Tuesday, April 16, 2024

EDITORIAL: Representation Matters

Love, relationships, gender identity and sexuality are the forefront of young adult societal issues. More media is being produced that displays progressive views on how love should be portrayed. It’s real and deep, but sometimes messy nature can be difficult to replicate. One show, however, seems to do it all. 

“Sex Education” debuted on Netflix in 2019, and has been recently renewed for a fourth season. The British teen comedy-drama entices fans to follow the story of Otis Milburn, a teenage boy whose mom happens to be a sex therapist, and his best friends, Maeve and Eric, as they attempt to help the other student’s sex problems. The writers of the show create this humorous dynamic, but they also bring to light important topics of discussion. 

In the third season, which premiered Sept. 17, a non-binary character, Cal, was added to a sub-plot of the show. Cal was portrayed as a strong advocate for gender noncomforming people as they did not want to conform to the gendered dress code enforced in the school. A love storyline was also added to represent the complexities of a queer relationships as a partner is still learning about themselves. 

Another character, Issac, is a paraplegic teenager that has a sexual fling with main character Maeve Wiley. Their on-screen romance is shown by discussing what Issac can feel and how Maeve can satisfy him. This is a positive representation of not only consent, but disabled sex on-screen. 

The show also includes multiple LGBTQ+ and interracial relationships. These storylines show how to be a better partner in communicating likes and dislikes in intimate relationships. 

“Sex Education” holds nothing back, which is what viewers yearn to see. They want to see their diverse selves reflected in today’s media. As discussions of sex and relationships become more open in the new generation, the media should be reflecting the topic. 

Most importantly, feminism plays a large role in the show. Aimee, Maeve’s best friend, was sexually assaulted while riding the bus. The female characters stuck by her while she worked through her trauma. Aimee is also known for selling vagina cupcakes in the new season to promote body positivity. 

It is no doubt that more shows should be like “Sex Education.” Hollywood should take a page out of their book, and make the media a reflection of today’s young adult society. 


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