Sex Education, The most female-empowering things I have watched for a long time.
I have to admit, I put watching sex education and off and I’m not really sure why. I guess the idea of a bunch of young people talking about sex just left me feeling a bit well, odd perhaps. I was also surprised that there hadn’t been an outcry about the programme, like 13 Reasons Why, so I figured it was no good.
But through a lot of pressure from my daughter, I started to watch and I was hooked, not just because the concept was awesome, I mean it’s about young people solving their own problems, something I believe in wholeheartedly and I spent 10 years in the police promoting. But put that aside and what is most refreshing about this show is the female characters. I would go as far as to say that Sex Education is probably one of the most female-empowering things I have watched for a long time and I can’t understand why all mothers aren’t insisting their daughter’s watch it.
Yes, the programme is about sex and heaven forbid talks about things like blow jobs and scissoring, you know those pretty normal things that people do but never talk about. And I guess its openness might put some people off it, you know the prudes and all who think children should stay virginal until married, etc. but in this programme it’s mainly the women talking about sex; openly, honestly and without embarrassment, the boys merely staying in the background. They are unapologetic about their love for casual sex, their need to not have a boyfriend and for once we see a group of female’s comfortable with their sexuality and making no apologies for it. Can I get a big ‘Go girl power!’ from the back?
Not only does this programme deal in the most amazing way with slut-shaming, I mean I don’t want to give the game away but the writers really get how it feels for girls and how girls can band together. It left me feeling that there is hope for the world of the female at least.
And this is just the teens.
If we move on to the adult female character in the show, played amazingly by Gillian Anderson, we hit another taboo. A middle-aged woman who talks openly about sex has casual sex, makes no apologies and doesn’t really need a man in her life thank you very much. She is just the most brilliant character; flawed of course but nevertheless brilliant.
The show has to be written by a woman, right? Yes, it was, Laurie Nunn and one of the directors was Kate Herron which goes to show why we desperately need more directors and writers who are female. The lack of male bravado and perspectives in this series are so lacking, its refreshing.
And let me go on further. This series also happens to be one of the most diverse shows I have ever seen. It has a mixed cast with women of colour being featured and we have every gender covered as well as nearly all sexual preferences, but it’s not in your face you don’t recognize it as tokenism; it’s just there again making no apologies.
And this is what I also love about Netflix so much, the fact that it doesn’t sit under the strict guidelines and rules of mainstream media (which some would say is a bad thing) means that it gets to do awesome programming like this. More please, Netflix.
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