Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Yah, this is why I don’t watch this crap."

Women in Competition (How I Met Your Mother), by Purtek on The Hathor Legacy, via Feministe's Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday thread:

A couple of weeks ago, on this thread, I mentioned that men are constantly portrayed as competing for women in a way that makes the woman essentially irrelevant. We use game metaphors to describe the system, but the winner and loser–the agents of participation–are always just the men. The women, I said, are the ball, the object you score with.

How I Met Your Mother decided to construct an entire episode (”The Belt”) around proving this point for me, throwing in the additional jaw-droppingly double-standard driven repetition of the idea that women are competitive bitches.

Barney and Ted have a long-standing competition as to who will successfully have a threesome first (two women, of course). They literally have a belt to give the winner–one of those super-tacky, wrestling championship style things. When Ted meets two women in a bar, he’s at first not sure which one he should go for. He keeps sneaking off to make phone calls to evaluate his strategy–note that he never gives a damn about the personalities of either of the women. One is just as good as the other, as long as making a move on the first doesn’t kill his chances of “scoring”. . .

Lily, who is mainly being ‘one of the boys’ during the whole threesome discussion, gets to be the one to remind us (again, repeatedly) that women who do these things are “sluts”.

It goes on from there. You should read the rest. No, I don't need to watch the episode. No, I don't care if my blog friends and outside friends think the show is funny. Yes, I still heart NPH.


In semi-related news, Joel Stein can go bleep himself:

This year, I was invited to six Halloween parties, which would not be strange if it weren't for the fact that I'm older than 12. Meanwhile, I was invited to zero New Year's Eve parties last year. People vastly prefer Halloween parties because New Year's Eve involves dressing up like an adult, whereas Halloween involves dressing up like a slut...

...after much research and consultation, I have founded our nation's newest holiday: Slut Day.

It will take place the first Saturday of every August, a time both barren of holidays and plenty hot enough for really degrading costumes. Slut Day festivities include costume parties with themed drinks such as the Lindsay Lohan (just whatever in a giant glass) and, if possible, flat-screen TVs showing the latest celebrity sex tapes and select parts of "Meerkat Manor." Or anything else. Flat-screen TVs are just sexy.

In addition to fixing the Halloween problem, Slut Day also can replace the "Pimps N Hos" parties scattered across the calendar, which are racist and sexist, with an event that is only sexist. That's a 50% reduction in offensiveness.

Immediately after I finished reading this aberration, I composed and emailed the following message to the "columnist":

Dear Mr. Stein,

I used to be a fan of yours. That was until I read your October 26, 2007, opinion piece in the LA Times, in which you stated "I have founded our nation's newest holiday: Slut Day."

I could go on and on for pages on why your article disgusted me. Instead I will refer to the 2004 documentary entitled "Slut" by Rina Barone and Patricia DiTillio. At one point the film was being shown on the Sundance Channel. I'm sure someone with
your connections can get his hands on a copy. I suggest you watch it to understand how deeply this word--and the patriarchal judgment behind it--hurts both women and men.

I also refer you to Feministing, the website which contains the link that led me to your column:

He has not responded. Oh well.


Purtek said...

Just wanted to add that I still love NPH too. Also Danica McKellar, who played one of the sorority "sluts". It caused me extra pain to hear the vapid idiocy from them.

Bianca Reagan said...

Thanks for weighing in, purtek! Oh Danica. How sad.

Stephanie said...
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