Even in 2015, with the all of the hyper-PC internet activism, the word “feminism” is met with a good amount of eye-rolling. Feminism as a concept has permeated so deeply that there are actual, real-life Men’s Rights Activists. (this website is so ridiculous it’s actually hard to figure out whether or not it’s satire.) Men’s rights activism and the similarly themed #AllLivesMatter are accomplishing the same thing: a lack of empathy has made these groups defensive, and the notions that men need to “retake” their rights or dismissing #BlackLivesMatter is ignoring the seriousness of the matters at hand.
C.O. Coates calls himself a feminist. He does so right after apologizing to Pennsatucky for making her feel uncomfortable for coming onto her in the previous episode then admitting that “women can be confusing sometimes.” His assertion of, “I am a feminist.” acts as a preemptive pardon for himself, kind of like when people start a sentence with “I’m not racist, but-.”
Feminism needs to exist because of Coates and because of Tucky’s mom. When Tucky gets her period for the first time, her mom doesn’t sit her down and explain to her how her body works or why she’s suddenly bleeding. She doesn’t provide her with a copy of Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. and have a discussion with her about the themes and what they mean to her now. Rather, Tucky’s mom explains how she is suddenly a commodity: “Now you’re like a case of pop. You got value.” She continues: “They’re gonna treat you different and soon they’re gonna do you different. Best thing is to go on and let ’em do their business, baby. If you’re real lucky, most of ’em will be quick, like you’re daddy.” At the age of ten, Pennsatucky was taught that her body exists only for the purpose of men’s pleasure and to just let them do it.
That she exchanged sex for Mountain Dew (and its generic equivalent) as a teenager should not be a surprise; neither should her response of “What do I gotta do?” as her first reaction when the sweet boy, Nathan, asked her on a date. Sex was so devalued for her that even porn intimacy was strange. “Why is she smiling?” she asked as the man went down on the woman. When Nathan took his time with her, she told him he was slower than molasses. Sex did not equate to pleasure for Pennsatucky. Her only role was to endure it while the man did his “business.” By the time she realized the potential for sex as a loving and consensual act of affection, Nathan was gone.
Pennsatucky’s mother isn’t the problem in how Tucky thought of sex because it’s likely she was taught the same things as a child. That, coupled with Coates’ crooked definition of feminism, serve as a commentary on the systemic belittling of women in the world. Even after trading sex for soda and subsequently understanding what sex is meant to be, Pennsatucky still responds to Boo’s joke of trading blow jobs for ice cream cake with, “Come on, you know that would melt before it got here.” Coates likes Tucky and she likes him. He gives her donuts and they talk about “deep shit,” but her affection is met with his retribution for inadvertently getting him in trouble. As he rapes her, he replaces “Is this what you want?” and “This is what you asked for, isn’t it?” with “I love you, Doggett.” If nothing else, feminism needs to exist to change certain people’s perceptions of what love actually is.
– Isn’t Vinny kind of absolutely perfect for Morello?
– Piper has no idea what she’s getting herself into. That ever-present lack of self awareness is the gift that keeps on giving, even if you don’t really want it.
– Daya has finally agreed to let Mama ‘Stache adopt her baby and while the wishy-washyness of her decision making is tedious dramatically, it does make sense when considering what a hard choice this would be for her.
– Poor Soso is spiraling, and Healy’s selfish ego is more than a nuisance now; it’s actually negatively affecting people.
– The dual bathroom fights end up being total misunderstandings, and it’s doubtful that there won’t be repercussions from them.
– Best line of the episode: “I’ve had the same itch for three months straight!”