I have spent the last couple of weeks binge watching Sex Education on Netflix. Season 1 and 2, as I never got round to watching season 1 when it came out originally. I found it confusing to watch at first, getting maybe slightly too focused on the disconnect between the styling being reminiscent of the 70s, whilst the references were to Ed Sheeran. Sex Education addresses so many themes across its two season, all so important for girls, and more general wider discussion.
However, Season 2, Episode 7 really hit me as a girl. Spoilers ahead!
One of the things the episode addresses is the way the girls connect, with the teacher at one point saying “I gave them an impossible assignment about female solidarity, they won’t finish for ages” after setting the girls the task of finding something in common. The girls deem the task ridiculous as they struggle to find something, dismissing all ideas such as chocolate, gaming, shopping. Debating just making something up, or making the fair point that they shouldn’t have to have something in common just because they share a gender. Finally in the midst of an argument, Aimee breaks and tells the girls about her sexual assault. Sadly, this is the thing they all have in common, though have all experienced it differently.
It’s a powerful episode that addresses this issue so well. Earlier episodes make comment on how little is done about Aimee’s sexual assault, and how she doesn’t publicly want to make a big deal out of it, choosing to avoid the bus and inconvenience herself instead. I felt showing that Aimee chose to avoid a situation rather than talk about it was an interesting comment on the stigma around the issue, and only when she was able to talk to the others was she able to start moving forward.
The episode ends with all 6 girls getting on the bus together to protect Aimee and support her in a show of solidarity. The final image of all the girls sat squashed together on the bus, in a show of friendship, a group that weren’t necessarily best friends before this moment, has stuck with me since watching it. Friendship and solidarity is so important to young women.
Girl Museum Inc.