Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reality TV is Killing Gender Equality

I know, I know, that's a big statement to make but hear me out.

Case Study #1: Paula Abdul from American Idol/Straight Up/Cartoon Cat in her video Fame.

When I was 12 my cousin played her Paula Abdul tape for me.  She knew all the words.  How come she was so much cooler than me? I did my part though and quickly embraced Paula and set out learning those lyrics.  I paid rapt attention to that video she did with Keanu Reeves. I'm not sure if that was before or after Point Break, but at that time, the combination of the two of them was irresistible.  Then before you know it, Paula was just kind gone. 

American Idol.  She was baaaack.  I'll admit I didn't really watch AI until the season Fantasia Barino won.  Before that I shunned it as I shunned most reality TV.  These days I watch everything from Big Brother to Amazing Race to 19 and Counting. That's just a small sample of the reality TV that guides my life. 

Anyway, back to dearest Paula.  As we all know, or at least those of us with a television know, Paula started getting a little wonky.  I found this amusing.  It was better than when she was actually trying to judge because that was just pointless.  If it appeared she was sober, I usually muted (before I could record) her and later (after recording) I fast-forwarded and went straight to Simon.  Yes, Simon is mean, but 9.8 times out of 10, he's right.  Paula was just pretty much unstable eye candy. Sort of.

But, and there's a big but here, I prefer Looney Tunes to Kara DioGuardi.  That bitch gets under my skin  like nobodies business. When Katy Perry was on this past season and seemed less than enamoured with Ms.  DioGuardi herself, I revelled in it.  I typically fast forward through her too.  More eye candy.  Kind of pasty eye candy, but she's attractive all the same.  No ability, whatsoever, to get to the point.  I. Just. Want. Her. To. SHUT. UP.

For those of you following along, Kara was Case Study #2.

Case Study #3:  Natasha Leggero on Last Comic Standing.  I hate that I have to be negative here because I'm all about the female comic.  However, back when Chelsea Lately was still aired here*, her laugh drove me then and she wasn't overly funny.  So the laugh + not all that funny=(insert buzzer sound).  And her judging ability?  More buzzer.  She's the Paula/Kara of Last Comic Standing.

Why is it so hard to find a female judge for one of these programs?  Let me clarify.  Why is it so hard to find an intelligent female judge.  Maybe that's not fair.  I don't think any of these women are actually stupid, per se ,they just cannot make a decent point or really, sometimes, any point at all.  I love Ellen DeGeneres.  I record her show every day.  She makes me happy when I'm at my lowest. Did I love her on American Idol? No and it pains me to admit this.

My point is people feminism appears to be dead.  Well except for Tina Fey and Amy Pohler.  Oh and Kristen Wig. I think that's her name. The new super funny one from SNL.  There are not a lot of strong intelligent opinionated women on television right now.  At least not from what I'm seeing.  And yes, I'm not helping by watching shows like Big Brother where the casting is clearly based on the following formula: everyone needs to be conventionally attractive, one set of fake breasts, one 'elder', one gay and one minority.

And now that I'm an avid blogger in not only writing them but reading others, I know these intelligent, opinionated women exist. And they post pictures on their blogs (some of them) so I know they're attractive too.  The long standing stereotype of intelligent female equals ugly female continues to be perpetuated and accepted by society.  And Sarah Palin.

So come on ladies, and forward thinking men (whom I also know exist), what are we going to do about this? Bloggers (and friends) unite!

*This is my plea for someone somewhere to make E! available to us poor fuckers here in Saskatchewan. Chelsea Lately is one of the best shows ever.  I can't watch it anymore.  I can watch Farm Report.  Doesn't quite have the same flavour though.  Please please help us.

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