The Humble Libertarian

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Progressive" Glee is leading TV's gay-teen revolution? Yeah right! (Spoiler Alert)

So the big news in television is that Glee will be airing the first-ever television program to show gay teen sex.

Entertainment Weekly reports:

'Gleeks you MUST tune in for next week’s episode of Glee, called “The First Time.” It’s without a doubt one of Glee‘s best installments ever and features two popular couples on the show having sex for the first time.

SPOILER ALERT! STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR DETAILS!

The couples losing their virginity? Finn and Rachel and…Kurt and Blaine! Yep, the couple — who was featured on the cover of EW’s Gay Teens on TV issue – finally decide to take the next step in their relationship. It’s all handled very delicately and is incredibly moving. I can’t think of another network series that’s taken a teenage gay relationship so far or been so progressive.'

Yeah, I would believe that Glee was helping enlighten attitudes toward gay people if it didn't consistently make Kurt so unbelievably annoying. Haven't kept up with the show this season, but up until this Fall, I'd seen enough of Glee to know that it perpetuates stereotypes of every kind, and it defines its characters by the very things toward which it is supposed to have a more enlightened attitude than the rest of us (e.g. their sexual orientation, race, gender, hair color, disability, and so on...).

This Spring a high school girl in a trendy boutique in Paris told me that all high school students in France believe high school in America consists of sexy, muscular jocks and buxom blonde cheerleaders throwing outrageous parties, drinking alcohol out of red plastic cups. Hate to break it to you, but they probably got that idea watching Glee. Oh yes-- and everyone wanted to know "Are Americans really all as beautiful as they look on TV?" Sure Glee has its token ugly kid just like it has its token black girl (and really disgustingly treats her like a token black character, instead of a human being) and its token cripple. But it's hard to take television seriously any time it condescends to help children with their self-esteem (with the exception of you, Mr. Roger) or purports to break against the grain of misogynistic mainstream media conceptions of female beauty.

It's the Michele Bachmanns of the world who define people by their sexual orientation. It's the hateful and ignorant who do that. Bachmann cannot look at a gay person and think of them as anything other than a homosexual. That is their essential trait, the most important thing about them as far as she's concerned. She can't look past it. For someone more tolerant, a person's orientation is far less essential and far more incidental. Not so for Glee. Glee is decidedly in the Bachmann camp. Kurt's homosexuality is essential to him. Glee defines its cast by such characteristics just as Bachmann would. It labels them. In Glee, the only thing more essential about Kurt than his homosexuality is how unbearably shrill and annoying he is.

And as a parting shot, Glee perpetuates a common narrative about homosexuality that I have always found insidiously hypocritical. In the show, there's a bully who keeps picking on Kurt for being gay until the audience finds out that *surprise* the bully himself is actually gay too and that's why he picks on Kurt so much. Otherwise progressive people with a tolerance for homosexuals absolutely love this tripe: that very homophobic men are probably just gay themselves. It's hypocritical because the underlying attitude of "Ha ha ha. You bullied Kurt for being gay just because you're the one who's gay," very subtly implies that being gay is a bad thing. I have a hard time believing that the mostly straight audience isn't laughing at the bully's homosexuality as much as his hypocrisy. And that makes the self-styled progressives hypocritical themselves.

And PS: Glee is going to sound so dated and lame when this auto-tune fad finally and mercifully comes to an end.

And PPS: Yes some of this might just be how bitter I am about the musical crime Glee committed in covering Journey like they did.

Most epic music video ever:






Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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