The Bold Type continues to preach powerful messages without seeming like it’s shouting in your face. It’s able to take an important issue, in this case the problem of patriarchy, and weave some humor into it while also managing to teach us an important lesson.
In “To Peg Or Not To Peg,” Kat, Jane, and Sutton take on the patriarchy of their lives, and they find success in doing just that.
Let’s break down this episode of The Bold Type that had everyone defying expectations for how we’re expected to behave in society.
Down With The Patriarchy
As a society, we’ve been conditioned to believe that men are dominant and women are submissive. It’s a theme that rings true throughout the episode, but especially with Kat, who is presented with a new opportunity that is unnerving — if only because it’s something she’s been taught isn’t the norm.
And Kat fucking blew up the patriarchy in this episode.
All Kat is looking for is some no-strings-attached sex. And she seemed to find it with her bartender Cody. With women, she tends to be more emotionally involved. But she still enjoys sleeping with men. And it was evident from the start that Kat was starting to discover that she’s bisexual.
But she doesn’t realize that at first. Instead, she takes this episode to step out of her sexual comfort zone, when her new boy toy Cody proposes something new. He wants her to “peg him,” which is basically when women and men reverse roles in sex, with the help of a strap on.
It’s something that Kat is hesitant about at first. But that’s before she realizes that she’s been conditioned to feel that way. Where women were taught to be the submissive ones. And from there on out, Kat is a woman on a mission. She embraces this new role, and things go well in the bedroom.
And yet, something was off with Kat. Yes, she enjoyed being in the dominant role. She felt powerful. But she wasn’t expecting it to feel so intimate. She wasn’t sure if it was because she was in a place of power or if she caught a feeling. But they connected.
And that’s when Kat realizes that she might be bisexual. And it’s an important label for her to own.
Vaginas Aren’t Supposed To Smell Like Cookies
Jane found power in her yeast infection. Words that I never thought I would type, yet here we are. Who would’ve thought that getting a vagina facial (facials are the face, ladies) would lead to this profound realization for Jane in front a room of women that wanted to be understood.
Taking a step back, Jane, Kat, and Sutton got vagina facials, and Jane started feeling funny “down there” — two words that, by the end of this review, you will learn aren’t productive. She called her doctor, who warned Jane her vagina might give off an odor.
Naturally, Jane freaked out. So much so that she bought pretty much every one of those vaginal perfumes/lotions/shea butters. And then things got worse. Jane got the worst yeast infection of her life, and she had to go sit on a panel for wellness. And if any woman has had a yeast infection before, you know how painful the simple act of sitting can be.
But Jane stuck it out, even though it was wildly uncomfortable. And luckily for us, Jane was on that panel. Because she got to call out the lady that made those vaginal perfumes — “Vaginas aren’t supposed to smell like cookies.”
These wellness companies are preying on consumers. They’re preying on these insecurities. The fact that women would rather say “down there” instead of “vagina” for fear of embarrassment. But why should women be embarrassed about it? They shouldn’t. All vaginas have issues, as Jane explains, and you can see that she’s able to get through to them in a way that society has never allowed them to.
And her impact is felt. So much so that Forbes wants to include her on their 30 under 30 list. See, Jane, your yeast infection wasn’t all bad.
She’s The Craft Beer, Not The Champagne (And That’s Fine)
Everyone can relate to this desire to please someone. Not necessarily everyone. But we want someone to agree with our life decisions, be proud of us, or we just want to prove them wrong.
That’s where Sutton found herself with Richard’s mom, Claire, who was meeting with Sutton to plan her wedding. From the moment we meet Claire, she seems fancy. Really fancy. Like the kind of fancy where you feel obligated, like Sutton, to wear pearls and wind up feeling extremely uncomfortable.
But all Sutton wanted to do was impress her future mother-in-law. That, and Sutton was really excited about her budding influencer career. Because this is something that could lead to a promotion for her, and she wants to further develop her success. And I feel that.
But Claire isn’t impressed. In fact, she appears turned off. When Sutton locks a sponsor up for her wedding — a craft beer company — Claire tries to convince Sutton that it’s not what she wants. Claire insists she’ll take care of the expenses, so they can get champagne. Which is when Sutton whips out one hell of a line:
“I’m not champagne. I’m a craft beer from Pennsylvania.”
Hey, I love beer. You know who also loves beer? Richard.
Later, Claire apologized to Sutton. She was harsh because she’s jealous of Sutton. Claire had to give up her career when raising Richard, and she yearns for that. But Sutton doesn’t consider herself successful. She’s just an assistant, after all.
But Claire knows the truth. She tells her that she’s an assistant on her way to achieving great things. And it’s all I could do to keep from crying tears of joy.
He’s Not Ready For A Successful Woman
What is it about strong women that seems to scare men off? Strong women that men like to call “intimidating.” As if using that word gives them an excuse to feel uncomfortable with it.
That’s where we found Alex, who could’ve met his match with Alicia. Dr. Alicia Golden. Alex was smitten with Alicia. They had an easy chemistry. Common interests. And yet, Alex couldn’t make it work.
The fact that Alicia was so successful — a surgeon that saves lives — made him feel inferior. Like cry me a freaking river. Look, I get the whole questioning your professional career when comparing yourself to others. But when it comes to doing that in a relationship, you just can’t do it.
So what gives with Alex? Kat says it’s fear. Fear of what’s different than what they were taught to expect. Men should be powerful, women should be submissive. It’s the damn patriarchy, and it’s trash.
Luckily, Alex realizes how pathetic it sounds for his ego to be hurt by Alicia’s success. He voices just that to her, telling her he’s not ready for her. And he’s right. He can’t handle a strong, successful woman like her. Not many men can. But hopefully Alex can eventually get to a place where he can.
The Bold Type airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Freeform.