Monday, November 19, 2007

Untitled*

Like most people my age, I am sad every time 11pm rolls around and The Daily Show is in reruns. I am forced to watch my local news and fall behind in my daily dose of political commentary. However I do not mourn as “another show falls victim to the screen writers’ strike,” as one Central Cost news anchor described it. It saddens me that the story is so often about the loss in programming, the lament of reruns, and how to cope in the meantime. (Reality TV to the rescue? Nope – they have writers too.) Where is the story about the huge difference between how much media companies are making and what they’re paying their writers? Barely any time has been paid to actors who are picketing alongside the writers, especially the comedians who remember from whence they came. I’d even appreciate another story about how new media is changing the face of entertainment and how the industries must adapt to this new environment. (Or have I been overexposed because I majored in Communication?)

Here, with the other side of the story—completely free of bias, of course—is a writer from The Daily Show, reporting from the picket line. What I love most about this clip, is that the writers posted it on YouTube, which is currently being sued by Viacom for copyright infringement, including hosting clips of The Daily Show. In fighting the distribution of its material on YouTube, Viacom has posted every episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on its own website, so that no one else can profit from them.





Saturday Night Live also took on the then upcoming writers strike in their Weekend Update. A YouTube clip of the segment "is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NBC Universal."



*In Solidarity

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Slutty Halloween, part 2

One of my favorite parts of last Sunday's Brothers and Sisters episode was highlighted in the promo. During one of the Halloween episode's obligatory trick-or-treat scenes, one of the daughters opens the door to find a group of young adults who threaten her with eggs if she doesn't give them candy. She then appraises their costumes: "Sexy nurse, sexy cat, sexy ... prostitute?"

Brilliant.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween is the one day a girl can dress like a slut and no one can say anything about it*

I love Halloween. I’ve had my costume picked out for months. When I bought my senior formal dress last spring I thought right away that it would make the perfect Cinderella costume for Halloween. So out I went last week in search of the finishing touch – a tiara. Though it’s no secret that creative Halloween costumes are out and sexy Halloween costumes are in (except when the two can be combined, of course), somehow I was still shocked by the costume store’s array of trashy costumes for women.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sexy outfits, but many of these costumes lacked a certain amount of class. However what shocked me most was the realization that given this selection, a girl had no choice but to dress like a slut for Halloween unless she was up for putting her own costume together.

Wait, strike that. What appalled me the most was the section of sexy costumes for your dog! To begin with, I’m not that big on the trend of dog clothes. Sure, they look cute, but I’m also sure they’re pretty darn uncomfortable. It’s one thing to put a dog in a sensible sweater that isn’t a struggle to get on, and another to dress your dog like a naughty school girl. Or a French maid, or whatever this is. That’s right. Latex: not just for humans any more. Shouldn’t this count as cruelty towards animals? (Or canine sexual harassment?) But honestly, is there really a need to sexualize your pet? This is just ridiculous.

Luckily, I have yet to see any animals so tortured, but considering how many dressed up dogs I can see any day downtown, I don’t know how long that will last. What I have seen could be worse. Last night I was handing out candy at Boo at the Zoo, a safe (albeit expensive) trick-or-treating event. There I was, adoring the kids dressed up in their Halloween finest, when I spotted a mom wearing this, complete with white platform f-me boots. No joke. I wanted to pull her aside and ask her what made her think it was appropriate to wear to a children’s event. While I know a woman doesn’t turn into a nun the moment she becomes a mother, this was just going too far. It wasn’t so much that she was wearing the outfit, but that she was wearing it around five-year olds. Thankfully, her ten-year-old

daughter was tastefully dressed in an age-appropriate costume, because I don’t know what I’d have done if she was matching her mother.


*Yes, I did just quote Mean Girls

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bill Maher proves himself sexist

Bill Maher claimed he wasn’t sexist after his “New Rules” segment on breast feeding caught the attention of feminist bloggers, but last Friday he proved himself wrong. Though I don’t agree with absolutely everything he says I usually like Bill Maher and love his show, but after watching his comments Friday about Ellen DeGeneres’ dog adoption drama, I was irate. In drawing out the excess of media attention on her on-air breakdown, Maher says, “At this moment when half of America is saying to itself, ‘can we really have a woman president? Maybe they’re too emotional.’ I don’t think this is helping. … If I was a woman, straight or gay, I would be embarrassed right now.”

Hmm. Isn’t taking one woman’s behavior and applying it to all women not only spreading a stereotype, but the definition of sexism? Isn’t saying that Ellen’s behavior isn’t helping spreading sexist thought? It infuriates me that Ellen is being called weak and “too emotional” for crying on-air when women have been socialized to express emotion, and that women are criticized essentially for playing the role society gave us.

Most importantly, how does Ellen’s breakdown have anything to do with Hillary running for president??? Making that connection is entirely sexist. Yes, Hillary is a woman running for president, but why can’t we see her as a person running for president? Why must her every move be tied to her gender? I really hope one day women running for president, or applying for jobs won’t have to worry about looking too feminine, or having the stereotypical “weaknesses” of their gender count against them.


Here’s the Bill Maher clip. The Ellen discussion starts at 1:00: http://youtube.com/watch?v=MQ1tMMAg7TA