Sunday, April 25, 2010

Feminism and Glee

Following the trend that Colin set of posting about topics not related to care or justice...

The television show,Glee's, latest episode was the Madonna episode about the power of women in society. It was an episode inspired by Madonna songs, which exemplify the power of and influence of women (at least in the show). There are two different issues going on in this episode; one was women demanding their respect from men, and two was men recognizing the respect that women deserve. The guys in Glee Club are portrayed to be objectifying the girls. Their teacher, Will Schuester, tells the guys that they need to give the women the respect that they deserve. At this time, one of the girls, Tina, is yelling at one of the guys, Artie, by saying that he should be comfortable with strong women and not feel emasculated by her strength.

This theme seen in Glee last week expresses one of the main things that I learned through our Feminist philosophy class. The one of the issues of feminism seems to be about women's equal place in society- whether it be equal pay for women or just men treating women equally in general. This equality will be attained twofold, one by women demanding it and men realizing the respect women actually deserve. Glee's episode shows the need for men to recognize the respect that is deserved by women and not just women demanding respect. It is a two sided system that needs the equal involvement of women and men.

Feminism seems as if it would be furthered by the efforts of women with minor efforts of men but I think it is important to realize the need for male involvement to further the progress of feminism. It made a huge difference to the guys in Glee when Mr. Schuester told them that they should be treating women with more respect than they had been and that they should not treat women as if they are inferior to them.

The possibility of equality in society among men and women will become possible if the two folded system is actually followed and when men and women both realize the importance of one another in attaining this equality. The girls in Glee club need to continue demanding the respect of the guys while the guys recognize the actions they should put forth to avoid objectifying or disrespecting the girls in Glee. With the help of men like Mr. Schuester, young men will be able to realize the respect that they should give to women while women continue demanding respect in order to attain their equality among men.

Here is the link to the " Power of Madonna" episode if you guys want to watch it :


  1. I applaud that Glee discusses feminism, and although I don't personally watch the show, it has high ratings (I think over 13 million viewers), so the message is getting out there. That is a start, but of course what matter is if the viewers actually consider the suggestions and apply them to work towards equality. The problem is that in my experience, not that many guys I have encountered watch the show, so the suggestions might be falling on deaf ears, or to those that already know something needs to change.

  2. Menali, I saw this episode of glee last week and was empowered by the idea that people in Hollywood (the script writers, actors etc.) have taken notice to the feminist issue at stake. To further the fight for mutual recognition between men and women, I feel that the media, t.v. shows, movies, tabloids, etc need to stand up against the stereotypes that women are stigmatized with in our society. Many times, they are fueled by these types of shows and do not recognize the influence they have on the younger generations. I loved that they addressed both men and women making the episode into a moral dilemma.

  3. I loved this episode, and the fact that "Glee" often has a feminist theme to many of its story lines when discussing issues like teen pregnancy, intolerance, and bullying. Some parts of this episode, though, made me feel as though they were portraying feminism as a sort of "joke" in that the girls are hyper-activist. They can almost be responded to with "oh, those girls are at it again." I think the episode was progressive for raising the topic at all, but also that it did perpetrate some of the stereotypes that we discuss as obstacles of the movement.

  4. I thought that this was a really great episode and after we discussed it in class, I think one reason that Madonna is so iconic, as was said in the episode, is that in addition to owning her sexuality and being very 'masculine' in some ways, her music is so positive. The song "Do You Know What It Feels Like For A Girl" being sung by the guys in the Glee episode was really great and Madonna's powerful image and her positive lyrics in my opinion is the reason she's so popular

  5. I love Glee and i did like this episode. However, one scene sticks out to me and that is the scene where Tina is yelling at Artie about how she is a strong woman and shouldn't be objectified. When i saw it, i thought, "wow, she's a little crazy," and i kind of felt bad for Artie. How do you approach that? Though i believe women should strive to be treated as equal, yelling at someone like a crazy person isn't the way to do it. And i fear that scene is one of the scenes that will stay with people and not the more positive ones.

  6. I hate Glee from what i have seen, and i have a problem with people saying her sexuality empowers women. Her sexuality does in fact make her money, and by feminists saying this is a good thing and buying her records actually reinforces a male dominated patriarchal system. When those songs first came out her manager and record label was probably owned by men. So wouldn't these portrayals of Madonna as a feminist merely be a way of Men exploiting feminists for money. They are merely selling sex for their own benefit. Because she is controlled by men, and her image is sold by them, it is still sexist isn't it?

  7. Thanks for the comments guys!

    Rhianna, I had questions about that part in the episode too. The way to strive for equality is to first get the other person to respect you not be afraid of you. I agree with you in that it might be the scene that people remember. It was controversial for Glee is do an episode like this one but maybe an over the top scene like that one will remind people -especially women -what they should not do when they are telling someone else not to objectify them.

    Jared, most guys that I know completely hate Glee too so I was interested to see what the guys in our class thought about this episode- thanks for your comment. Though you make a good point, my blog was not addressing the fact that Madonna was used but that Glee created an episode that showed the importance of men in the fight to further feminism.


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