Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Daily Show

I love The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I TiVo it and watch it religiously. It has helped to keep me sane in the political climate of the last 5 years or so. But a few things are really pissing me off about The Daily Show, and I think I'll rant about them right here and right now.

1) Comedy Central. I couldn't watch The Daily Show at all without TiVo to filter out the utterly assholic misogynistic crap that comprises the bulk of Comedy Central's programming and advertising.

2)Pussy. Fuck you. Say pansy instead, or better yet, quit thinking that it's hilarious and appropriate to ridicule men by suggesting that they're effeminate.

3) Tuesday's coverage of Condelezza Rice's confirmation hearings. The "Secretary's Day" graphic was a bit beyond the pale, but when paired with the extended "Cat Fight" analysis of Rice's questioning by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California it just went over the top.

Yeah, I know the arguments:
A) But, it's funny. Feminists don't have a sense of humor. (Hah hah. Now, that is funny!)
B) Politically correct humor isn't funny. (Yeah? Or maybe you're just too stupid to get it.)

The fact of the matter is that woman-bashing jokes (and this includes jokes about men that are really woman-bashing jokes, as well as epithets like "son-of-a-bitch" and "pussy") are a cheap and easy way out, when the writers want to toss on a punchline and they're too tired to do the work to find something that's actually funny. When Stewart et al get it right, they are really really funny. And then they sometimes go for the easy laugh. Please. I prefer the fart jokes.

And the truth of the matter is that woman-bashing jokes just aren't funny when women are, you know, bashed. All the time. By men. As long as the leading cause of death for a pregnant woman is homicide, usually by her husband or boyfriend, as long as at least 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, usually by men they know, as long as women are endangered by men, misogynistic humor just isn't funny.

And less seriously but more related to the topic of the The Daily Show's coverage of Rice's confirmation hearing, I'm glad they pointed out that it's unusual to have a woman in this position. I'm glad they pointed out that it's unusual to have 2 powerful women in government in the same room at the same time. But I wish they'd made the point in a way that was less offensive to women everywhere. Especially while we've never had a female president or vice president, only 14% of our nationally elected officials are women, 70% of people in abject poverty are women, and so few of our major companies are headed by women.

Speaking of business, did you know that it made news that a whopping 8 of the Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs? Wheee! Less than 2%! Better yet, "as a group they outperformed the broader market by a substantial margin." This is supposed to be a good thing? I don't think so. It should not be news that women can be successful in business. It should be news that women still have to be better than men in order to get a crack at the same damn jobs.


trisha said...

Wow, terrific post! Informative, well-written, interesting. And TRUE! (I have more to say about this, but it'll have to wait until I put my contacts in. I can't think while wearing glasses.)

Krupskaya said...

Right effin' on, Sarahlynn. We have Jon Stewart's "America" book at the bookstore and I was really dismayed at all the male-dominated humor -- "pussy," all the prostitution jokes, all the "whore" jokes. Then I looked at the credits, and saw that when you have two women out of about 30 people on the creative team, that's how it's going to turn out.

It sucks.

Sarahlynn said...

Yep yep yep.

Redhead Editor said...

When I taught my daughters that "wuss" (or however you spell that made-up word) is a combination of WIMP and PUSSY, they learned right away to stop saying it. I educated the world about that word because it is so friggin' offensive. Wimp like a pussy MY ASS! Great post!

echidne said...

This is right on. It's hard work to make the lefty/liberal men to see the problem, though, and for many it is just being really oblivious and parroting the new fadwords like bitch for everything.

HollieMichelle said...

I just read a script that a guy I know wrote. It would be funny, if it weren't for the unfortunate fact that a lot of it takes place in a strip club. Just reinforcing women's role as play toys, I guess. I'm so sick of this. And you would think that you could turn on "Comedy Central" and get a laugh. But you know how that goes. And then along come the Girls Gone Wild commercials. I think alot of these assholes just don't get it, or don't care. But the fact is that these attitudes affect us. They bleed over into our lives and influence the way that we are treated at work (not taken seriously), and by the horny creeps at the grocery store and the mechanic, etc. And let's not forget the way it can affect the way a woman's own husband or boyfriend thinks of her and the way our son's will think of women and the way that our daughters will think of themselves. It really pisses me off! Can you tell.