A while ago I wrote a blog entry about if you can’t have one with out the other. For example, you can’t have a show about racism, such as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, without fat shaming, sexism, and homophobia. One always needs to compensate for other in order to create “comedy.” And to relieve white male viewers. But for the female viewers, they’re just that much more uncomfortable, unless of course they laugh along with the guys because they’ve internalized the patriarchy so much they don’t realize what’s going on. Anyway, this applies to another show that is much more recent, the ABC show, Speechless.
Speechless over all is a really great show. It’s actually one of the TV shows on cable that I can stand. I love the mother, JJ, Kenneth, the father, and even the kids. It’s an over all great show and I’m so glad people with CP are being shown. Of course, there’s a controversy like people in wheel chairs are being over represented and what about the people who have physical disabilities but they’re not visible. I hope that the success of Speechless shows networks that TV shows about differently bodied people are money makers and can be fun and light hearted. Anyway, there is on problem I do not like about the show and that’s the fact that JJ is a womanizer. He uses his laser pointer to point at female student’s butts, he joins the chorus just because there’s a hot teacher there, he wants to do “unspeakable things” to Emma Watson (so unspeakable that his sister thinks she should warn Watson), and he joins cheer leading just to stare at the cheer leaders. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad ABC is showing that some people with disabilities want to and are sexually active, but can they do it in a less creepy way? We should treat JJ like he is an able bodied person, so why not hold him to the same standards as other men? Well, maybe it’s because we don’t even hold able bodied men to those standards. And when JJ is treated like an able bodied person it’s when he can’t actually can’t control himself. The school bonfire is cancelled because he wouldn’t physically be able to make it there, so they get mad at him for not being able to. He can’t help he has CP! But he can help to not continue the sexualization of women and making them mere objects for his sexual fantasies.
23 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.