Back for more I see. I hope you all enjoyed my perspective on “Girls Are Angry Too.” I am going over two of Big Mouth’s episodes, Season 1 Episode 5, “Girls Are Horny Too,” and Season 2 Episode 5, “The Planned Parenthood Show.” I’m sure that judging from these titles you can guess the direction this post going in. Don’t be afraid. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times and enjoy the ride. Rather than give a summary on both of these episodes we’re just gonna dive right in. Again this is my personal opinion. Here’s my perspective on these two episodes.
Both of these episodes address some misconceptions about a variety of different things: STD’s, sex, sexual desires, and myths about Planned Parenthood. Personally, these two episodes took me back to my middle school days and learning about sexual health and not fully understanding what was being taught to us because now I realize that sex is taught in a very unusual way, for lack of a better term. Not only just sexual health, but puberty in general. Now while these two things are not synonymous, they do go hand in hand in a quite a few ways, as both are taught from the viewpoint of the male gaze. Boys are taught from a very young age that sex is something done TO girls and not WITH girls. Girls on the other hand are told to hold onto their virginity and if they have sex then it will be the worst thing to happen to them. Although, there are quite a handful of things I would argue are worse. On the subject of puberty, girls are simply given tampons and told “good luck,” with no real education on what is about to happen to their bodies.
Furthermore, there is even less education when it comes to LGBTQ+ kids. Queer kids do not have many resources, if any at all in school to get accurate information on gay sex. This is something I wish the show would have gone more in depth in, because it’s not really addressed. The way sexual health is taught to the youth is abysmal in my opinion, but for queer kids it’s nonexistent. This leads queer kids to find out information in inaccurate and unsafe ways.
There is a debate on whether or not kids are too young to learn about sex, but the reality is they’re already having it. Especially in middle school, when hormones are out of control and kids are starting to get urges they don’t understand fully, and with the kind of access they have nowadays it’s become quite easy. This is where Sex Ed fails a number of kids because they aren’t given the right information and they need to have accurate information for them to be safe in their endeavors. This is not me advocating for kids to have sex! I’m just stating facts.
Sex Ed is also taught in a way that makes kids feel they can’t ask legitimate questions or that their questions are dumb. This stems from peer pressure or because adults simply won’t take their concerns seriously. Sex is an awkward topic but it shouldn’t be. If the sex talk wasn’t so taboo, we wouldn’t have so many teens coming to their parents saying “Mommy, I’m pregnant.” The burden of pregnancy should be placed equally on boys and girls because the fact is girls do not make babies by themselves. Which is why I am so glad the show acknowledged this by giving us a rundown on contraceptive methods, also talking about vasectomies. From condoms, the pill, to the IUD, “The Planned Parenthood Show,” gives a better education on contraception than my middle school teacher did. On the subject, I’m impressed that the episode brought up vasectomies because it reinforces the notion that men need to take pregnancy just as serious as women. It’s wild to me that some men don’t think about that.
Abortion is also healthcare, whether you agree or not. Without getting into a pro-life vs. pro-choice debate, the fact is that we need to include abortion into the umbrella of contraception. As Jay outlandishly remarks Planned Parenthood as an “abortion factory,” Missy rightfully points out that abortions are only a small percentage of the services they offer. Planned parenthood provides cancer screenings, contraception, and is the sole primary care physician to a lot of people on medicaid. There services also extend to HIV/STI testing and low to no cost service for people who might not have insurance. After learning all of this it makes those “defund Planned Parenthood” rants that much more terrifying.
Big Mouth as a whole is very raunchy, but it’s holds powerful messages in the subtext of the mess. These characters are obviously not real, but for me they’re a reflection of my middle school self and we could all learn a lot from our younger selves. One thing in particular, key information about our bodies. The show gives a well informed detail of the lower regions of a woman. Without getting too graphic it was way more educational than sex Ed when I was in middle school. Jessi learns about self-exploration and has a very detailed conversation with her vagina. I told you this show was outlandish! In their discussion we get another quick rundown of the female anatomy and all of the correct terms. Side note, vagina is not the whole thing. Kinda like how people think all sparkling wine is champagne, but champagne is from one specific region of France. But I digress! Both of these episodes talk heavily about the importance of sexual education and self-exploration. It is essentially beneficial for young girls to learn because they are largely left out of the conversation of sex, puberty and sexuality when it in fact has a lot to do with them.
I like to believe that we aren’t given this kind of education because then it will be known that women are allowed to have pleasure. And because we live in a patriarchy women are told not have to sex for pleasure but to procreate. This stems from a level of misogyny, but also a level of whorephobia. Somewhat related to slut-shaming but not quite. It’s not a fear of “whores,” per se but a general fear of women taking ownership of their bodies and their sexuality and being empowered to use them how they choose. If we want children to be safe and have healthy interactions whether sexual (again not condoning children having sex), romantic or platonic, then we need to provide them with a better education of Sex Ed and health. We also need to take their feelings into consideration and treat their questions seriously.
Thank you for listening to My Perspective on Big Mouth. Stay tuned for my next episode all about Missy. If you have anything to add or want me to cover another topic on the show, let me know in the comments!