Now it may just be that I'm PMSing, but I've got a real beef with sitcoms. I don't often watch shows like 'Two and a Half Men', 'King of Queens', 'Everybody Loves Raymond' or 'According to Jim' and the like, but I have on occasion caught bits and pieces that remind me why I don't watch these shows. Watching them makes me sick to my stomach. Sure they toss out some funny lines... they're comedies you might say, but really? What kind of post feminist garbage are we watching?
I'm putting on my feminist hat, boys, watch out!
The plots of these shows rarely change. Man comes up with a plan, does something he knows will piss his wife off, lies to his wife attempting to cover up what he did, wife finds out, couple argues, he apologizes, maybe gives her some flowers and she jumps in bed with him. Really? Oh, and I forgot to mention, for the most part the men are overweight, balding, lazy bums with wives who are petite, pretty and apparently dumb! Right, cause that's how life works!
The woman is portrayed as a wishy washy, emotional, PMSing, roller coaster ride often becoming irrational over 'trivial' (or not so trivial) matters. Or at least that's how her husband would describe her. But because it is billed as a comedy we all seem to just let it go. It's just a joke.
I don't want to pin it all on the sitcoms, the dramas aren't that much better. Let's take one of my favorite night time soaps 'Melrose Place'. A powerful, intelligent go getter like Amanda would make an excellent likable character... if only she was a man. Being that she's a woman who won't stop until she has what she wants, she's a bitch. How many times have you seen that scenario duplicated at your own place of work?
But how rooted do you think the lessons in these sitcoms become? So routed in fact that I started my blog by stating "it may just be that I'm PMSing" which would indicated that somehow I am less able to think rationally because I'm menstruating. I know this is not a concept they teach in school. I know my mother never taught me that, and yet, there it is at the very beginning of my feminist rant! Imagine my horror. I was going to erase it and start again, but I think it proves my point rather perfectly. Couldn't have planned it better if I tried.
My household operates a little less 'traditionally' than some. My husband does the laundry and the dishes, he's by far the better one when it comes to playing with C. And I do the majority of the house repairs, I own the power tools and come up with the budget. We share in the household chores for the most part. Even still, I obviously have bought into at least one notion that these sitcoms are selling. I am a woman who is menstruating, therefore I must be irrational because I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Right?!
If this is the way we are portraying relationships and women, it's no wonder the divorce rate is so high. Men can't be trusted, and women are emotional wrecks!
The next time you turn on the TV to sit down and veg out, think about what influences you're letting deep into your subconscious... and into that of any children who may be close at hand. If you think about it, it's scary.