Sex and Sexism and “Skins”

MTV, you’ve come a long way baby.

In six short years you’ve gone from pimpin’ rides to pimpin’ girls, starting with the recent premiere of Skins, a remake of the hit British program by the same name. Immediately labeled “the most dangerous show for teens,” by the Parents Television Counsel and lambasted for gratuitous sex and drug use, what was seen as most controversial was the employment of underage actors. Given that the show includes implied fellatio and sexual assault, simulated masturbation and half-naked teens having sex, MTV potentially violated child-pornography laws.

Without minimizing the above accusations, what shocked me, however–and should shock everyone–was the show’s flagrant and unaddressed sexism. And I’m not talking garden-variety sexism, I’m talking a show that’s glaringly sexist in truly alarming ways.

Episode One, for instance, centers around Tony’s efforts to get his best friend, the virgin Stanley, laid. His brilliant plan? Borderline date rape. In MTV teen lingo, “get some girl ‘recaucusly spliffed. In her confused state she comes to believe how–momentarily of course–you’re [Stanley] attractive and then … she bangs your brains out!” For the lucky girl, Tony’s girlfriend Michelle nominates Cadie, recently released from a psych ward and described on the Skins’ website as “the most dysfunctional girl ever to attend a high school.”

Not that Cadie minds. Using sex like wampum, she accepts the plan for Stanley to, “dope me into outer space and then bang my brains out.” Is it me, or does this smack of prostitution? Sleeping with someone for drugs cuts the cash out of the equation but not the principle. And if Cadie plays the prostitute, Tony and Michelle play her pimps. Worse, because Michelle is another girl, MTV promotes sexism by all genders. By treating Cadie in a stereotypically male way–a sex object–the message is sent to girls to objectify other girls for male gratification.

Perhaps Michelle’s willingness to devalue Cadie as a human being shouldn’t surprise us, given her utter subservience to Tony. Despite his belittling nicknaming for her–Nips, because of her “funny nipples”–she continues to see him, and when she does weakly protest the name he patronizingly tells her to “get used to it kid.” As if someone appointed him both nipple expert and sage, able to predict a lifetime of nipple shame. Forget worrying over breast size: Now girls are being taught to scrutinize their nipples as well. (It’s worth noting that the Skins website describes Michelle as gorgeous and clever. Note to self: MTV defines clever as someone who sleeps with a partner who continuously degrades her).

Another example of the show commodifying young women and encouraging them to use sex to curry favors comes in the second episode, in which the character Tea is asked by her father to go on a date with the son of a prospective business partner.

What is this, the Middle Ages? Aren’t we beyond children-as-chattel eras in which daughters do their father’s bidding? True, he asks her twice if she’s comfortable with it, and reminds her she doesn’t have to fool around with the boy (albeit saying “have to” implies the possibility for it). Nonetheless, he tells her not to mention the date to her mother, possibly because Mom would have found it problematic that he used their daughter like a pawn to facilitate a business transaction.

I doubt many people took note of this, however, because Tea’s father is the only remotely sympathetic parent on the show. Tony and Stanley’s fathers are crass and irate, and the show’s mothers, aside from serving food and babysitting, are without real roles or voices. Had Tea’s father been a jerk, his request might have raised eyebrows; instead, his affability disguised the fact that, like Cadie being used for Stanley’s sexual gain, Tea was used for Daddy’s professional gain.

If MTV’s looking for edgy, edgy can be done responsibly and respectably. Pierced, tattooed and chain-smoking, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander is as edgy and sexual as they come, yet she’s subservient to no one and stands up for her beliefs. Given Lisbeth’s propensity for justice, I’d love to see what she’d do to the brains behind a show like Skins.

If you want to see this show, be quick about it: Skins might not be around for long. The New York Post reported that it’s in danger of cancellation because of low ratings and fleeing advertisers. I just hope the fleeing viewers are as disturbed about the sexism as the underage sex.

Photo via MTV.

Comments

  1. I can't tell you how difficult this new "raunch/sexual violence" affirming culture makes it for us feminist moms to raise sex-positive daughters and sons. We need to revive the feminist movement good and fast…. Here is my blog describing the difficulties I am having combating sex-negative messages in my daughter's community.
    http://apps.facebook.com/theblog/view/46425

    • I can’t imagine. I do not have a daughter of my own but I have a young sister and I feel much the same way about her. I want her to feel free and confident in her sexuality and most of all I want her to feel healthy and safe. This show does not genuinely promote any of this. It wants to look like it is promoting female sexual freedom, but all the the sexuality expressed is for the male eye. This is so frustrating too, here it is feb. which is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, and MTV has put out some informational videos on TDV, but I don’t know that I can use it with good conscience whiley they are also promoting all of these things. But I guess this is to be expected from big corporations- they talk out of both sides of their mouth, and are only every truly interested in profit. I wish you the best of luck with raising your children.

  2. alexandraopny says:

    "MTV defines clever as someone who sleeps with a partner who continuously degrades her)."

    I take issue with this. Are you implying that women in verbally abusive relationships are stupid? Because I think that characterization is a little harsh, especially since we are talking about teenagers here and teenagers are often more likely to end up in unhealthy relationships because of low self esteem or lack of understanding about what a healthy relationship should be like.

    • Well said alexandra.

      Unfortunately the mainstream media doesn’t notice sexism most of the time. Sexism is an uncomfortable word for most people just like feminist and patriarchy. I’m glad to have Ms.

      I think Americans need to loosen up a bit. This show has been one for 4 season in the UK and it’s about the start a 5. This is reality. It’s dirty.

      • U.K. version I am told my daughter's friend who watches it is more sophistocated, has better dialogue and character development. She said the U.S. version was "stupid" and "shocking for shock value." This doesn't sound like reality to me.

        • Yes it is true the UK version is like an entirely different show, I urge everyone who is concerned about the problems (or potential problems) from the American version of Skins to check out the British version. I am actually for getting the American one off the air. I will rejoice when they take the American one off. I would be so so sad if they took the British one off as I am a fan of the British version. The two versions are really that different. Sincerely, a teenage girl who also happens to be a feminist.
          On a side note…my British friends are pretty angry about the royal wedding and I am pretty annoyed by the media urging me as a female to "look like Kate Middleton" while they are cutting funding for everything important in the UK and possibly use shows like "Skins" as a distraction—-guess the same could be said for America, we've got some real issues to get up and stand up against like the undermining of Roe v Wade and people are watching Skins.

  3. This is simply a superb commentary on an appalling show. Absolutely the best I've read or listened to on TV. Mia Fontaine, congratulations!

  4. @alexandraopny- I don't think Fontaine meant that at all. After recently reading "The Verbally Abusive Relationship- How to Recognize it and How to Respond" I see that women in verbally abusive relationships are far from stupid…Patricia Evans, the author of the book, affirms your belief that women who end up in these kind of relationships are often suffering from low self-esteem and the inability to validate their own feelings and sense of reality. What I think Fontaine was trying to say is that there is something way off about the way MTV chooses to promote the characters in "Skins" and the reality of what these teenage characters are actually portraying. If MTV is calling a woman who is in an unhealthy relationship "clever," and the audience both reading these descriptions and watching the show is a teenage girl who has a low self-esteem and is easily impressionable, what will the end result be?

  5. Thank God someone has finally written about the portrayal of females in this show. I've been reading articles and comments about Skins since it aired and was as shocked as Ms. Fontaine that no one pointed out what was to me the most disturbing element. That the girls were as predatory and eager to degrade and endanger another young girl as the guys were was especially disgusting. The adult females were either irrelevant, sexually inappropriate or pathetic. I'm not terribly surprised at the lack of outrage about a father using his daughter to get a business deal. That millions of parents allow these shows in their living rooms with their kids doesn't say much better for the rest of us.

  6. Another thing to note about the show is its format of focusing on one character per episode. The first episode focused on Tony, who is indeed a misogynist and an abusive boyfriend toward Michelle – though that is all intentional on the part of the writers, and as the show goes on and he gets meaner it becomes more noticeable (assuming, of course, they continue to follow in the footsteps of the British version). The second episode did focus on one female character, Tea, who I like for being one of the better lesbian characters on TV in recent years. Perhaps as they do more episodes focusing on female characters, we will get to see multiple sides of their characters. It seems hasty to judge this show already.

    • I hate to break it to you. I LOVED the British version for similar reasons and yes Tea is definitely likeable but if you keep watching the American version you'll see just how different and worse in every way possible the American version is and that Mia Fontaine has good points. It's really a tragedy, I wish they had just aired the British version here in America….or made an American version that isn't going to…well I won't spoil it but it gets really bad, so so bad in every way a parent, feminist, or just regular person with a heart would care about. :(

      • Like…in the American version Tony doesn't end up having negative consequences for how he treats Michelle, unlike the British version. :(

  7. Sadly much of TV and most of film has decided to take it's plan to appeal to the 18 year old boy's tastes way too far.
    Abusing, marginalizing women and girls has become in many cases expected which is quite horrifying.
    I for one hated the much adored The Hangover as all the women were stupid or hookers, at least they were of age. When you get to this level, the teen age girl put in these roles, it is quite scary and something should be done. I fear the people running the show and I mean the big show, like it and relate to it too much themselves to put an end to it.

  8. It's child porongraphy using males and females under 18 in sexually explicit acts, as well as sexist violence and pandering to pedophiles. MTV should be prosecuted for this illegal activity PERIOD!

  9. Insurgence says:

    The British version was absolutely superb. I was very skeptical of it at first, but the first 2 seasons immediately became my favorite television show of all time. As Jessie points out above, the first episode focuses on Tony who is indeed a misogynist narcissist. But in the British version it is made very clear by the end of the show that this type of behavior is not acceptable and can have dire consequences.

    The cast changes after the second season and the original group's story comes to a (perfect, in my opinion) end. I had no interest in watching further, just as I have no interest in watching a poorly done Americanized version. The original could not be improved upon, especially not by the likes of MTV.

    If you have Netflix, I'd highly recommend watching the British version of Skins, as it is available streaming. It deals with some real issues (like abortion, homosexuality and religion, relationships) in good ways, and though it might not always be pretty or politically correct, they are handled with less sensationalism and more realism. Without even viewing it I can be almost positive MTV misses the mark completely, and I hate to see that ruin such an otherwise innovative and provoking show.

    • You should check out the third and fourth seasons of Skins. It is absolutely worth watching. It's different from the first generation of characters, but has its own charm. Particularly, Naomi and Emily are among the best LGBTQ characters that have ever been seen on TV.

  10. It's about time someone commented on the horrifying sexism that is passed off as normal in this show. Thanks for nailing the issue, Ms. Fontaine.

    John Strosnider http://www.strosnider.com

  11. I'm all about the U.S. being more sophisticated and less uptight. However, as a feminist I am totally horrified by the objectification of women as sex objects which abounds in the songs, TV shows and movies that my daughter and all her friends are watching and listening to. Somehow a large portion of our society has made an end run around the progress of feminism in empowering women. I'm sick of the stupid vapid TV show morality plays that always award bad behavior with a bad result and in that way justify promoting alot of bad behavior. I'm sick of hip hop music made by men who are bragging about their sexual exploits with no value given to their partners. I think the Twilight movies are disgusting in that the whole plot is about the girl giving up everything including her humanity to be with a guy. It's like I don't even want to go down this road because if I do it's like a cesspool that is too huge. Thank god for Lisbeth. Hurray for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  12. Good Will says:

    I compare MTVs Skins to how our nation’s evolved since the days Hollywood started churning out movies targeted at underage demographics. The first to come to mind was PG rated American Graffiti directed by George Lucas. It was a different time and a different place, but basically you can relate the ongoing themes – experimenting with sex, drugs, booze and fast cars – that kids and parents are still battling over today in modern society and culture.

    But in the 1973 movie American Graffiti, experimentation was a behavior and coming-of-age the main theme while it seems that Skins uses sexual experimentation by pre-eighteen teens as hook, line and sinker.

    At the end of the day, it just seems greedy-minded MTV execs are willing to gang bang American youth and send em down the river to make a buck.

  13. Ms. Fontaine and other commenters have apparently missed the entire purpose/theme of Skins and frankly the entire MTV channel. This is not a show for parents, or older adults, though I am proof that it can be enjoyed by others. This is a show for teenagers, not because it depicts role models or higher values, but because it mirrors they're life. This uber-sexualized, fairly misogynistic drug riddled world of Skins is reality for millions of teens all across America, and pretending its not, or showing teenagers how things could be isn't helpful and it isn't truthful. Luckily we have the British version as a vision of things to come for the US Skins, and Ms. Fontaine and other commenters can take heart in that this is not a show that pulls punches, it does not glorify. It shows the truth that this sort of world can lead to horrible horrible things, people go crazy, get hurt, even die, and that if you want to escape those things you have to make a change for the better. So, take a deep breath, calm yourselves, and let this thing play out, I think you'll come to see it will all work out for the better, and be really entertaining along the way.

  14. This really missed the entire point of the show. Skins is meant to be a reflection of teenage life, and, just like the British version, this one seems pretty accurate. Mind you, some of it's going to be exaggerated because it's television, but the sexism, the drinking, the drugs, the sexual activity – I see all of that at least on a weekly basis. I mean, I have to deal with sexism and homophobia from teachers and students. So, the fact that Skins is acknowledging that people act like that without any consequences is kind of nice, because at least I know someone understands it. That's what I've always loved about Skins. It's honest. Instead of outlining what's right and what's wrong for it's viewers, it trusts it's viewers enough to make those judgments for themselves. And, there's been two episodes, neither of them focusing on the character of Michelle. So, to say that the criteria that MTV uses to define Michelle as clever is simply that she sleeps with someone who degrades her is misleading. We barely know anything about Michelle because, once again, there has only been two episodes. Skins is all about painting a completely three dimensional character, so, Michelle probably is clever, we just haven't seen it yet.

    • Accurate or not the show is promoting sexism, it makes it look sexy. One could also argue it is promoting teen dating violence- when they discuss getting a girl really drunk and high to have sex with her. That is sexual assault. This show is sensationalizing and sexualizing violence against women, which is nothing new, but this is aimed at teens. This is the time that teens are figuring out who they are, and who they want to be. The messages found in television shows serves to normalize these behaviors despite what MTV claims their purpose in this television show is. Its shows like this that create a friendly culture for men who sexualize women and see themselves as sexually surperior and entitled and gives women the message that they are to perform for men. When teens watch this show they are learning what is "normal". To me the issue of this show is bigger than if its an honost reflection. I am not advocating "right" and "wrong" but healthy. I work for Domestic Violence program and educate teens on teen dating violence and it is scary to see the very behaviors I am advocating against normalized by this show.

  15. Fyi the character's name is Cassie, not Cadie.

    • It's Cassie on the British version, Cadie in the US version…because the idiots behind redoing the British show thought "Cassie" wasn't American enough. They're they same people who give us a character named "Tea"–a lesbian in place of a gay guy.

  16. At the core of Skins is the reality of human flaws and interactions. I think it's important to note that none of the characters are happy or satisfied. More often than not, their actions lead them into rough situations, and remind them that they are getting into things that they ultimately don't want to be, or are not ready for.

    To me, the only fault I give Skins romanticizes self-destruction and glorifies a certain kind of beauty and body image. Along with the all-too-common theme of the attractiveness of misery, I think I show like this can normalize depression.

    But then again, that could very well be realistic, and refreshing.

    I give kudos to Skins for giving us these talking points, because I do not think they are touting the actions of the characters as "what one should do" but more of "what many often do."

    More of a peek under the covers of society, and the issues that plague teens. An expose, rather than a how-to manual.

  17. I preferred MTV when it actually played music videos. The current stuff they peddle is absoluate trash.

  18. If you want sexist try watching Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen is about as sexist as it gets. Saturday Night Live is another show that uses women to make a "comedic point"? Both shows boring and sexist..

    • You are right Two and a Half Men is extremely Sexist! I find it totally offensive. There should be more talk and action to get rid of it.

  19. Florence Lenhard says:

    Just a few comments pertaining to the above article on Skins-1. It is neither "worse" nor unusual for females, women, to act as Madams, pimps, (though that term may not be used..) Please see the book The Road Of Lost Innocence by Somally Mam and support her outstanding efforts to stop sex trafficingl My other concern:is that Ms Fontaine worries about "is this prostitution," when I think the concern needs to be about Cadie's mental health-how sex – as described in te show and in the above article – provides a "high," -the issue
    is Mental Health, how being treated like THAT relates to this young woman
    s mental health.

  20. I think the point of Tony being such an ass and Michelle going along with him is that they are flawed characters. The show doesn't glorify his behavior, and the sense I got from watching it (admittedly, I watched the British version) was that Tony's sexism wasn't a "good thing," it was him being an ass. Likewise, Michelle "going along with it" wasn't a "good thing," but was a display of her weakness when she supposedly is in a position of power (what with being a pretty girl at the top in her school). There is sexism, but I don't think it's glorified–I think it's one of the things that is shown as a reality of life–particularly teenagers' lives–that gets explored in subtle and not-so-subtle ways throughout the show.

    Likewise, Cassie/Cadie's willingness to go along with the plan is more a symptom of her depression and Tony's ass-ish-ness than anything else, which also gets explored throughout the show.

    As for the claims of child pornography–there are multiple layers to the nudity on this show. Some of it is just flash; every teenage show wants to be more sensational than the last. I remember when One Tree Hill was considered sensational; compared to Gossip Girl, it was nothing. And Gossip Girl was nothing compared to Skins. Is it right to push the boundaries of sensationalism? I don't know. Second, some of it is trying to stay true to the British original. And third, some of it is just reality–gritty reality, which is what Skins specializes in. Teens do this stuff–not with as much frequency as depicted in Skins, but it does happen. Teens get naked and have sex with each other; they party; they deal with depression, sexism, racism, other -isms; they deal with death, imperfect parents, imperfect lives, imperfect bodies; etc. I think we have to figure out: what is the line between reality-art and pornography? Is a naked statue pornographic? Or a naked oil painting? Naked cherubs? Is it the nudity that we're worried about? Is it the action? Are Rodin's statues pornographic?

    Of course, MTV has its faults. It's fallen from its glory days. And of course Skins has its faults, too, particularly this American "adaptation" of the British original. Yes, we need to protect children from being exploited. But are we protecting them best by glossing over their reality? Or can we instead facilitate healthy discussion from frankly confronting that reality?

  21. This post shows me one more time that it is not good enough for groups like Women In Media to just promote more women leaders behind the camera. They need to take a strong stand against misogynistic TV shows and movies and promote good feminist films.

  22. sillyrabbittrix says:

    To those commenting that this show is a “realistic” look at teen life and how, when the show unfolds in upcoming episodes/seasons, it shows the consequences of such bad behavior:

    If this show is canceled before those consequences can unfold, then what is the impression given to the audience? I fear more about the impression it may give to the male teen viewers: what is the take-away from this show for them, especially if only half a season or one season airs? I fear it may affirm their sexist, misogynistic behaviors. Additionally, while there are many reflective, deep thinking, introspective teens out there, what of those that are not? Will they really come to understand the message the show sends (of consequences for sexism/etc)? Or again, will the glamorization of these behaviors in this show simply affirm existing sexist attitudes?

    I am also inclined to believe that individuals that are more reflective & deep thinking will tend to be less misogynistic than those who lack reflection and introspection. So it seems to me that we need to completely remove sexism from television and movies altogether, lest we risk misinterpretation – or perhaps lack of interpretation altogether – of the messages aimed for by these types of television shows.

    Let’s hope this show redeems itself, and before it is canceled.

    • jurassigothinthecity says:

      I, also, saw quite a few episodes of the British version, and it definitely had serious consequences for the characters. I remember Tony's, mostly, actually. He looses Michelle and Sid (The re-named Stanley for the American version) and almost his little sister because of his sexist and generally jerky behavior.

      However, I do agree with sillyrabbittrix that this will be lost on teen viewers should the show get cancelled too soon. Teens who are already questioning patriarchy, white privilege and heteronormativity will be critical of the show. This show does nothing to provoke serious thoughts about these issues in kids who aren't already aware of them.

      It leads me back to what I think is a valid debate that piggybacks easily onto the sexism in this series: What is the line between honest reflection of real teen lives and glorification of self-destructive and sociopathic behavior?

  23. Come on, people. We have children of both sexes and it isn't just the girls who are being harmed. If we want a better world for everyone, then pay attention to the fact that boys are learning how to treat women in this way as well. Do you think your sons are going to know what it takes to have a healthy, meaningful relationship with a women if sexually objectified women are constantly pushed forward by the media as "this is how it is"?

    Young women's sexuality is being exploited for the males' gain and pleasure. What I am seeing now reminds me of the 1950s and 1960s programs that I grew up with – women are good for only one thing, and it wasn't their brains. The difference is nowadays men don't have to work to gain access for that one thing. Women give it away blindly, without seeing that this current generation of men don't take them seriously otherwise.

    Respect is learned – and the media does not respect our children.

  24. I haven't watched "Skins" but I have passed along Ms. Fontaine's article to all my younger nieces and nephews. I want them to realize that kids like those portrayed on "Skins" will eventually end up as adults like those portrayed on "Intervention." Not a good life. The best of Hollywood, as Ms. Fontaine notes, can produce edgy and sexual stories with women who are subservient to no one and stand up for their beliefs. I had the pleasure of working on a great comedy called "No Strings Attached" by the writer Elizabeth Meriwether. She created a young, female med student who chooses and enjoys a 'no strings attached' sexual relationship to fit into her busy career. Like Ms. Fontaine, I too would love to see more entertainment featuring images we're striving towards rather than images we're working hard to overcome..

  25. Frannyvida says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Abby's comments. SKINS is the reality of what many very young teens are experiencing and emulating. The continued bashing of this show portrays an abundance of "classism". I have yet to see some of the same comments and attitude towards "Gossip Girl" and the Kardashians Take on (whatever city you want to name next). Until the Adults in the room realize that the continual pushing of Patriarchal Disorder in our society is a continuing factor in Women's inequality. Instead of bashing this show, it may be a good idea to ask them to go further by bringing some of these characters to self enlightenment or to create a very strong female character that will bring enlightenment and selfawareness and strength to combat the emulation of our current society.

  26. What I find amazing is that these shows have huge popularity at the same time that conservative forces are working diligently to reverse Roe vs. Wade. So our media and popular culture incourage men to impregnate women as a sport and then conservatives want to make sure these women are left vunerable with unwanted pregencies and then criminalize them as murderers if they need to resort to abortion. Where is the accountability of the men who are spreading their seeds and creating unwanted pregencies? You never hear them being called murderers, instead their actions are glorified by shows like this and so much more. I really think the conservatives like this senerio. They're probably watching and enjoying this show. Where's their outrage?

    • I'm not entirely sure that your statement is completely fair. Yes, it is wrong for men to treat impregnating women as sport, and it is wrong for a woman to be criminalized if she chooses to get an abortion. However, I feel that your statement is minimizing the responsibility that we, as women, have for our bodies. When we choose to have sex we owe it to ourselves to take precautions. Take birth control, make him wear a rubber. I understand that these things are not 100% and that sometimes these can fail. We have the right to choose what we do with our bodies so we have to take care of ourselves as best we can.

  27. I don't think anyone will have to worry about the show being cancelled before irresponsible teens see the consequences since this show has been on other channels and has gotten pretty far actually. Not surprizingly it wasn't until MTV brought the show that now everyone's saying how bad a show it is. MTV is the channel that's easy to lash out at and Skins just made it easier. Even if they play the episodes you still have the right to turn the channel.
    And I agree with Peggy's comment since that's a point I've made plenty of times over the years. Politicians want to take away your rights and the media wants to present care-free sex has the glamorous life. While rarely showing the realities of a woman being ostracized and a man bein hailed like some hero for sleeping with the woman in the first place.

  28. meqq peqqy says:

    i do not think skins should be canceld.i feel this show is real life and how teens act these days is the truth of that show. this show will scare teens into reality and i feel should not get canceld for a simple fact this was one of my favorite shows i have ever watched and hope it stays on air..

  29. Something to note is the homophobia against boys/males in the Americanized version. The Brittish version has an openly gay (and very likeable) boy who most of the kids are very cool with though they do show the homophobia and other problems he faces. I think America is so horrified by gay males that they felt the need to instead of do what the Brittish version did (which was to have a gay male main character AS WELL as two gay female characters, all very very likeable) that they in fact made a point not to have a gay male character in it at all. Food for thought. I have seen the American version and I do like the lesbian character of "Tea" however it is quite disappointing that she is a replacement of "Maxxie"—they could still have Lesbian/LBTQ female characters in the show and at least one male one as well—-the Brittish version did. I'm only 18 myself actually and it's absolutely astounding- when you talk to most straight boys, they are at least a little uncomfortable with the idea of gay men. Ask them about lesbians? They are usually okay with it or even love it. Of course, they don't understand the real issues lesbians face and that we are not the fantasies made for you in the pornography you watch (the pervasive theme of "lesbian" porn in heterosexual-male-aimed porn is really disturbing)…..anyway yes the American show is definitely sexist I just wanted to show some other problems it has as well. I really wish they would have just aired the Brittish version in America because it is almost like an entirely different show…where the boys who abuse girls lose their girlfriends and almost their sisters as well and some friends even because their behavior eventually comes to be seen as uncool and does it in am amazingly non-preachy way, where you see…oh gosh i don't even know where to begin. The American version is awful and I do agree with what you wrote about it, Mia. Someone else also mentioned the TV shows in the 50's and 60's and I really liked that comment…wow we haven't come far in terms of progress when in comes to what was brought up in that comment at all…perhaps we have become less-progressive even. Definitely disturbing. A perspective from a teen.

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