Why aren't the women doing better on the Sci Fi Network's new video-game competition reality series, WCG Ultimate Gamer? Gaming seems like something where women should be able to compete on fairly equal ground with men -- there's no real physical strength component to it; it's a fairly objective standard (numerical scores); and if a woman's interested in getting into it, there's no real historical barriers to entry. The show also seems to have gone out of its way to be gender-inclusive in the setup and in the editing -- so what's the deal? Is it sexism in the gaming industry, sexism in reality TV shows, or are women just not as comfortable in a purely competitive setting?
This week in reality TV girlfights...
Hello! I'm the new reality TV blogger for Bitch! Please be warned in advance, these posts won't be terribly deep. Also, there are some spoilers.
Just me, or has this week on reality TV just basically been women arguing with each other? A terrible affront to feminists everywhere, or the very reason why reality TV was invented in the first place???? We're ranking 'em (on a scale of 1 to 5 doorslams), here!
Wow, Burger King did it. I was sure Carl's Junior had this in the bag, but no. Burger King has actually succeeded in airing the most sexist fast food commercial of all time. I'm talking, of course, about the ad for BK Burger Shots.
Where do I even begin? Let's start with the idea that women are so baby-obsessed that they think everything small is a baby. Which leads us to the even weirder idea that when women think they are in the presence of a baby, they make orgasm sounds and want to do whoever is holding said baby/small thing/BK burger shot. But what offends me most is the assumption that hamburgers are so alien to women that they don't even know you're supposed to eat them.
The Girls of Hedsor Hall isn't that different from other
behavioral competitions in reality TV land. It features good-looking
people with impulse control issues trying to behave, but mostly acting
crazy. And yes, they are competing for a cash prize. We've seen it
before: 12 so-called bad girls enter, one reformed good girl leaves
(with $100,000). The difference lies in the setting.The difference lies in the setting. Rather than being instructed by celebrity psychologists or plain-old celebrities, these girls are attending one of the most famous finishing schools in England.
The girls are supposed to learn to be "ladies," a role that's very clearly defined in traditional English etiquette. It's weirdly fascinating to see a feminine ideal so unabashedly embraced as something for young women to aspire to. And at the same time, Hedsor Hall's definition of "lady-like" behavior is much more inclusive than one might expect.
Maybe I over-post about Saturday Night Live, but I just can't
help myself. This season is one of the best ever! Plus, I'm thrilled
with the screen time that female cast members are getting. The newest
lady cast members, Michaela Watkins and Abby Elliott, are especially
crushable. They were presumably brought on at the end of last year to
fill the feminine gap left by Amy Poehler's departure, and they haven't
disappointed. Both have held their own in ensemble sketches and come up
with some hilarious recurring roles too.
Joss Whedon's Dollhouse premiered last week, and The Box breathed a sigh of relief. I've been waiting so long to see Eliza Dushku kick ass and smart off in the style of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of ass-kicking in the first episode. Or smarting off, for that matter. Maybe that's because Dushku's character, Echo, is without a personality for most of the time...except when she's imprinted with perfect abilities and sent on missions without her knowledge.
A series about a woman with no autonomy doesn't sound like it's going to win Joss Whedon another honor from Equality Now, right? But then again, all of his shows feature leading ladies who are good at things against their will…
My Daniel Dae Kim crush began when I first saw him on Angel as Gavin Park, a rising star at an evil law firm. (Those cheekbones! That comic timing!) But of course, he's best known as Jin-Soo Kwon on Lost. After only one season on network primetime, Kim already had enough people crushing to earn a spot on People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" list 2005. Since Asian men normally get an asexual treatment on TV, it's refreshing to see that Daniel Dae Kim has maintained official heartthrob status, and proved his acting chops too.
Jin's character arc over the first four seasons of Lost also subverts expectations. He started out as an overbearing husband in the stereotypical Asian tradition (with an exceedingly timid Asian wife to match). But over the course of the series, Jim and Sun's relationship has been revealed to be a lot more complicated, and has grown to be more loving and equitable, too. Plus...
As Valentine's Day approaches, The Box addresses the question that's on everyone's mind: How feminist is the sex on my favorite teen dramas? I graded the biggest shows of the last twenty years on their sex positivity. Click to see who came out on top.
This week the box has a good old fashioned feminist crush on Kirsten Gum, the Travel Channel's Treasure Hunter. There's no stretch of the imagination required to understand her appeal: She travels the world searching for treasure, often braving intense elements and physical challenges to get to it. Watching her accomplish her goals is inspiring, but Gum's sense of humor and winning attitude makes it fun, too.