Image: Cartman looks angrily at the camera in front of a tank full of manatees and balls.Both South Park and Family Guy have issues. But which privilege do they insist upon most thoroughly? At what rate do these shows oppress which bodies, and in what way? Which is more offensive? In the next few posts, I'm going to take a quantitative (though inherently subjective, of course) look at exactly how offensive these shows are. I will take five episodes spread over the course of each series and analyze the rate at they make offensive comments or jokes, whether in language, image, or action, and break it down by sexism, racism, classism, ableism, cissexism, sizism, and heterosexism.
A pretty obvious statement to make in these times is that the U.S. electorate is polarized. Long understood that so-called hot button issues like reproductive rights weren't a topic that everyone would agree on, other policies have jumped on the bandwagon, so much so, that now I'm a little shocked it hasn't crumbled beneath the weight of it all: same-sex marriage, prayer in schools, how much government should be regulated, how big government should be, whether humans evolved from monkeys or were blinked into existence, and so on. [More]
Disclaimer: I'm about to shamefully make a Huey Lewis & the News reference: It's hip to be...a perv? Well, Terry Richardson seems to think so. Ever since sexual abuse allegations against the hipster icon surfaced, the blogosphere has been commenting on the subsequent shit storms that keep popping up around this perv. So, it's about time that we deem Richardson a douchebag.
You're looking at the cover of a new book by John Joseph, New York native and author of The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon. Besides grimacing, my other first reaction to the book was Malori Maloney's assessment of Skinny Bastard - the male-marketed follow-up to the "vegan/animal rights manifesto wrapped in chick-lit veneer"Skinny Bitch. Malori wrote, "What could be an awesome vegan manifesto is so rife with gendered language, sexist commentary and an apparent obsession with physical appearance over healthy living that potential positive and/or helpful messages get clouded." Having not read Joseph's book, I can't claim this is entirely true about Meat is for Pussies...but something about that title tells me it is.
Looking at Bitch's archives, I know some people might have known—if not celebrated—National Masturbation Month, which was last month (and every May). But I has this nagging feeling that, as much as we talk about feminism freeing people from oppression's proverbial yokes to explore what turns them on, feminism isn't really discussing probably one of the first sexual acts that some of us have done beyond the basic, "We're doing it! An instant feminist move forward! Yay us!"
But I like to check my reality—especially concerning who "us" and "we" are--so I posed the question to my Facebook and Twitter crews: what do you think is missing in feminist conversations about masturbation?
The Huffington Post has a piece up today called "TV University: Meet The Faculty". It's a clever idea–a faculty roster for a university comprised entirely of television (and some film) characters teaching courses that play to their fictional strengths. So Dr. Who is the Dean of the Science Department, Stringer Bell teaches Transitional Business Management, and so on. The only problem? Out of 96 faculty members, only four are women–they even have a dude teaching Women's Studies. Come on folks, we can do better! (And I mean this literally.) Which female television characters would you like as your TV University professors?
Sculptor Louise Bourgeois created an array of surreal images in her career, many of which address psychological phenomena in physically mutated or twisted figurative forms. But perhaps Bourgeois, nicknamed "Spiderwoman," will be remembered by much of the public who encountered her work for placing dozens of giant bronze spiders worldwide. She died last week, aged 98.
Television icon (and feminist favorite) Rue McClanahan passed away this morning at the age of 76. She was best known for her role as Blanche Devereaux on the classic sitcom The Golden Girls (though I probably didn't have to tell you that). Blanche was always my very favorite of the four Golden Girls. I loved her Southern wit and charm and her unabashed sexiness (oh, and I thought her flowing pajama robes were the height of glamor).
Though us feminist TV fans will miss Rue something fierce, she leaves behind a legacy that won't be soon forgotten. She was a pioneer when it came to representations of older women on television, never apologizing for her sexuality or her age. Thank you for being a friend, Rue McClanahan!
Ugh. Family Guy. It's a terrible, terrible show in my opinion. I still watch it regularly, out of long-held habit. But it's just. It's lazy, it's aesthetically not pleasing. It's not very funny. And it's offensive on an consistent, regular basis.
But for some reason, folks really like it, and Seth MacFarlane, its creator, seems particularly proud of it. It's currently in the midst of an Emmy campaign, and it is promoting itself by mocking Precious: