In fact, Glee spews the same patriarchal hegemony bullshit that we are force-fed every single day, in every single aspect of our lives.
Even – no, particularly – in the queer storylines.
How many queer characters have there been in this show so far?
The Gap guy
73% of all the Warblers, I think
And how many of those characters’ sexualities started off as a joke?
I think you know the answer to that.
It’s strange, because this show has handled Kurt’s sexuality gracefully and with respect. When he was bullied, there were consequences resembling an after-school special. When Kurt came out, it was important. It was taken seriously. It made me cry for like an hour because Burt is the father that every gay kid hopes their father is going to be. And then he gets to go to to a special school where he can be his beautiful gay self and he meets someone that he loves and they kiss and they love each other and sing songs and nothing about their relationship is used solely for a laugh.
Dave Karofsky is a terrible bully and deeply closeted, as many terrible bullies seem to be.He sexually assaults Kurt. He threatens to kill Kurt. He’s not a good guy. And yet, his sexuality is treated with respect as well, frankly because everyone’s should be. Kurt refuses to out him, because that would be wrong. We see him at a gay bar and he seems like he’s making progress and we are supposed to be happy about that. Iam happy about that because it’s nice to see because a lot of bullies hate themselves more than anyone else, and I hope that he is learning to accept who he is. This storyline is not a joke.
And then there’s Santana and Brittany and it’s like we’re watching a different show. Their relationship and their sexualities have been reduced mainly to silly one-liners (Sex is not dating! HAHAHAHA. Maybe I’m a bicorn! HAHAHAHA. We’ll make out in front of you for dinner! HAHAHAHA. HA. HA HA. HA. HA. HA.) and brief moments of relative sensitivity followed by absolutely devastating acts of disrespect toward queer women.
Finn Hudson drags Santana out of the closet with absolutely no regard for the fact that this is a sensitive subject, something that might change her life forever, something that she might want to share on her own terms. And strangely, while this same show made it very clear that it is very, very, very wrong to out someone in season two, there is no such message in this situation. In fact, they left it open for enough interpretation that people think she deserves it. And frankly, I think they knew exactly what they were doing. This is not an oversight. Finn is seen as a leader. He’s a good guy. When the good guy makes a mistake, he apologizes. He admits that he was wrong. He gets called on it, and he learns from it.
PERFECT EXAMPLE: When Finn loses his shit and goes on his “faggy” rampage toward Kurt? It is NOT OKAY. They made it very clear that it was not okay. Because otherwise people might take these words coming out of the mouth of the ‘good guy’ as condoning that sort of behavior.
When Finn outs Santana in a crowded hallway? Ehh, not so much. It truly makes me wonder about the intention of the writers, and it should make you wonder too.
And then, to make this even worse, Santana is singing I Kissed a Girl with her precious little HBIC smirk while all the boys jizz in their pants in the next episode.
What the hell? She was devastated in the last episode? She had just been forcibly outed. Why is Finn Hudson still alive and watching this performance like he’s not a horrible person? Why are all the girls singing one of the most disrespectful songs ever?
Because the storyline of a gay, female character does not actually matter to this show, that’s why.
Glee is not creating these dichotomies, of course. The show is a product of our society, and our society does not respect gay women in the way they respect gay men (which is not much to begin with). However, Glee is reinforcing these ideas under the guise of trying to eradicate them, and that is fucked up.
We live in a world where the worth of a person is determined first and foremost by what’s between their legs, and a penis has immeasurable value. A vagina is a sign of weakness.
Gay men are still important because they’re still men.
Lesbians are a joke because they’re still women.
This is what it comes down to.
It’s exactly what you would expect from our society, unfortunately, and it’s exactly what you should expect from Glee.