Big Mouth Takes on Topics of Women’s Sexuality

Big Mouth, a Netflix original cartoon series, chronicles the difficulties of puberty through the lenses of middle schoolers navigating their bodily changes. This show hits on lots of important and well-known issues associated with puberty like periods, wet dreams, and new crushes. But, it also brings light to issues and ideas not usually portrayed in mainstream television series. Although the show is silly, hilarious, and downright ridiculous (in the best way possible), the creators have still found a way to insert important subject matter into the cartoon. 

The episode includes unconventional topics from porn to planned parenthood, but interestingly also several episodes focus on women’s sexuality and sexual expression. In an episode titled “Girls are Horny Too”, the girls featured in the season become enamored with a romantic novel which leads them to explore their own sexual feelings and fantasies. Meanwhile, the boys express their shock to learn that girls were being turned on by this story! 

In the newest season, the girls stage a protest of the new school dress code which limits only what girls can wear. This highlights the all too common issue of school’s waging war on women’s self-expression rather than encouraging men to resist the “temptation” of seeing a woman wearing a short skirt or crop top. On top of commentary on this timely issue, the episode also points out a message I find incredibly important and rarely talked about.

When the girls protest the dress code, they all come to school in crop tops and short shorts and reject another girl who comes to protest wearing overalls and a t-shirt. The other girls shame her, saying she is too much of a “goodie goodie” and is a disgrace to their gender because she chose to wear her more conservative clothing. 

This brings up something that as feminists, we must all remember. It doesn’t matter how you express yourself as a person identifying as a woman. It doesn’t matter if you want to wear a crop top and show your midriff or if you want to wear a turtleneck and high waisted jeans. 

No matter what we wear or how we express ourselves, what matters is that women are allowed to make this choice and are not shamed by anyone for the choice they make. It is not a woman or girl’s responsibility to cover up her body to make men less “tempted” and neither is it her responsibility to subscribe to the conventions of what is deemed feminine by society. 

Kudos to Big Mouth for bringing these ideas to light.