Roseanne’s period is 9 days late
ROSEANNE (1988-1997). as a result of PIV-centric sexuality, roseanne has a “pregnancy scare” in S3E01: her period is a full 9. days. late. and she has only been “late” before 3 times in her entire life: when she was pregnant before with each of her 3 kids. in this episode, we learn that third child “DJ” was unplanned, and its probably fair to assume that her first child was too. we know from a later episode that roseanne and dan have been together since roseanne was 15 years old.
this episode was notable, and memorable, partially because of its interesting creative concept: it was announced that “the test” would take 10 minutes to perform, and we are made to wait it out in real time with roseanne and her family, as they discuss and ruminate over the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. of course, this isnt a happy moment for roseanne and she stresses over whether or not and how to tell dan about it; the physical and emotional toll of gestating a fetus and caring for an infant; and whether or not she should have her “tubes tied” to prevent this happening again.
dan asks the standard misogynist, woman-blaming questions about how dare her fuckhole turn out to be an organ that, you know, does stuff. (ie. “how did this happen?”) and there is some serious stress there, family-wide as her 3 existing children contemplate — and complain about — the implications of adding another child to their rowdy, working class home. dan and roseanne both note that they arent “young anymore” and briefly mention vasectomy for dan in a joking way, as if its not a realistic option. strangely, in the context of an unintentional pregnancy and the difficulties to the entire family of bearing and raising an unplanned-for fourth child, jackie and crystal (roseannes sister and best friend, respectively) both start to contemplate their own ticking “biological clocks.” huh?
watch the entire episode below.
goal is to “land a man”. yes. jackie is a serial dater and has “slept with every guy in town.” roseanne dated dan when they were both high school students and she “landed” him immediately, when they were both very young. obviously, she had no other plans or something, or put them all aside when she met the man she wanted. both her daughters appear to be following in her footsteps in that regard, and have serious boyfriends (and husbands) at young ages, although darlene does at least attend college for a period of time.
normalizing reproductive stress and pain. yes. jackie, crystal and roseanne all have unintended pregnancies and pregnancy scares. they also bond over roseanne’s pregnancy test and at other times, when faced with unwanted pregnancies. jackie and her eventual husband fred have unsatisfying sex.
pathologizing menstruation. yes. in one memorable episode, roseanne attempts to tell DJ a story about having an embarrassing “accident” with her first period, and DJ screams and runs out of the room and up the stairs. dan stops him and asks him whats the matter and why hes is carrying on, and DJ tells him that roseanne was telling him about her period. dan responds “carry on” and DJ completes his dash up the steps. in another episode, roseanne has PMS and the entire show revolves around it, highlighting her violent mood swings and increased libido (because who wants a woman who actually desires some of the PIV shes always having? amiright?)
pathologizing older women and menopause/fetishizing female youth. yes. evil mother-in-law meme. roseanne and jackies mother is a horrible shrew, and their grandmother is crazy/eccentric. in a later episode we learn that dan’s mother is actually “mentally ill” and is institutionalized for this many times throughout her life. there is no critique of what constitutes “mental illness” for women under patriarchy.
normalizing simulated/exaggerated female pleasure from PIV and PIV-centric sex. yes. jackie is “promiscuous” and a serial dater. when she is unintentionally impregnated by her future husband fred, in order to shock her mother (and possibly kill her) she tells her mother that she went out with a man she barely knew, they had “sex” for hours, and she got pregnant. (she also mentions that shes keeping the baby, and if its a girl shes naming it “gidget.”) hours? really? that sounds painful. actually, maybe thats why they removed the rubber, ay? just thinking out loud here.
rape and rape culture. yes. jackie routinely “picks up men” in bars, and in one episode she “wakes up next to” arnie, a disgusting loser than no woman in her right mind would *ever* intentionally have sex with, after a night of drinking. aka. rape. also, roseanne, jackie, and roseannes daughters becky and darlene all apparently have or had “underage sex.” i dont know the statutory rape laws in illinois, but “teenage sexuality” counts here mkay? especially when we are so obviously talking about PIV, and we obviously are, when we are dealing with “the talk” as well as being taken to the clinic for hormonal birth control, as becky was. women also have to get out of dans way when hes mad, and hes known to be violent on occasion.
here are parts 1, 2 and 3 of the pregnancy scare episode “the test” in its entirety: