Friday, April 23, 2010

Glee and Madonna...toxic combination?

Let me preface by stating that I understand that Glee is not intended for children. However, I'm sure it's being viewed by teenagers. I'll admit to having several of the songs on my music player because it's fun to listen to the kids to covers of songs I enjoy.

Episode 15 was all about Madonna. That alone should be enough to let you know the general theme of the episode. Madonna, the woman that brought us cone bras and several sexually explicit books, was the idol for this episode.

The Cheer Coach (Sue) idolizes Madonna and instructs her squad to do the same. (The girls are given bracelets that say WWMD for “What Would Madonna Do?”) The squad is instructed, to be more like the idol, to date younger men. Later two of the girls have a conversation that goes like this:

Brittany: Guess who I'm dating...Wes Brody. He's super cute. He plays soccer with my sister. He's seven.
Santana: Ugh, Crap! I need a younger, inferior man. If I don't find one Coach Sylvester will kick me off the Cheerios for sure.
Brittany: Hello! Finn! His birthday is, like, three days before yours. He's super dumb.
Santana: We already tried with Finn and he hates us.

*Pause* Let me clarify: in the episode before this one the two girls tried to convince Finn to date making the deal that if bought them dinner they would make out in front of him. Great message! Continue:

Brittany: Trust me, the way to get a man to follow you forever: Take his virginity.

Does that make anyone else uncomfortable? She just said she's dating a seven year old and then followed it with “take his virginity.” Seriously.

Backing up, the girls in Glee Club are having a conversation about the way the men have been treating them. One girl, Rachel, comments, “How do I stop a guy from getting mad at me for saying No? [to sex]” The girls from the above conversation comment, “Just do what I do: Never say no.” “Totally, I mean, what's the worst that could happen?” (She then turns and apologizes to the pregnant girl on the team) Another girl states that “we just have to accept that guys don't care about our feelings.”

I'm sorry. I'm really getting sick and tired of television shows trashing men. Masculine men are viewed as “chauvinistic pigs” while the feminine men are loved and adored by the women on the show. I want my boys to know that it's okay to grow up and be a manly man. And I want my girls to know that masculinity doesn't mean men are horrible creatures.

Normally I don't mind the musical numbers on the show. There is the occasional hip thrust, but a lot of it works like a general musical with the numbers worked into the actual show. (Characters walking around, going about their lives, while singing.) However, this episode was a bit over the top. The girls did a performance to Madonna's “Express Yourself” while wearing bustier fact, I found the video on YouTube:

The other number that REALLY bothered me was the one done to Madonna's “Like a Virgin.” Two of the teen couples and an adult couple are talking about having sex for the first time. We weren't comfortable having our 1 year old anywhere near this one:

The girl, Rachel, doesn't end up having sex. However, when she's talking to Finn (the boy of the other couple) she feels the need to insinuate that she did. Finn, tells the opposite lie. He tells Rachel that he “couldn't go through with it” even though he did. There's a flashback to right after he and Santana finished and he says, “I thought I'd feel different after.” She answers, “Yeah, well, I've noticed it takes another twenty or so times before the feeling of accomplishment kicks in.”

The guys have their number, as well. They get around the piano and do a rendition of Madonna's “What it Feels Like for a Girl.” Full Lyrics

I'll give you a few of the lyrics:

Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading

Hurt that's not supposed to show
And tears that fall when no one knows

Again, not the message I want my children to get. I don't want my boys to want to look like girls. Not because I view being a girl as degrading, but because THEY'RE BOYS. I had to laugh out loud when the gay man of the group refers to himself as “an honorary girl.”

In summary, the previous episodes haven't been as focused on sex. I usually don't have a problem with this show. I mean, it's supposed to be a fun, musical kind of show. However, having an episode like this one air to our already over sexualized youth bothered me. Kids get bombarded with sex themes enough as it is and this episode wasn't any different. I'd like to see a television show that promoted abstinence and modesty for once. Would that be too much to ask?


  1. I agree with the content of this show being inappropriate. But I dont know that this show would necessarily teach a boy that he shouldnt be a manly man. I mean, to some degree I agree with these girls because I have not had very good experiences with men. So what else should I think about men? I believe that there is a good manly man (and i believe I want a man, not a boy) that's out there that I will one day meet, or maybe we have met already. I'm not impressed with men on a whole though.

  2. Dani: I don't think that it will "teach" a boy that, but I do think that it just furthers the idea set forth by feminists anyway. I'd like to see other points of view is all...

  3. Makes sense :) However, as much as I am not a feminist, I don't think they pulled that idea from nowhere.



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