So, Glee exists in a special upside-down world where pre-teen Brittany is nonchalantly statutorily raped in a tent at cheerleader camp and ragingly hormonal 16-year-old boys keep finding emotional excuses to avoid the horizontal mambo. To be fair, however, Finn is a lesbian and boy does he show his Sapphic side this episode!
Can I give the Glee writers this credit? That they wrote a hugely hyped and spoiled episode about teens having sex for the first time, showing two couples coming to that decision and hearing the stories of others, and they sneak in a reference to rape that nobody even talks about?
Was this the point? Brittany’s assault cannot be just a punchline.
In fairness, this is Brittany: this could have been an absolute fantasy; it could have been a dream.
She told Dr. Whomever-the-Dentist that his office was like the spaceship where she got probed. She thinks her cat smokes. And reads. And shits candy.
I think we’re supposed to believe she’s just had a fantasy/dream and believed it was real because she’s Brittany.
I can’t imagine they conceived it as a rape or molestation plotline. At all.
That line was not delivered like a joke, or a nonchalant reference, and it’s really troubling that people who are philosophically and politically supposed to know shit about these things are saying it was.
It doesn’t have to be a plotline. It can be an illustration of how consistently fucked up WMHS is, it can fit with the pre-Tina theme of the conversation, it can be an element of her characterization and, as with Kurt, not the defining element–revolutionary I KNOW–it can be someone on the writing staff doing their goddamn research because Britt is “Rain Man but with boobs” and in that same episode where she talks about the spaceship where she got probed she also talks about being an adult baby but with boobs, and 70% of girls with developmental disabilities get raped.
Come on people.
I will write something about this, once we get our internet back and I’m not taking Glee breaks in Starbucks in between work, I promise.
The comment from Brittany bothered me so much. Yes, its Britt, she’s spacey. And to really play devils advocate, she never says anything about it being non-consensual, just that someone snuck into her tent. But it was so jarring for me – it seemed like such a “ha ha, oh Britt” moment that was just laden with this underlying darkness. It makes me want to go back and watch her for the whole season to see if the writers are just messing with us, or if there is something sinister there.
No, I don’t think it was at all intended to be a plot point. But I seriously hope it gets addressed.
Eep, especially given the flack HeMo took for the “abuse” photo shoot she did. Wow, just remembered that one.
//Brittany’s assault cannot be just a punchline. //
Gotta agree with dontturnitoff above. It’s really not even the first time Glee has used sexual misconduct as a throwaway joke–remember Puck’s line about how “Mr. Schue is the only teacher who’s ever touched me…well, except Mr. Ryerson”? Not to mention Sandy’s character as a whole, and Puck’s entire tenure as a teen prostitute between freshman and sophomore year of high school.
Not to mention, Glee has portrayed plenty of situations of dubious consent as relatively unproblematic, starting with Puck giving Quinn wine coolers so she’ll sleep with him all the way up to the problem with Blaine’s conduct in the car being that he was ignoring romance, not that he was ignoring Kurt’s “no, stop.” I’m really not even sure that they thought of it as a rape hoke so much as a “Brittany’s slutty” joke.
Kate, it’s the first time we’ve ever agreed on anything! High five!
I think nobody talks about it because nobody has any idea how to even take it.
I really need to watch this episode again.
It had to happen at least once!
I am so glad to see someone talking about it. Ever since I heard it I couldn’t take it from my mind: she was raped! And they used it as a joke, because really, violence against women is always oh so funny!
To the guy who tried to consider she could’ve dreamed/fantasized about it, please let’s not take it that way. As Julia said, usually people with disabilities or considered dumb for that reason are known for not being taken seriously by others and then become rapists favorite targets.
Aside from this, let’s look at history to see how common it is for women and children to never be taken seriously when they say they were abused. The very beginning of psychoanalysis is problematic Freud his Oedipus complex theory, which was a second version to the original in which he denounced that girls were actually being abused by their fathers, but this simply wasn’t accepted by extremely patriarchal academia. People always try to deny it and blame the victim.
It would be awesome to see the series address this issue, it would make so much sense! Since the beginning of the series Brittany’s behavior matches those of abused children/women. Being spacey, having enormous difficulty learning, promiscuity (not only quantity, but the way sex was totally meaningless to her and how she acted as if that was the only thing she could be valued for). These are all VERY common symptoms in rape victims.
Unfortunately, Glee is able to stand up for gay MEN, but is showing to be lesbophobic and often is very traditional/punitive with its straight female characters too. A show that claims to be inclusive, yet has a middle class straight white boy (Finn) who messes up all the time as its hero. This 3rd season is being aweful!
Brittany’s statement should be addressed…it is a terrible thing. but then again, Glee tend to be more male friendly, gay or straight.