A few of us saw The Change-Up for the most recent Popaganda podcast (the things we'll do for you...) and one of the many things I was struck with during the movie (among an inexplicable plot, a million penis jokes, etc.) was the character of Sabrina, played by Olivia Wilde. Around the time she called her date out for ordering a bottle of wine (the nerve!) and ordered a manly scotch instead, I knew what we were in for. She's a conventionally hot and sexy legal aid who loves drinking, sports, and daring people to get tattoos: A version of a trope—a woman who likes "dude things" yet is still traditionally feminine—that we've all seen before in countless movies and TV shows.
The dogs are hot and so am I! Baseball!
However, my scouring of TV Tropes for a name and a clever description yielded no results. Thus, it's time to Name That Trope!
But I am writing to you today not to talk about lady business. Instead I want to talk about how we are both mixed race Southeast Asian high femme ladies, and you are the first mixed race Southeast Asian lady I have ever seen on American television (I am not counting Cassie because she had hardly a line in Step Up 2: The Streets). Your work at the Daily Show has made me feel sad, alone, and quite a bit like crying, despite the fact that I have a shriveled angry little anti-racist feminist heart, and it's rare that things on TV hurt my feelings anymore.
I'm not going to argue about whether or not you got where you got because the male-dominated worlds of gaming and comedy value women who are beautiful, over women who are competently funny, because that horse has been beat to death. And also, comedy is pretty subjective and obviously you have a lot of fans, so clearly there is an audience for your style.
What angers me about your comedy, Olivia Munn, is how it is built on gleeful collusion with misogyny and racism. If we're talking about the race stuff, unlike other comedians of colour (Katt Williams! Dave Chappelle! Russell Peters!) whose jokes—while hit or miss with the kyriarchy—rely on poking fun at white racism, your jokes generally rely on racist stereotypes about your own damn people, to get a laugh out of a racist white audience.
In an interview with Salon, Munn says "these women [Jezebel bloggers] sit behind this very thin veil that I can see right through, this idea that 'we stand up for women.' If you stand up for women, then don't bash me." This quote reveals a strict adherence to what I'll call the Palin Feminist Fallacy: the idea that if a woman does something, it is automatically a feminist action. Being "okay" with a sexist remark doesn't mean that it's automatically no longer sexist, and being a female who makes misogynistic jokes doesn't somehow cancel out the misogyny.