I may not watch it, I’m so afraid of it. The many ableism fails of Artie’s character have been much discussed in many places.
Less obvious is how terribly they’ve handled Ms. Pilsbury. Seriously. Her character, almost more than anyone else, shows just how much contempt that the creators/writers of glee have for woman and people with disabilities. Particularly how frequently the show likes to pair women with mental problems. And how these mental problems are portrayed are so seriously problematic.
I’ve ranted elsewhere that the entire time Ms. Pilsbury on the show, they’ve had her going from one man to another looking for them to fix her. This whole notion is misogynist because men are not the people who get to decide how healthy a woman is, and a woman’s desirability does not lie in her ability to conform to some arbitrary notion of health.
Even more worrying is how unbelievably abusive Mr. Shue is to her. Seeking to control almost all aspects of her life and continuously attempting to coerce her into sex. As if this was the only true value she (or any other woman) could bring to a relationship. As if he has some *right* to expect that the women in his life are always sexually available to him.
But it is hard to watch how Mr. Shue uses Ms. Pilsbury’s mental problems as a means to control and abuse her. Neuro-atypical people or people with physical disabilities are far more likely to be the recipients of all kinds of abuse. Except, this isn’t how glee is portraying. The show is not making some larger statement about the infantilization and lack of body autonomy that so many people with disabilities contend with on a daily basis. No. Will is the ‘good’ guy. He is nice. He cares for her.
And this is the story we are expected to swallow. That this horrible, abusive man is caring for her. Making her better. Improving her life.
And now she might get trapped in a marriage with this asshole? It makes me cringe on the inside and fills me with dread for the upcoming episode.