Fighting with the Sky

Glee: Preggers

Posted on: September 24, 2009

I thought I was going to have to work until late last night and not be able to see Glee, but I ended up being able to, which made me happy.  I much prefer watching shows on the TV as opposed to my computer.

Last night’s epsiode of Glee had a couple different storylines.  One centered around yet another of Sue’s plans to bring down the glee club.  She recruits Sandy to put on some sort of musical to steal Rachel away from the glee club.  Rachel is already feeling shunned by Will because he gave the solo in a song from West Side Story to Tina.  Tina ends up giving up her solo because she doesn’t think she can do a good job (even though she only missed one note) and she thinks that Rachel will quit if she doesn’t get the solo.  Will makes Tina take the solo and Rachel quits.

Also, Kurt tries out for kicker of the football team as a way to impress his dad and hide his sexuality.  But he comes out to his dad after kicking the winning field goal!  Yay!  Kurt’s dad says that he’s known since that he was three — he’s not thrilled about it, but he can’t change it.  He loves his son and is proud of him for telling the truth about who he really is.  I really liked that.

Apparently Quinn, Finn’s girlfriend, is pregnant.  But wait, she’s president of the celibacy club and they haven’t had sex.  She got pregnant from a time that Finn ejaculated in a hot tub.  Can that really happen?  I don’t think so.  Finn goes to Will for help.  Finn’s afraid that because he doesn’t want to be stuck in the town forever.  He needs to get a football scholarship to get out of town, especially with a baby on the way.  Finn wants Will to teach the football team to dance as a way to loosen up.  Watching Kurt try to teach the “Single Ladies” dance to the awkward-moving football team is kind of hilarious.  And three of the football players end up joining the glee club.

Oh wait, it’s Puck’s baby!  And Will’s wife wants to adopt it to hide the fact that she’s having a hysterical pregnancy and hasn’t told him yet.  Will’s wife (it’s sad that I still can’t remember her name) has taken to wearing a fake belly to keep Will thinking that she’s pregnant.

I’m really not liking the way that pregnant (or fake pregnant) women are being portrayed.  Will’s wife thinks that the only way she can keep him is by having a baby.  And she will manipulate her way into thinking that she is having one.  Even going to the point of stalking Quinn and breaking into her car in order to convince Quinn to give her her baby.  It was not said for sure that Will’s wife wants Quinn’s baby, I’m just assuming because it seems pretty obvious.  Quinn tricks Finn into thinking that the baby is his by telling a story that most people would think was impossible.  She doesn’t want to admit to having sex with Puck and she doesn’t think that Puck will take care of the baby.  So she will make Finn because she thinks that Finn will actually support the baby.  But Finn doesn’t want this baby.  And he really shouldn’t have to take care of it if he doesn’t want to be with Quinn and it’s not his baby.

I really liked that we got to see Tina, the almost-silent Asian girl, take the lead in one of the songs.  But then she had to go and give it up to make way for the white girl.  And we saw Mercedes and Artie maybe once throughout the entire show.  Glee seems to be having one storyline of each episode center around one of the minority characters as a way to show they are diverse.  But where are the other minority characters during this storyline?  It just seems to me to be a way of trying to seem progressive but really just falling back on the same old white characters.

I’m still holding out hope for Glee.  I really do think it has it’s funny moments and I enjoy all of the musical numbers.  I hope it addresses its blaring stereotypes, that it stops trying to be progressive and actually adress the issues it thinks it is, and stops making pregnant women seem crazy.

Also, make sure to take a look at meloukhia’s reaction to “Preggers” at this ain’t livin’ as well as Lauren’s look at the problematic sex between Quinn and Puck at Fabulous Feminist.

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7 Responses to "Glee: Preggers"

I really, really want to love Glee, but I find myself becoming more and more disillusioned with its portrayal of its female characters. It seems that almost every female character is in some way manipulative or selfish, doing whatever it takes to get what they want, regardless of the ethics involved; whereas the male characters are generally portrayed as having good intentions or acting altruistically.

In both cases of pregnancy, both Quinn’s and Will’s wife’s (I also can’t remember her name; sad) the women are consciously acting unethically, whereas the men in their lives, Will, Finn, and even Puck (who is supposed to be one of the antagonists on the show) are attempting to act in a responsible manner, the viewer is clearly meant to see all three as basically “good guys” whereas the women are meant to be seen as unsympathetic characters.

It seems Glee is intent on having only male protagonists; I initially thought Rachel was supposed to be the main protagonist on the show, however, Glee seems focused on making her less and less likable, making her behavior diva-like and selfish. We see her quitting Glee club through Will’s eyes, rather than her own; her behavior is supposed to be viewed as selfish, rather than a valid choice to be made. All sorts of students have to choose between conflicting activities, and Rachel made the choice she felt was right for her. We are supposed to see Will’s actions as being conscious and responsive to the team dynamic, and Rachel’s response as being a purely selfish act. Oh, but Will’s abandoning Glee in the last episode to create the Acafellas? Cute and funny.

It is interesting that the males on this show can have multiple identities; Finn can be both the football player and in the show choir, so can Kurt, and the other three football players who join. But other than Quinn, it seems the female characters cannot have more than one identity, cannot be more than single-dimensional.

I truly hope Glee can figure out how to make its characters, especially the female ones, a bit more three-dimensional. I am growing tired of the “women as villain” trope being pulled out again and again. I hope Glee gets its heart back, and soon.

You know, I’ve been thinking over the Terri/Quinn situation, and here’s what bugs me: realistically, it makes a lot of sense for Terri to adopt Quinn’s baby. Terri wants a baby, Quinn has a baby and really shouldn’t be raising it, problem solved.

But the issue has become so tangled in a web of deceit on the part of both characters that a seemingly reasonable act, adopting a baby from a teenage girl who isn’t ready to have one but doesn’t want an abortion, is suddenly loaded with meaning.

I am all-round loathing Terri’s characterization, especially her predatory attitude to Quinn, and it’s really unfortunate that the plot vis a vis babies has unfolded the way that it has.

[…] Laura at Adventures of a Young Feminist talks about the recent episode of Glee and how it portrays women and pregnancy. A number of bloers have also written about the recent episode of Mad Men featuring birth and twilight sleep. […]

[…] Laura during Adventures of a Young Feminist talks about a new part of Glee as well as how it portrays women as well as pregnancy. A number of bloers have additionally created about a new part of Mad Men featuring bieing born as well as night before sleep. […]

I completely agree with Kathy’s sentiments. I really liked the first episode and wanted to get into this series, but after the absolutely horrible to the point of not being at all funny conversation between Terri (Will’s wife) and her sister, I think I am pretty much done. Most of the stereotypes on the show tend towards satire, but Terri has crossed the line to complete evil – and the most horrifying thing I have heard in response to her faked pregnancy is people responding, “yeah, women do that.” I agree, there are some pretty messed up male characters on the show as well, but I do not think the balance is at all equal, and the women seem to have fewer moments of redemption. It is a real disappointment that a show that had so much promise is being so uneven. If I start reading reviews that it has gotten better, I will give it another shot.

There are so many problems with Quinn’s pregnancy that I don’t know where to start. Let’s see: she mentions that she had sex with Puck when “she was feeling fat” (ie, vulnerable) and he “got her drunk on wine coolers”. No mention of a condom breaking or anything. So, unprotected sex with a girl who’s not only feeling vulnerable but is drunk? That skirts *really* close to rape, possibly crosses that line.
The fact that Quinn doesn’t want to give up the baby: fine. Cliched, but believable. The fact that she doesn’t want Puck to help her: fine. I wouldn’t want to depend on that character either. The fact that she thinks she can’t do it herself and must lie to Finn: not okay. I think this is starting to turn into one of those shows that’s based around wacky misunderstandings! and lack of communication! and characters being written as so stupid we can’t identify with them anymore, which will ruin the show, so I hope I’m wrong.
Totally agree on men being in general portrayed as less selfish and more rounded than the women. And re: Terri’s fake pregnancy- it’s just not typical, at least I don’t think so, for a woman in her situation to behave that way. Again, wackiness!
Sigh. Sorry for writing a novel!

[…] Laura at Adventures of a Young Feminist talks about the recent episode of Glee and how it portrays women and pregnancy. A number of bloers have also written about the recent episode of Mad Men featuring birth and twilight sleep. […]

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