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Women are calling Sex Education's 'bus scene' one of the most powerful moments in TV history.

Coming-of-age, high school dramas with a theme of… well, sex, are not uncommon. But none are quite like Sex Education.

For the uninitiated, Sex Education is a progressive, sex-positive show exploring all the awkward intimacies of sexuality, relationships and coming to terms with your body during the universally weird time that is your teen years.

The second season dropped on Netflix last week with eight episodes just under an hour each, and the internet is already crying out for more (There’s been no word on a third season yet, but it seems unlikely Netflix would drop a show that made its top 10 most viewed list for 2019, and has been so universally acclaimed).

Watch the trailer for Sex Education season two below. Post continues below video.

Video via Netflix

And while this season tackles a lot of important, often taboo topics – coming to terms with your sexuality, STIs, the morning-after pill, self-harm, masturbation and anal douching to name a few – the most touching storyline and the most powerful scene take on sexual assault.

In episode three, Aimee rides the bus to school and is horrified to discover a man masturbating behind her. He ejaculates on her jeans. She immediately gets off the bus and walks the rest of the way.

At school, she tells Maeve what happened, though seems unbothered, saying it’s no different to being sneezed on: “Cum is kind of like a penis having a sneeze”. Maeve is disgusted and insists they go to the police to report the sexual assault.

In later episodes we see how the experience impacted Aimee much more than she thought it would. She’s hindered by symptoms of PTSD: She sees the perpetrator everywhere, is uncomfortable with intimacy, breaks up with her boyfriend and takes up walking, because she can’t ride the bus.

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Image: Netflix.
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In episode seven she breaks down in front of the show's other female characters.

"I can't get on the bus," she cries.

"He had this really kind face... If he could do something like that, then anyone could. I always felt safe and now I don't."

The girls realise they've all had similar experiences: From being followed home late at night, to being flashed or groped, to being heckled for wearing shorts. It's a poignant moment, and any woman or girl watching the show would be able to relate. We all have these sorts of experiences, where our feeling of safety has been taken from us.

The group don't have a solution. They don't know how to stop men feeling entitled to a woman's body, or need to assert power over us, and they don't immediately know how to help Aimee. But in that moment they realise there's comfort in solidarity.

The next day Aimee walks towards her bus stop to find the other girls - some of whom were her friends, and others who weren't - there waiting.

"What are you doing here?" she asks.

"Getting the bus," Maeve replies. "We're all getting the bus."

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Image: YouTube.
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As Aimee hesitates to get on, Maeve puts out her hand.

"It's just a stupid bus."

Viewers have praised the entire story line especially the moment all six girls ride the bus together, coming together to support each other and to take back control.

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The show's creator Laurie Nunn told The Hollywood Reporter the story line was inspired by a personal experience, and writing about it was cathartic.

"[Aimee] has a line where she says, 'I felt safe before and now I don't,' and I do think that is something that is a specifically female experience of walking through the world and always carrying a bit of fear with you.

"I think that men don't understand that in the same way, so hopefully, through telling these stories, we can get them to stop to empathise and come to understand that."

It's also important to note that another plot point of the episode is that the show's main character Otis has sex for the first time.

Sex Education could have easily made this episode all about that. After all, Otis' virginity had been a main focus of the season up until this point.

But that story has played out time and time again. We know how it goes (and to its credit, Sex Education also bucks that cliche, focusing on the morning-after pill and Otis' concern for his sexual partner Ruby rather than being celebratory that he had sex).

Sex Education realises that focusing on sexual assault and female empowerment is the more important conversation to be having, and that's what makes this show so refreshing.

Sex Education seasons one and two are streaming on Netflix.

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