“Kurt deserves to be chased”

What you’re saying with “he deserves to be chased,” however, is that it’s somehow less legitimate because he had to do the chasing, that Kurt’s not getting his fair share because he played the part of the pursuer.

Is this a sick gender role thing, wherein you think Kurt is the girl, and therefore must be the one sought after?

Do you just want to see his ego stroked?

Why does he “deserve” to be chased? What does that actually -mean?- That it’s not enough for him to get what he worked for, and he has to be on the receiving end of it from the get-go for it to count, and be worth his time?

To put it mildly, this is bullshit.

via “Kurt deserves to be chased.” | To Touch Their Harps of Gold.

I love this; go read it. And I have complicated feelings about chasing/being chased and that’s even without worrying about gender roles, and it gets even more complicated there.

But yeah, I think the whole “Kurt deserves to be chased” thing is aspirational, where fandom is somewhat dominated by young female people who identify with Kurt and still do buy into so much of what Disney sells them about romance and love. I mean, what if Cinderella had pursued the prince, right?

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13 thoughts on ““Kurt deserves to be chased”

  1. Well if you think about it-the moment Kurt stopped pursuing Blaine and was just his regular self, Blaine went after ‘him’. What I’ve noticed is that as far as their relationship is concerned there’s no role play when it comes to being dominant or submissive or ‘the man’. It is a relationship of equals-that is what seperates them from every other couple on the show. I mean they’re both each other’s rock-Blaine feeds off Kurt’s strength and vice verca. It’s a realistic portrayl. An ideal example is ‘never been kissed’ the blaine-Kurt and Dave scene starts with Blaine coming to Kurt’s defence but when Dave comes after Blaine, Kurt is the one that pulls him off and throws him against the fence.

  2. Oh, interesting. I never interpreted the ‘Kurt deserves to be chased’ thing in that way.

    Kurt’s storyline has been S1 accepting ones’ self and S2 becoming accepted by (some) others (season 2). Related to that, I think the desire for outside acceptance and outside approval are a big part of what’s baked into the ‘Kurt deserves to be chased’ thing. It’s like, he deserves to be considered as good enough to be chased – because if /he/ isn’t, then what hope is there for me, a regular person who is not being played by Chris Colfer? And, yes, there are issues there, certainly, but I’m not sure they’re the ones posited in that (very interesting and well-written) post.

    As a tangent, it’s amusing that no one in the Glee-universe seems to acknowledge what seems obvious to anyone outside that universe: that Kurt is one of the most attractive things in the known world. In Glee, most characters pursue most other characters on & off all the time, but only Mercedes and Max (depending on how you count that) have pursued Kurt. So when random new character Sebastian is after Blaine & not Kurt, and when that’s in the context of a bunch of other things being shit for Kurt too, ugh.

    But! I keep hoping that each new episode will bring further development on these plot threads – and perhaps even resolution!

  3. I have really complicated feelings about chasing/being chased. I spent my whole life chasing — men and women. Other people had chased me, but I had always been freaked out by it. The one time I was chased (and came around to it) was weird, but amazing and we’re still together.

    But yeah, I think the whole “Kurt deserves to be chased” is aspirational and gendered in a really interesting but not entirely ok way.

    You don’t need to be chased to be accepted… I mean, it is a very clear signal that people accept you and want you, but so is them agreeing to be with you when you do the chasing.

  4. To be fair…in glee!world, Rachel Berry isn’t attractive either–we get lines about this almost every episode in seasons one and two, I believe. Neither is Finn, or Mercedes, or Tina, etc. The “attractive” ones–Puck, Sam, Santana, Brittany, Quinn–find that experience deconstructed in an interesting way as well. By Prom Queen, Quinn reacts to “you’re the prettiest girl in the world” like a slap. Sam has body image issues. Puck, Santana, and Brittany are all screwed up, in ways that directly connect to how others see them.

    So….Glee doesn’t actually do the “you’re so hot/pretty, yay you” thing. They really don’t. Well, Mike, I guess. For every other character, even that sort of flattering atribute is barbed.

    So I don’t think Kurt’s treatment is due to a blindspot. In an odd way, I appreciate it.

    And if we’re talking pursual….Mercedes is pursued by Sam, vaguely, and Puck. Tina pursues Mike and is pursued by Artie. Artie also pursues and is pursued by Brittany. Brittany pursues Kurt, Artie, and Santana. Santana pursues Finn, Puck, Sam, and Brittany. Puck pursues Mercedes, Quinn, Lauren, and Rachel. Rachel pursues Puck and mostly Finn. Finn pursues Quinn and Rachel. Jesse Pursues Rachel. I’m sure I’m leaving someone out.

    What I’m saying is…Kurt is pursued by Mercedes, Brittany, and Karosky, by varying definitions. He pursues Finn and Blaine, and is ultimately, arguably, pursued by Blaine. So if we’re keeping score–and I can’t fathom why, but if we are–his experience is similar to that of his peers, excluding Puck and Santana, who are much more involved in the hunt that any of the other members.

    Tl;dr: it’s complicated, and that’s awesome, but it really can’t be reduced down to any kind of Kurt-specific neglect.

  5. I guess the issue of being pursued by Mercedes and Brittany (he rejects one, accepts the other) is a bit … pointless, because it’s the wrong kind of person doing the pursuing. Kurt doesn’t even accept that his kissing Brittany counts as a first kiss, even though he counts Karofsky forcing a kiss on him as a valid event. So I can understand where fandom simply doesn’t count him being pursued by Mercedes and Brittany as anything, because Kurt wouldn’t. And being pursued by Karofsky — I do not want to start ship wars here — but wow, being pursued by someone like that is a whole hell of a lot worse than just being ignored.

  6. I mean, I agree, but if we’re tallying things up, as some fans seem to be doing….then, it seems like it should be acknowledged? I was going along with the poster above for Mercedes and Karofsky, which is why I brought in Britt.

    Either way though…that would leave Kurt pursuing Finn and Blaine, and being chased back, or whatever, by Blaine when he stops. That’s a comprable ratio, if we’re going to tally. Which I don’t want to! But, if we are…

  7. No, you’re right. And it’s possible that people do that in their own heads too “Nobody ever wants me” usually means “nobody I want to want me ever does”. But on tallies, yeah, he doesn’t come up lacking.

  8. I’m pretty sure Finn and Rachel are attractive in Glee!world. Not *as* attractive as Puck and Quinn, but still attractive–Finn had every girl in school lining up to kiss him, and the fact that Quinn chose him as a trophy boyfriend in the first place, instead of grooming someone cuter to take his place supports that. A girl that worried about Prom isn’t going to have a troll ruining her prom photos. He might not be sexy, but he’s at least supposed to be cute. The only person who really refers to him as unattractive is Santana, who was also the most fixated on Sam’s weird features.

    While Puck’s attraction to Lauren clearly created some issues for him because she was outside of his usual frame of reference, he was attracted to Rachel as a “hot Jew” without any sort of internal struggle about her attractiveness. Finn was attracted to Rachel from the pilot, if occasionally turned off by her personality; Jesse was attracted to her; Blaine was attracted enough to try dating her; Will thinks she’s beautiful. She also turned heads when she dressed up like Britney Spears and when Kurt gave her a makeover, so it’s not just a function of people becoming attracted once they get to know her. As per Born This Way, she’s supposed to be unconventionally beautiful, but still beautiful. (Also as per Born This Way, Rachel-with-a-nosejob looks astonishingly like Quinn.)

    I do think there’s a noticeable difference between the people who know they’re attractive and use it to their advantage (Quinn, Sam, Puck, Santana, and Brittany) and those who don’t, though. Whatever advantages that Finn and Rachel get from their attractiveness aren’t ones that they deliberately seek out, and so when they succeed they feel that they’re being judged according to their talent, not their looks. Quinn and Sam, though, feel like they don’t have anything to offer except for their bodies and faces.

  9. Finn has an entire subplot in the Rocky Horror ep about his lack of confidence and how his naked torso traumatizes the other students. Rachel’s looks are insulted in some way in almost every episode.

    If one replaces “attractive” with “sexy,” then the argument stands, and that’s probably more accurate anyway, since the issue with Kurt seems to be characters actively denying his sex appeal.

    All of that said, I basically want to frame your last paragraph. It’s very succinct, and the dynamic is an important one for a show about performing arts students.

  10. >You don’t need to be chased to be accepted — Oh, I totally agree, admittedly there are issues. 🙂 I just don’t think it’s necessarily gendered, since I’ve head the Kurt/chased thing from guys*. I think it has more to do with how, in what ways, a fan identifies with Kurt than with the fan’s gender.
    *Including Chris Colfer, though he was probably just making light of it.

  11. I don’t like this whole thing they have going in Glee that everyone likes Blaine and everyone wants him (Kurt, Rachel and now this new guy) but no-one wants Kurt….

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