I'm not a woman, but I think it might be easier to find sympathy for all of this as a gay man, because as a gay man you get pushed into that same exact box no matter how pretty you are. You are pressured to be infantile, volatile and snarky from the time that other kids start noticing that you're different: It's the only way out. You have to be a silly pretty object, or risk getting the shit beat out of you for speaking up or having thoughts, because you're not a man in the same way that other men are men, which is at least as threatening as looking like Eva Longoria. You have to agree that certain labels are worth killing yourself to avoid -- that having no word and no label, sometimes, is better than having a name to call yourself -- and keep your trap shut about it. You have to play along.
And I think that a lot of the time the Gay/Straight Alliance stays focused on that bitter common ground, which can lead to a festering crabs-in-a-barrel situation, where we reinforce each other's worst shit instead of supporting each other in breaking out of that box and leaving the whole antiquated patriarchy thing behind. Which is how you get a Renee, or a Lee, which is why the gay storylines and Lee bother me so much on this show, because it's as instructive ("This is how gay men should be treated, this is what they are like, this is how we interact as adults") as any of the awful things Lynette does, or Bree ("Men/other women/our children are the real enemy").
That actually getting your hands dirty, risking the displeasure of men, disagreeing with the loudest voices in the room, that these things actually mean you are intrinsically a bad person. Or at least irrelevant. Which goes beyond simply describing our culture to entrenching the unnecessary bullshit of our culture: The system that says if you're not playing the game, you'll be left out entirely. It's a blurry line, not very often but sometimes, between serving the masses what they want and telling them it's okay; but that's one step closer to telling them they're not.
All of which is to say, there are several levels on which personally I respond to this story, and the ways it's been told, and to the character of Gabrielle in general, and the way she is portrayed and performed, that may be at least a little surprising but are certainly more complicated than a bunch of snotty jokes might get across. And for that -- for her, and for this particular ending, and this particular season -- I'm actually profoundly grateful.