Would You Call Cameron Diaz An Old Maid? Why Glee Got It Wrong

I caved in to the hype and finally watched an episode of Glee for the first time last night. I’m usually all over musical comedy but with the exception of a couple of shows (Brothers & Sistersis one of them), television isn’t doing it for me these days.  I checked IMDB afterward to confirm something I suspected while I was watching - no women on the writing staff.

Granted all of the show’s episodes are written by the three male creators which I get because the show, which focuses on a high school and its glee club in Ohio, is a tightly spun, über specific world. But how did I know they were all men?

Will Schuester, a 30-something teacher and the male lead, played by Matthew Morrison is advised to stop dating after his recent divorce and “reintroduce yourself to yourself.”  Will has just finished being somebody’s husband and that didn’t really work out and now he’s running off to be somebody’s boyfriend.

Rachel Berry, the driven, misunderstood freshman in search of popularity, played by Lea Michele has fallen for the leader of her glee club's main competition and now she has to pick between the two of them.  She’s trotted out in front of The McKinley High Old Maids Club, a group of fat and weird looking teenagers who didn’t pick the guy and have ended up spending Friday nights making out with their cats and watching Ghost Whisperer.

So to recap – he needs to figure out who his but she needs to figure out how to keep him – Hello!

“I know who I am, how many chances at this am I going to get?” says Rachel.  You’re a freshman honey, quite a few more.  Or is the message that because she’s driven and outspoken, it’s going to be impossible for her to get another guy?  Is that the ultimate reward?

For the record in 2010, this is what an old maid by definition an “unmarried adult female (as opposed to a widow) commonly seen in public records to identify a single woman of age 21 or older”, looks like.

Lauren Graham

Dana Delany

Tyra Banks

Sheryl Crow

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Winona Ryder

Not bad, huh?

Personally I think the notion of  the “old maid” is more than a little old fashioned - unless you're playing cards - but if you're going to insist on using those stereotypes, at least get them right.

What do you think?  Do stereotypes like "old maid" and "spinster" really define today's single woman?

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