RECAP: Goldi asks Maya to perform a show for the Feminist Club during their protest for bathroom equality (they want one of the rarely-used boy’s bathrooms to be converted for girls because the lines for the girl’s bathrooms are always long). At first Maya isn’t interested; like many she believes feminists are angry man haters, and Zig points out that giving them the bathroom would give the girls more bathrooms than boys, making things unequal. Maya plans to turn down the performance because she doesn’t feel like a feminist, until Goldi points out that feminism is about equality. Zig’s upset because he uses the extra bathroom to take private dumps, but Maya joins Goldi’s cause and tells him to get over it. The Feminist Club successfully makes the bathroom available for women and are ready for their next challenge: Degrassi’s Gaming Club.
One thing I love is searching out tiny details within storylines that show how meticulous the writers can be. “Wish me luck,” Shay says, as she casually goes off to wait in a long line for the girl’s bathroom before the show quickly cuts back to Lola’s plot. This is the only time in #ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness that we visually see the long bathroom lines the Feminist Club is fighting against, providing a natural look at how the issue is affecting more than just the characters directly involved in Maya’s storyline.
It might seem like a silly thing for the Feminist Club to protest (they probably have to because Simpson and the administration only pay attention to anything at Degrassi when there’s deaths, threats, protests or lockdowns ), but ultimately this story is about privilege and understanding. Zig has the privilege of taking a private shit in a barely-used bathroom while lines of girls wrap around the halls trying to use the bathroom in between class.
Maya, Zig and Tiny’s responses to feminism aren’t surprising. A lot of people carry that mentality because they don’t exactly know what it is. Hell, I used to think the same way Maya did, until I found myself surrounded feminists who unknowingly showed me the light. It’s not that I was against equality; growing up in a female-dominated household, the concept that men and women should be on even ground is an absolute given. However, the word “feminism” carries a connotation of anger and man-hating to the casual person, usually based on what’s seen in the media, or based on that one off-putting experience with that one extremist whose hostile attitude we now associate with an entire cause.
So now the two sides become even more polarizing, while the true meaning of feminism is lost in the drama of everyone’s need to be right. This storyline also points out the fact that equality doesn’t mean everything is literally equal all of the time like Zig suggests. Earlier incarnations of Degrassi receive acclaim for their ability to “go there,” but Next Class holds its own with its ability to be quite nuanced with its storylines.
RECAP: Is Miles a new man? Not only is willing to go to Hunter’s gaming event, where their father will also be, he’s doing creative writing that’s so good the local paper wants to publish it and interview him. Winston learns Miles is so calm because he’s been taking Esme’s anxiety meds, Lorazepam. Winston points out that they can be addictive while Esme says there’s nothing wrong with using them daily if you need them. Miles doesn’t want to use them for forever so he tries to quit cold turkey, but it causes him to bomb his interview and suffer a severe panic attack that leaves him in pain on the floor in his room. Esme talks him through it, but because he flushed all of his pills he and Esme end up stealing more anxiety meds from the girl’s locker room at Degrassi. The pills leave Miles visibly out of it at Hunter’s gaming competition, and he’s even friendly with his dad. Winston tells Miles’ mom about the pills and she searches Miles’ room for them with no success. Afterward, Miles no longer cares about the story he wrote or about impressing his parents, he’s now only interested in suppressing his anxiety with the pills and Esme by his side.
Miles is swimming in deeper water, self medicating with the help of someone who’s clearly drifted farther from shore than him. Sure, the meds help him stay calm and focused to the point he can do something to make his parents proud (writing the short story), but he’s now dangerously dependent on those pills.
This storyline continues to impress with Miles being trapped in such a heartbreaking situation. It’s amazing how clueless his family is and to what lengths Miles has to go to just to get acknowledgment from his parents. By the end of the episode he’s done trying, trading in the impossible task of gaining his parents’ affection for the steady gratification of Esme’s pills. Miles lying on the floor of his bedroom having a panic attack is a gut-wrenching scene, a horrific reminder of not only the effects of addiction, but how crippling an illness that isn’t taken all that seriously by people who don’t have it can be.
RECAP: Lola has a fancy keychain that she loves, but she’s unaware that it’s actually a vibrator. She’s concerned that Tiny will think she’s some weirdo who masturbates until she learns that Frankie does it. Lola tries it in the shower, but thinks something’s wrong with her when she doesn’t have an orgasm. Her doctor tells Lola that different things work for different people, gives her a pamphlet and tells Lola to get to know her body. When Lola’s caught reading the pamphlet in class she’s even more embarrassed. Despite everyone talking about her online, Tiny tells her over video chat that he still wants to date, and afterward she continues exploring her body.
It’s odd how sex with another person is publicly seen as no big deal, but masturbation is this awkward thing that people are ashamed of. In a way, I feel like the plot ties into Zaya’s storyline in #YesMeansYes. Lola’s doctor delivers truth by saying different things work for different people, and she encourages Lola to explore her own body and figure that out. Sex can be a big deal in relationships, and a lot of issues arise simply from people not communicating effectively. If you don’t know what works for you in the bedroom, how do you expect anyone else to know?