neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

rambling about TV

I was thinking about Biyuti's usage of Blaine with a capital B.  I don't know that much about intersectionality, but it often seems to me that characters on Glee only deal with one issue at a time.  Like, Tina called Artie out on sexism in "The Power of Madonna."  I still think she's the character who's fought hardest against being stereotyped.  Biyuti says Tina's gone from a China Doll stereotype to a Dragon Lady stereotype.  We got a lot of Blaine being *the* gay character in Lima and Tina being a dragon lady in "Diva."  Blaine was literally trying on different gay images.  He'd already been humanized, though, a long time ago, so the other characters really got into his performance of "Don't Stop Me Now."  I don't think they realized just how queer he was being.  Maybe they got it to some extent and didn't care.

I forget which episode it was -- late third season?  "Prom-a-Saurus"? -- when Santana said that she was convinced that Brad the piano player had "a petite Eurasian in a trunk under his bed."  Then she said, "Sorry, Changs."  The audience didn't get a reaction shot from Blaine.  There were gifs going around with Santana saying that with "petite Eurasian" under a gif of Blaine.  Certain sections of fandom, at least, matched up what they thought.

This season has had Blaine and Tina together, with Blaine being labeled the gay one and Tina being labeled the Asian one.  Blaine's coming across to me as being more of an ally to Tina.  I'll see if it gets more overt.  Blaine seems to be set up as a one-issue character.

Also, Jake has the storyline about being mixed race.  That's his issue.

There's no way they can avoid having the intersectionality of Unique being Black and a trans girl.  Brittany called Unique "Mercedes" a couple of times.  Whatever's going on with Brittany and her disability about recognizing people, she's using race as an identifier.  In "Diva," Tina was the one who said "Wade/Unique" and made the "angry inch" reference.  Unique's gotten quite the range of slurs for being trans.  She hasn't gotten slurs for being Black, except for the casual racism from Brittany.  Characters don't get called out for being racist, except that Mercedes could say to Artie that she hadn't gotten the part of Maria in West Side Story because she's Black.  Artie said, "That was last year."

Coach Bieste said at the time that she liked Rachel for Maria, and said that Rachel being Jewish meant that she wasn't white.  I noted that with interest.  In the pilot episode, Rachel said that her fathers had mixed their sperm, and she didn't know which one was her biological father.  It was played as a joke, but it's something Rachel believes.  That shut down Mercedes to a certain extent.  Rachel was the character whose parents were in an interracial relationship, so she'd likely claim that she couldn't be racist.  Mercedes and Kurt were the ones who said that the way Rachel treated Sunshine was awful.  Once in a while, Mercedes got to indirectly vocalize what was going on.

So Rachel is established as not knowing whether Hiram or Leroy is her father.  She'd probably also claim that she couldn't be homophobic because her dads were gay.  Not that that shut down Kurt and his expressions, or him walking away from her when she wanted to form a Lesbian-Gay Alliance.  Rachel was established early on as not caring who she was exploiting or endangering.

In the current New Directions, Blaine, the new Rachel, isn't shutting anyone down.  New Directions is finally a safe space for him, like it wasn't last year.  Except that there's Tina feeling him up when he's unconscious.  But when Blaine's in the choir room, he isn't in danger.  It's still not a safe space for Unique, and it's not a safe space for Marley, with Kitty there.  Kitty said outright that she'd gaslight Marley any chance she got.  Aside from Kitty, it's a safe space for Jake.  Jake has friends now, and family support.

Artie has some work to do to make the choir room safe for everyone.  He has much of the information, and he has his frontman.  We'll see if Blaine is having his own issues next time a crisis comes up.  Whether Blaine is ever officially established as multiracial or not, he's better on the issues of racism and sexism than Artie is.  I'm sure he has more of a clue on trans issues.  The bros are working together relatively well.  The girls are not working together, although they have friendships here and there.  They are all going to need to work together, girls and boys, and Kitty and Tina are going to have to be redeemed enough to be trustworthy.
Tags: rambling, tv

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