Monday, April 06, 2009

Stef the Feminist?

I don't normally identify myself as a feminist, although I do think that men and women should be equal in all matters, no matter how big or small. (ps: this is where I place a shameless plug for a friend's feminist website - you should go and comment)

However, while watching tv earlier, I was thinking about channel titles: We - women's entertainment, Lifetime - television for women, Spike - an American cable network designed for an audience described demographically as "young adult males."(from Wikipedia)

When did tv become something that can be categorized into female or male viewing? Who decides what shows are for women and which are for men?

MXC is on Spike, and I happen to enjoy it a great deal. But perhaps that is wrong of me, as a woman because we should apparently not enjoy a show about people getting hurt. Perhaps I should switch over to We to catch an episode of The Golden Girls, featuring a nice conversation about boyfriends and sex while they veg on cheesecake. (Coincidentally, I was watching The Golden Girls when this thought came to me; but I was switching back and forth between that and Family Guy.) Which is clearly a show for males because it features fart jokes. Sometimes there are good movies on Spike, but I'm probably not supposed to tune in.

Also, television for women (tvfw)? Let's look at the lineup: Still Standing, Reba, Frasier, Will & Grace. Clearly Will & Grace is on tvfw because why would men want to watch a show about two gay men and their 'fag hags'? That might damage their heterosexuality. Why would men want to watch Reba, a show about a single mother who can take care of children, while holding down a career? Both of the main men are portrayed as relatively stupid men - clearly a threat to any male. Frasier. I don't even understand that one...if it's going to be on tvfw, it should clearly be called Frasierette or something. Still Standing has a hot woman, a fat husband, and they are terrible parents. How is that for women? There isn't even eye candy for us. It just honestly doesn't make sense to me how that "qualifies" for women.

Also on Lifetime are these horrible movies, but they take an attractive male, make the main woman fall in love with him, he rapes/kills/cheats on her, and it ends with someone going to prison and because this is a love story, a real romance, it's put on tvfw to indulge all us sappy love story loving women.

It just makes me upset some times that there can be generalizations made about women - that we all love to sit around with friends, tissues, and Ben & Jerry's watching a love story and crying. I personally can't stand any of the Lifetime movies, but I guess that makes me an outlier.

I'm a disgrace to females everywhere because I'd choose Air Force One over Steel Magnolias, MXC over Desperate Housewives, a football game over The Hills...

1 comment:

Amelia said...

Thanks for the plug. :)

And I think you bring up some really interesting ideas. Categorizing TV channels according to sex is annoying. It might be easier for marketing/money reasons, but really? To me, it would make more sense if there was a "Movies that involve lovers who die" and a "Look! Fart jokes! aaahhahaha!" channel then lumping a bunch of stuff together as "men" and "women" channels.

It's a horrible idea, because in this society that expects people to stay pretty much within the expectations of their gender, it can make people feel bad when they identify as a woman and they like watching "men's shows." Blah.