Both combine to make me bitter.
A couple of nights ago I had dinner with a few friends and one of them turned the TV on afterwards. The show he wanted to watch so desperately is called ‘The Rules of Engagement’ and I had never had the misfortune to encounter it before this night. I hope I never see it again.
There were two plots running through the episode we saw, and both were so chock full of misogyny, I don’t know how anyone can claim women are seen as equal human beings, I honestly don’t.
David Spade, possibly the biggest Giant Baby (TM) to ever walk the Earth, featured in the first. His character had decided he had fallen in love with a woman the first time he saw her, but had no contact info for her. His ‘brilliant’ plan was to ride the elevator in her apartment building for a week til he saw her again. When he did see her again (need I add that she was blonde, gorgeous, thin and had big boobs? I didn’t think so), she freaked out at his stalking and sprayed pepper spray in her eyes. Part of me cheered at a TV show actually depicting stalking having some negative consequences for once.
Then the two men I was watching it with said that his big mistake was mentioning he’d been in the elevator for a week as it made him sound like a stalker. So there’s no problem with the stalking itself, you just have to be sure to hide it from the victim. They also described her as over reacting. Clearly it’s a perfectly normal reaction for a guy who has only seen a woman once to stalk her in an elevator for a week. But for said woman to be scared when confronted with this? Overreacting, of course. I deserve a reward for not ‘over reacting’ to their comments.
The second storyline involved two married couples wherein the men spent the entire twenty minutes demeaning and sidelining their wives just for the sheer fun of it.
The thing about these shows and the way they depict the sexes is, they’re offensive to men and women. If I was a male, I (hope I) would be genuinely appalled at being depicted this way. Honestly, these shows are doing none of us any favours. So it would be nice if the men joined our side for once and did the arguing for us. Might save us the energy to fight for things like reproductive rights and an end to sex slavery.
I recently rewatched the first three episodes of this show, and wow did they ever Get It back then. There are a few things overall I have problems with, but mostly it was pretty damn excellent. So, the problems:
I used to love this show. I found it to be awesome and funny and sad and heartwarming all at the same time. However, I have recently started re-watching it from season one, and I’m up to mid season six. And I’m seriously disturbed.
The amount of racism, sizeism and misogyny contained in each episode is disgusting. It’s not there to highlight how wrong society is, it’s not played out by characters we’re meant to hate. It’s all there by characters we’re supposed to love. And we’re supposed to find it funny. most people probably do find it funny. Why?? This is a show that could have been awesomely feminist and groundbreaking. It’s not. Not even close.
And, to top of this toxic cocktail of hatred, most of the men in relationships display traits common of abusers. Why on earth would the writers, producers and directors display such traits in men we’re supposed to like?? Luke is downright scary in the way he talks to Lorelai when they fight. Zach’s Giant Baby act and his psychotic jealousy are all dangerous warning signs, but we’re expected to cheer when he proposes.
Why do showmakers find it so hard to throw the misogyny out the window when creating these shows?
I used to think feminism ruined entertainment for me. Now I wonder why on earth shows are made that insult, degrade and demean such a large portion of the population, and why the powers that be are ruining entertainment for me.
Next time: Grey’s Anatomy.. don’t even get me started…