info but it’s parents and teachers who should be at the forefront of helping young people explore sexuality (not going to lie I learned plenty from my parents and heaps more from friends).
Chris Colfer and Mike O'Malley as Kurt and Burt Hummel
I hope and pray that people took note (literally, everyone, write it down, refer back to it and soak it in) when Kurt’s dad (Burt) handed him a stack of pamphlets, told him to read them and that Kurt had to discuss everything with him. Burt told him:
“You gotta know that [sex] means something…it’s doing something to you, it means something to your heart, your self esteem, even though it feels like you’re just having fun…When you’re ready I want you to be able to do everything but when you’re ready I want you to use it as a way to connect with another person. Don’t throw yourself around like you don’t matter cause you matter.”
A close second to Burt’s act of love in showing Kurt that heap of pamphlets and a lovely dose of fatherly advice is Puck’s (the oh, so dreamy Mark Salling) assertion that he’s done “a lot of stupid things…I don’t think about consequences and while I use to think that made me cool, now I think it makes me a loser. Now I’m making a change and if that makes me a nerd then fine.”
Loved it but can Puck’s character be the abstinent kid? I sure do hope so. Imagine, a boy on television who’s abstinent. A girl can dream.
**Author’s note: Since its original posting this entry has a few changes to it. I’ve fixed some of the direct quotes and clarified a couple of things after re-watching the episode. My overall review of the episode remains unchanged. There are still plenty of typos because I’m an awful proofreader. And I’m sorry to admit that I omitted the funny part of Puck’s revelation (it involved swallowing a thumbtack) so go watch the episode.