Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy

00029130This week’s episode of Glee is all about the glee club members trying to fit in…still.  Sue gets the principal to take away the glee club’s yearbook picture, which the glee club is surprisingly ok with because a yearbook picture might bring more unwanted, negative attention to them.  Except for Rachel, who desperately wants the yearbook picture.  She ends up getting the glee club a commercial for a local mattress store.  But what they don’t know is that accepting payment for a singing job would get them disqualified from sectionals.  Mr. Shue ends up taking the blame for them so that the team can go to sectionals without him.

The day has come.  We all knew it was around the corner.  In the most dramatic scene that Glee has ever seen, Will finds out that Terry is not actually pregnant.  There was yelling, Will got mad, and Terry looked like an emotional, irrational woman.  I’m really glad that Will has finally found out because the whole Terry-hiding-her-pregnancy-from-Will storyline was probably my least favorite.

This episode did mark a return of the Will/Emma storyline, which I am also not a fan of.  Just thought I’d throw that out there.  Emma also proclaims that she identifies with Terry’s decision to fake a pregnancy because losing Will would just be too hard.  Yet another example of how the show paints women as irrational and out to get the men.  And speaking of that…has anyone else noticed how fickle Rachel’s emotions are?  First she’s into Finn.  Then she’s into Puck.  Then she’s in love with Mr. Shue.  And now she’s back to being in love with Finn.  Because high school girls will fall in love with anyone who gives them any attention, obviously.

Honestly, I didn’t think this episode had a whole lot of storyline outside of Will and Terry’s fight.  But one thing that really stuck out to me was the performance for the mattress commercial of “Jump.”  Throughout the entire performance, everyone is jumping around on mattresses…except for Artie.  But how could he, he’s in a wheelchair, right?  Artie was just propped up in a mattress in his wheelchair off in the corner not really doing anything.  And then there was a shot of him laying on a mattress while people jumped around him so that he bounced.  Just another example of Glee portraying people in wheelchairs of not being capable of doing much of anything.  I’m sure they could have worked some better, more active choreography into the number for Artie instead of him sitting there doing nothing and then having people bounce him.

I do have to say, though, that I did really like the Lily Allen song, “Smile.”  I love Lily Allen, so it was great to see one of her songs in the show, even if it did catch me off gaurd.

Sadly, these are really the only comments that I have for this episode.  I just wasn’t that impressed, positively or negatively, by much of anything.

Update: meloukhia brought up a really good point in her review.  I can’t believe I didn’t talk about this originally, I remember being shocked about it when I was watching the episode…I guess I was so shocked that I forgot to write it in my notes.  But I need to bring it up now.  When Will finds out that Terry isn’t actually pregnant, we see him as an abusive husband.  He yells and throws things.  He even grabs her arm quite forcefully and backs her up against the counter with no way of escape.

Ok, yelling I get.  He’s upset.  I yell when I’m upset.  But there’s no reason to be physically or verbally abusive.  What she did was a pretty horrible thing (and I am glad the storyline is over because I hated it), but there’s never an excuse for abuse.  I think this situation could possibly be grounds for divorce, but it would have been nice to see them talk about it rationally and without physical or verbal abuse.  I can even understand Will leaving for a while.  It was probably a good thing to cool down so as to not escalate the level of abuse.  But can we ever see a mature, honest relationship based on communication in Glee?  Apparently not because they can’t even show Will and Terry talking about the situation.

Again, I’m sorry I didn’t include this originally.  MAJOR mistake on my part.

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chairsI saw this promotional picture before this week’s episode of Glee, “Wheels,” aired and I started dreading what was going to happen.  Glee has a track record of using Artie’s wheelchair as a prop and not really respecting what people with disabilities have to go through on a daily basis.  I have to say, though, that this episode was a mixture of using the chair as a prop and of actually having some semi-good things to say about disabilities.

It all started when the school wouldn’t provide the money to get a handicapped bus for the glee club to go to sectionals, which meant that Artie would have had to get to ride from his father instead of riding with the team.  Mr. Shue wasn’t going to stand for this, but the other glee members didn’t seem to bothered by it at first.  Mr. Shue had to put his foot down.  The glee club ended up holding a bake sale to raise the money and they all had to spend at least three hours a day in a wheelchair so that they could better understand what Artie goes through.

One of the side stories was that Kurt wanted to sing the solo in the song “Defying Gravity” from Wicked.  Mr. Shue had originally given the solo to Rachel, but after Kurt complained of discrimination, he agreed to hold tryouts for the solo.  In the end, Kurt ended up blowing the high note in the solo on purpose because he was afraid of the harassment that his father might get if he sang a girls part.  The other side story was that Quinn and Finn are coming to terms with what having a baby is going to cost.  Finn is trying to get a job (which he ends up doing, but only by comvincing the manager that he was actually in a wheelchair — more on this later), and Quinn keeps bothering him about paying the bills.  Puck tries to offer to help with the money, but Quinn won’t accept it.

So, there were lots of things going on in this episode.  Let’s talk about disability to start off with since that is what the show centered around this week.  I did like that they were trying to get the other glee members to realize what it is like to be in a wheelchair.  There were some semi-good themes of not excluding people based solely on their disability.  But in the end, I feel like the wheelchairs were just used as props again.  Both Finn and Puck use their wheelchairs for their benefits — Finn to get a job to support Quinn and Puck to get marijuana to put in the bake sale goods to raise money to support Quinn.  And at the end, they all performed a number, “Rolling Down the River,” in wheelchairs (get it…rolling…because they’re in wheelchairs).  It was nice to see Artie take the lead in the song, but I felt like having the other kids in the wheelchair this time made the wheelchair the prop.

But on a positive note, we got to see that Artie is not asexual, that he is capable of a romantic relationship.  I’m really glad that they included this storyline because there is often a perception in society that people with disabilities are not sexual.  In this episode we see Artie and Tina connecting on a romantic level…if sometimes in a really awkward way.  We see them on a date, racing wheelchairs, where they kiss for the first time.  But then Tina reveals that she does not actually have a stutter, she just started it because she was shy and didn’t want to talk to people.  Artie is not okay with this and ends up leaving because he cannot understand why someone would want to push people away like that, saying something along the lines of “I’m glad that you are normal now and I’m still in a wheelchair.”  We also get to hear about how Artie ended up in a wheelchair, which I think is important to talk about.

I was very frustrated with Quinn this episode.  Not only is she lying to Finn about the baby being his, she expects him to completely support her.  She keeps yelling at him to get a job, even though he does seem to be trying, and she’s not taking any responsibility for the financial aspect of having a baby.  I’m not saying that Finn (or Puck, since he’s actually the father) should not be responsible for the baby and the money, but Quinn needs to realize that she is also responsible.  Quinn is just getting deeper and deeper into the writers need to portray pregnant women as crazy.  It’s really annoying.

Puck is also really growing on me.  I didn’t like his character at first, but now he’s become really sweet and you can tell that he does care about Quinn.  He spends the episode trying to show Quinn that he can support that baby, that he would be a good father.  He also tries to talk to Finn about his constant complaining.  Puck tells Finn to think about what Quinn must be going through carrying the baby, that it’s not all about him.  Which is important for Finn to hear, but it also falls into Quinn’s whole thing this episode where she doesn’t seem to be taking responsibility for the baby other than getting Finn to pay for things.

I also really liked Sue’s storyline this episode.  She is ordered to hold open tryouts for the Cheerios, supervised by Will.  She ends up choosing a girl who is mentally disabled and really excited about cheerleading.  Will criticizes her for being too hard on this girl.  Sue comes back by saying that she’s hard on everyone and that Will wants to “treat this girl like she has a disability, when it seems to me that she just wants to be like everyone else.”  Sue brought up a really good point there.  And then at the end we see Sue visiting her older sister who has a mental disability and being really sweet with her, which is a huge change of pace for Sue.

I came into this episode expecting to cringe the whole way through because of their continuing treatment of disabilities.  While there were definitely some cringe worthy parts, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.  But, for such an Artie-centric episode, we didn’t really see him a lot.  He had a solo song (“Dancing With Myself” — it was really good), he took the lead in “Rolling on the River,” and we saw him with Tina.  But the show still seemed to center around how the leads dealt with being in a wheelchair and the whole Finn/Quinn/Puck romantic triangle drama.

ThrowdownSue is now the co-director of glee club and makes it her mission (as always) to divide and conquer the glee club and force it into submission.  She does this by separating the members.  Since Sue and Will are each choreographing their own numbers, Sue decides that they should have different people in each of theirs.  She takes all the minority members of glee and eventually leaves Will with only three people for his number.  The division and fighting eventually get to the members of the glee club and they walk out and Sue resigns.  Will gives an “inspiring” speech about how they are all minorities because they are in glee and all is right in the world of the glee club.

In the meantime, Terry blackmails her obstetrician into faking a sonogram so Will can “see his baby.”  And news about Quinn’s pregnancy is now all over school thanks to the blogosphere.  Quinn’s crushed but sees in the end that she has the glee club to support her.

So it was great to see the minority characters in a main storyline, but this is not the way that I would have wanted it done.  By separating out the minority characters, it is showing that they are different…not the same and not as talented as the white members.  Of course, I think this is what the storyline was trying to show.  I think it was trying to show that when people are grouped, separated, or identified solely based on their race, they are discriminated against.  I really liked Mercedes line when the glee members got fed up with Sue and Will fighting and left: “I may be a strong, proud balck woman, but I am more than that.”  She showed that she is proud of who she is but there is more to her than just her race.  And I think that was supposed to be the moral of that storyline.  But, as we see in most of the Glee storylines, what is intended by them and what they actually show are two different things.

I, of course, hated the storyline with Terry.  I just cringe everytime she comes on screen because I know it is going to be something about how she is manipulating Will and faking her pregnancy, and generally being crazy.  But I was glad that there wasn’t a storyling about the relationship between Will and Emma.  Terry’s actions with her pregnancy are basically leading to it being ok for Will to cheat on her with Emma.  But it’s still not ok, and I hate seeing all that flirting when I know what it’s leading to.

And I have to say, I liked the storyline with Quinn’s pregnancy this week.  It showed what she really has invested in this pregnancy as well as the support network that she actually has (though she doesn’t think she has it or doesn’t realize that she does).  And it showed that despite Rachel having feelings for Finn and those being her true motivations behind helping Quinn, that Rachel does actually care about what happens to Quinn because she feels connected to everyone in glee.

I feel like all that I talk about when I do these write-ups about Glee are race and pregnancy.  But those are the things that really bother me about the show.  And the blatant ableism.  But I do have to say, I really do like Jane Lynch’s character Sue.  She just says the most ridiculous, racist, ableist, sexist, etc. things.  But we are supposed to realize that what she says and what she does are not appropriate and not right.  She is the extreme that we are supposed to recognize as inappropriate.

I really liked the musical numbers this week.  I keep watching Glee because a) I keep hoping it will get better and b) for the musical numbers.  I felt like there were more than usual this week, and I was ok with that.  It took away from the actual storyline.  And I like how they incorporate the songs that the glee club is performing into the storyline between the characters.  For example, Finn and Rachel singing “No Air” mirroring their actual feelings for each other.  At the end, they performed “Keep Holding On” and it felt as if they were singing it to Quinn, telling her that they will support her in whatever she needs.  I really do like that aspect of the show.

Also make sure to check out meloukhia’s analysis of “Throwdown” up at this ain’t livin’.

glee56So Will’s wife Terry is jealous of his relationship with Emma so takes a job as the school nurse, despite the fact that she absolutely no medical training.  Because of her jealousy, Terry convinces Ken to propose to Emma.  She eventually accepts Ken’s proposal, but only if they can keep the marriage a secret and live in separate parts of town.  As her role as the school nurse, Terry gives all the members of the glee club decongestants to give them more energy and eventually gets fired for that.  She yet again shows that she has no care for consequences or what happens to other people.

In the glee club, Will needs to light a fire under the students so he designs a competition.  It’s boys vs. girls in a mash-up performance.  Both teams end up being drugged up for the performances and they come off as a little too energetic.

We started off the show with some pretty blatant ableism.  The glee club isn’t motivated anymore because they think they have sectionals “in the bag” because they are competing against a school for the deaf and a halfway house for girls just out of juvenille hall.  So these glee clubs obviously can’t be good because they are filled with kids who can’t hear and criminals (their words).  Let’s use some pretty blatant ableism to get some cheap laughs!  That sounds like a good idea, right?

But I do have to say, I was glad to see Artie doing his own choreography during the boys’ performance instead of someone just pushing (or kicking) him around the stage.

Plus, the performances for this “competition” were pretty much just an excuse to have Finn and Rachel sing with everyone as their back-up.  Artie did do some of the main singing during part of the song.  But it was pretty much just Finn and Rachel again.  I get that they are the stars of the show.  But I’d really like to see more showcasing of the talents of some of the other people other than just having them perform as the token performances.

And I’m pretty much hating any storyline with Terry lately because of the way she is portrayed.  I don’t really want Will and Emma to end up together, but I’m pretty sure that the show is portraying Terry this way to make it ok for when Will eventually starts a relationship with Emma.  You can obviously tell that Terry’s stomach is fake, but maybe that’s just because we know it is.  But she’s also just portrayed as this mean, self-centered, paranoid bitch (I hate to say it, but that’s how she’s being portrayed).

I am still enjoying Glee, but I think it’s mainly for the singing and the scenes with the students in the glee club…and Jane Lynch (I just think she’s hilarious).  I cringe everytime that Terry comes on the screen.  Emma is starting to get really annoying.  And I just feel bad for Ken, because he’s so in love with Emma and desperate for company that he will spend his life with someone who doesn’t even seem to like him.

as-april-rhodes_324x476I really enjoyed this episode.  The main storyline was that Will decided to bring back a former star of glee club.  April Rhodes (played by the amazing Kristen Chenoweth) was only three credits shy of graduating high school so Will convinces her to finish her high school degree so that she can join glee club.  The only problem is…she’s now an alcoholic.  The glee club doesn’t accept her at first, so she has to try to win them over.  She gives Kurt alcohol to help bolster his confidence, she teaches Mercedes and Tina how to steal things, and she does *things* in the shower with the guys on the football team who are on glee.  Will catches on to this and tries to get her to clean up so that she is not a bad influence.  But she turns up for their performance at the end of the episode drunk and Will has to kick her off the club after the first number.

The secondary storyline was that Finn decides he wants to go after a music scholarship so that he can go to college and support Quinn and the baby.  But to do this, he needs Rachel to rejoin the glee club.  He leads her on and flirts with her to the point that they end up kissing and Rachel decides to come back to glee.  But as soon as she returns, she finds out Quinn is pregnant and Finn is the father.  She stands up for herself and gets mad at Finn for using her and quits the glee club again.  But she’s not happy in the musical.  During the performance at the end of the episode, after April is ousted, she offers to help out because being the star doesn’t make her feel as special as being the friends of the people in glee (awww).

I was really happy to see Kristen Chenoweth in this episode.  She’s an amazing actress and an even better singer (side note: I was really upset when Pushing Daisies was cancelled, but I’m really happy that Chenoweth won the Emmy for her role in it).  But I really didn’t like her character, even though she acted it really well.  It’s just an old stereotype.  The drunk, (kind of) middle-aged woman who is trying to relive her glory years.  And doesn’t care what affect she has on the people around her.  And her performance of “I Don’t Even Know His Last Name” with mainly the high school boys was kind of disturbing.

But I am really glad that Rachel stood up to Finn about him using her to get what he wanted.  I do think that Finn does actually have some romantic feelings for Rachel, but that’s not what he was thinking about when he did what he did.  He was thinking about Quinn and “his” baby that he has to support.  Good for him, though, for stepping up and trying to do what is right for him and his baby.  But he didn’t have to lead Rachel on the way that he did.  As Rachel points out, he could have told her the truth and she would have come back.

And again, we didn’t really see a lot of the minority characters.  April teaches Mercedes (the black girl) and Tina (the quiet Asian) to steal, which I was very uncomfortable with.  She gives Kurt alcohol so that he has the confidence to “be who he really is.”  But the storyline, again, focused around Will, Finn, and Rachel.  I get that they are the leads, but it would be nice to at least see the minority characters in more than just the secondary storyline — occassionally.

I am also kind of glad that the show didn’t focus on pregnancy, which is has the past couple of weeks.  I’m really not liking how they are portraying pregnant women so it was nice to see a storyline that did not make Quinn or Will’s wife Terry (I remembered her name!) seem crazy.  We did see one scene where Terry was taking an interest in Quinn’s pregnancy, but it was very minor.  I understand that these are very important storyline’s in the show, but it was nice to not have them the focus, even if for just one episode.

Glee is turning around for me.  At the beginning of the series I wanted to like it so much that I didn’t see the problematic aspects of it.  Then I think I was focusing too much on the problematic aspects as a way to compensate.  But I do think that Glee is turning itself around and turning into a really great TV show.

Also read meloukhia’s review (especially concerning the treatment of Artie and people with disabilities in the show) up at this ain’t livin’.

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.

My has this been an eventful week. On the good news, Judge Sotomayor was finally confirmed to be a justice on the Supreme Court. A definite piece of history. Then there were the misogynistic and racist shooting in Pittsburgh. Horrific. And the loss of one of my favorite 80s icons, John Hughes. Bloggers have been busy this week, reporting and analyzing this news as well as creating fantastic blog posts. Honestly, posts from everywhere this week were fantastic (not that they aren’t always). I had a hard time choosing posts to feature here. The list is especially long this week, but these are some really great posts, so make sure to read through them! And leave links to what you have been writing and reading this week!

50 Books for Problematic Times – Deeply Problematic
There has also been some other great things going on at Deeply Problematic this week, so I suggest that you just go on over there and read through her posts. If I had to pick one to display here, I guess I would pick her feminist defense of Megan Fox. But seriously, just go over there

Movie Posters: A Bitch Flicks Verbal Beatdown – Bitch Flicks
Stephanie R looks at how women are represented in movie posters.

Am I a”good woman”? – Choice Campus Blog
Ellen asks what it means to be a “good woman” and why people can’t just be “good people.”

Girl Politics – Small Strokes
A new series examining why girls (and women) often “turn on” the most successful one of their peers.

The 20 Life-Changing Lessons in September’s Cosmopolitan – Glossed Over
What you can learn from reading Cosmo.

Esquire Writer Explains It’s Okay To Watch Chick Flicks – Jezebel
While I have objections to the term “chick flicks,” do you think that men can enjoy them? Esquire and Jezebel do!

Race and the White Man – Womanist Musings
All about racism

Breastfeeding doll will lead to horny 5 year olds, pregnancy – Feministing
Because about caring for a baby can lead to 5 year olds having sex. Have these people ever played with a doll, that’s what they’re all about.

EWW! Is That Period Blood?
– Jump Off the Bridge
About the creation and beauty that can come from menstrual blood.

Another magazine another photoshopped woman – Feministe
Self magazine photoshopped Kelly Clarkson to make her more skinny.

On Hollywood’s Strong, Self-Hating Women – NPR
Strong business women in movies still hate themselves because they are unsuccessful in their love lives. Heaven forbid a woman succeed in business and be happy in her personal life.

Once more with feeling: Media Must Report Gender Motivation for Mass Shootings – WIMN’s Voices
Some more on the misogynistic shooting in Pittsburgh.

Who’s your favorite John Hughes heroine? – Salon Broadsheet
Pretty self-explanatory and and read through her posts.

Books for the Anti-Princess Girl-Feminist
– Bitch Blogs
A list of children’s books for the feminist-minded girls.

New Hosts for At the Movies – Another Couple of Guys – Women & Hollywood
Why is that movie critics are generally male? Women know stuff about movies too!