( Glee. 3.02: Asian F )
• I happened to watch this interview here with Dianna Agron and Kevin McHale and, uh, apparently she had to sing this song with her school choir.
Will someone please write fanfic where someone in Glee (Rachel!) sings this song for some reason? Or, I don't know, could it get played in other shows? I just feel like the song needs to exposed to everyone in the *world*! People need to hear it! I for one didn't know of its existence a day ago.
• Link: Gender and Glee - a quite awesome read, if I may say so myself. It's divided into six parts, and even though it's a (somewhat) long read, I can only recommend it, because Dr She Bloggo hits the nail on the head with her observations!
Here's the links to the individual entries:
• Part One: Masculinity, McKinley, and Glee
Really like the Finn/Kurt and Quinn/Rachel comparison drawn between the two pairings. Also, a resounding "Yes!" to the Santana comment.
• Part Two: Power, Villainy, and Consequence
- "The suggestion in this difference is that men who seize power, or are given power, can be heroes or good guys (but not always) whereas women who seize power, or are given power, are bitches (almost always)."
- Also, Quinn: "She plots, she schemes, and she’s punished by being denied the proper characterization required to forward her on her (rather compelling) arc. For every moment of actual character development for Quinn, there seem to be at least a handful of others where she’s bitching at Rachel, trying to win Finn’s affections, backstabbing Santana, or trying to destroy the glee club again." [italics mine] Can I get a "Hell yeah, true!"?
• Part Three: Empowerment and Narrative Choice
- I agree with all the points she makes about Finchel and Fuinn: "It’d be a less damaging gender dynamic if Quinn and Rachel weren’t portrayed as ballbusters, or if they had a little more control over their relationship status - or better yet, a little of both! But, as is, they are rendered two-dimensional in their portrayals as high-maintenance girlfriends, and, as characters, are robbed of choice when it comes to their relationships. They are reduced to fixtures that Finn has to “deal with,” either by demanding something of him, berating him, or simply by loving him and existing for him to choose between." [italics mine]
- And *this*: "Truthfully, the strongest example of female serenading, for the purpose of the person listening is Santana singing “Songbird” to Brittany. It is an interesting point of fact that the only time a female has been allowed to serenade a love interest for the purpose of that love interest comes in the show’s female-female relationship from the show’s one lesbian character. There’s no guy to be in control of the romancing."
- "The idea that the girls are frequently “sung to” by the guys is a manifestation not only of inhibiting stereotypes for both boys and girls, but also of the girls being denied their own subject in the narrative. They are accessories, objects for the boys to win over, and once again, this places the empowerment with the gentlemen." [italics mine]
• Part Four: Feminism and Presence of Character
- I'll just keep quoting: "The feminist declarations usually come in dialogue only, and when it comes to action, which always holds more value by creed of “show, don’t tell,” this feminism is largely unmanifested. This construct also lends itself to the notion that the female characters are more likely to get screentime and/or a storyline when there is romantic conflict or boy trouble afoot."
• Part Five: Gender and Sex (1 of 2)
- Here: "Each girl, in the longstanding tradition of the male’s stereotypical perspective on female sexuality, shuffles into two main categories: the virgin and the whore, and there’s no winning in either label."
• Part Five: Gender and Sex (2 of 2)
- Brittany and Santana: "In this vein, both Santana and Brittany are on the flip side of Rachel and Emma’s issues with virginity. Where Emma and Rachel are good girls who are waiting to give it away, Santana and Brittany have are the ones who aggressively take it away - and it’s presented, onscreen, as such. Few good things happen to them in the narrative because of this - most other characters generally treat Brittany and Santana’s sexual promiscuity in negative."
- "The underlying message in how Glee handles its female characters and sex is that there’s no right place to be. If you’re abstinent, like Rachel or Quinn, you’ll be called frigid by the coolest teacher in school, and your boyfriends will be put upon with sexual frustration. If you’re frequently sexually active, like Santana or Brittany, you’re a bitch who steals virginities without blinking an eye. If you’re Tina, who has a healthy, unabashed, and unreprimanded relationship with sex, well… no one will pay attention to you."
• Part Six: Female Relationships
- Have some Faberry: "Rachel wiped Quinn’s tears away at prom, and the next episode, called her a “vindictive harpy” as Quinn aimed to sabotage Rachel’s happiness… again. Why is this necessary? It suggests that Rachel and Quinn can’t rise above pettiness associated with sharing a love interest, which completely flattens their characterization and washes away their development. Their point of view in the narrative is therefore trivialized for the perspective of the male they share in common - Finn Hudson. This is awful." Yeeesssss! A thousand times yes!
- "But the hostility towards Rachel is also manifested in storyline. “Comeback,” for example, puts forth a Brittany-Rachel dynamic which could have been well-executed; however, it painted a scenario where the other Glee girls joined together in accidental opposition to Rachel, and resulted in Brittany telling Rachel she was annoying. Rachel’s emotional resolution was delivered to her via Finn, simply through dialogue - poor writing."
• Conclusion: The Wrap-Up
"Through the decisions the writers make for these characters, a discernible imbalance can be identified, wherein the female characters are often wielded as objects to the male subjects. They are also frequently deprived of the writer-given ability to make a choice in the narrative, hindering their representation as developed characters." [italics mine] Yeah, so, anyone else agree with this? *raises hand*