I’m nearly 25 years old and I’ve never been pregnant. At this point in my life, I don’t even think I want kids. But, I did write about celebrity news for nearly two years. That means I wrote many, many stories about famous women opening up about their miscarriages. Just thinking about the loss these women were going through, and they pain they were experiencing, broke my heart. That’s how I realized the purposefully ridiculous Glow episode "Slouch. Submit." used the most offensive phrase ever to deal with the reveal Cherry (Sydelle Noel) had a miscarriage a very long time before the comedy takes place. That phrase, is "womb goof."
Let me just say off the bat, the first time viewers hear "womb goof" in the Netflix newbie’s second episode it’s more ridiculous than hurtful. Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), the hapless, cocaine-addled director of Glow’s show within-a-show, is having a private conversation with longtime friend Cherry, whom he once at threesome with in the late 1970s. Now it’s the mid-80s, and they haven’t spoken in quite some time. "Oh! I haven't talked to you since the… You know the… The whole, uh," he says, gesturing toward Cherry’s uterus. "Uh… the womb goof." Sam’s terrible phrasing is supposed to illustrate just how uncomfortable some men are about women’s bodies and emotions, especially three decades ago. The former B-movie director clearly doesn’t want to upset Cherry and doesn’t know if actually saying a word as clinical as "miscarriage" will do more harm than good. However, the stunt star proves the word isn’t a problem, replying, "Miscarriage?"
"Yeah, I was trying to come up with a tactful euphemism," he admits. Yes, Sam failed in his aim, but at least he's trying.
The poor turn-of-phrase takes a dark turn later in the episode, when a petty Melrose (Jackie Tohn) tries to play mind games with Cherry in front of all the GLOw women. In the middle of "Submit," Cherry completely reads Melrose after she performs an unsafe wrestling attack on lead character Ruth (Alison Brie). The stunt woman announces Melrose has probably never had a real job and knows she’s not interesting. As revenge, Melrose — who overheard Cherry and Sam’s original womb goof conversation — steals a bottle of ketchup during lunch and pretends to have a miscarriage during wrestling practice. "Oh my God, what is happening?! I thought I might be pregnant!” she screams, as she wipes a fake-bloody hand away from her crotch. "I put my body through too much trauma today. Fuck this is so painful. Oh am I having a miscarriage?"
As Cherry tries to check on Melrose and comfort her, the "prankster" sticks her tongue out and reveals the ketchup bottle hidden in her hoodie, spraying a huge stream of it on the mat. “Bummer,“ she gleefully says with ketchup splattered hands. "How am I gonna tell [80s singer] Adam Ant that our precious little baby turned out to be a womb goof?" Cherry’s face falls the moment she realizes her physical and emotional trauma was used against her for childish vengeance. It’s even worse when the entire scene is played once again, since director Sam missed it and wants to know if there’s any story there worth exploring. There isn’t. Viewers know this is actually that bad when Sam offers Cherry double her salary to stay on the project and all she can do is stare at him with sad eyes and agree to "think about it."
Not to spoil the rest of GLOW, but I can confirm Cherry will definitely get the last laugh here.
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