No, I wouldn’t call this a new column, but every once in a while I see some great conversations happening around the blogosphere and feel like sharing them.
A friend sent me to this article on The Entertainment Industry’s Love Affair with Immature Men:
No, not Michael Vick. Though the Falcon quarterback’s explanation for dog fighting — “I need to grow up” — does show just how ubiquitous the Peter Pan excuse has become. Male leads in recent popular TV shows and movies are increasingly portrayed as victims of their own immaturity. If only instead of claiming he had found Jesus, Vick had said he’d found some fantastically attractive and accomplished woman, perhaps the viewing audience would’ve gone along. In today’s romantic comedy scripts, the man-child always meets his Wendy. Only through the innate, successful, high-achieving grace of a female may our hero be saved.
Taken one at a time, it’s easy to pass off this trend as a simple, comedic trope. But considering the storyline’s popularity and how it is affecting gender relations at large, this narrative is worthy of closer attention.
It’s hard to imagine an unbeautiful TV slacker woman, lost in her adolescence, who manages to snag a successful oncologist who used to model and volunteers at the soup kitchen in his free time. The beautiful, accomplished woman is simply another cardboard cutout standing in for a real (fictional) human being. And when she puts up with a guy like this, it becomes a total het male fantasy.
The Curvature makes a great point about the intersection between feminism and disability activism:
Disability Rights are a feminist issue because women know what it’s like to be infantalized and treated as lesser people. And we should know damn by well that it isn’t right. Not for us, and not for anybody.
Indeed. Do read the whole article for additional thoughts.
The entire premise of SVU is sexual assault in its many forms. It is an excellent platform for politicizing institutionalized abuse of women but is used instead as a cheap ploy to attract and retain viewers.
And finally, the popularity of this show certainly raises the question: why are we so fascinated by sex crimes? The delight that viewers get from watching child rapists and deserving bitches get theirs is very telling.
There’s really so much more, and I’m doing a disservice to the article by just clipping these lines. Rape already suffers from the stigma of not being a real problem, of being a problem victims encounter only through bad choices, etc. By choosing to capitalize on that view rather than challenge it, the show becomes part of the problem by failing to be part of the solution.
Then he talked about the Virginia Tech shootings, and said that at universities the attractive girls should take it in turns to sleep with the geeky, unsociable guys so that those guys don’t go crazy and kill people. Because it’s women’s responsibility to ensure men don’t kill people. And sex is a magic pill which cures mental illness and removes all violent urges.
And what he’s also saying in here is that if women don’t submit to sleeping with men they find repulsive, men are entitled to rape them as punishment. He also seems to conflate rape with sex, which is sadly common.
Richie at Crimitism neatly shoots down the Men’s Rights Activists myth that dumb guys on TV are a conspiracy by feminists to make people hate men. After describing a plot in which a woman totally bosses around her stupid husband, he asks:
Now, am I describing:
- The nightmarish future of comedy. Good God, if only we’d listened to Nathanson and Young WHILE THERE WAS STILL TIME!!!
- An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, AKA the feminist Trojan Horse responsible for driving misandry to its highest recorded level since the Depression and rainfall to its highest level since the Wall Street Crash.
- Sons of the Desert, a Laurel & Hardy comedy from 1933, which, if I’ve done my sums right, predates “today’s media” by some considerable margin.
You have to go read it for the answer.