via The Awl, this is one of the worst articles I’ve read in a long while. The New York Times decides to take a look at the girls vs. boys TV networks Lifetime and Spike – and concludes that men are sex-addicted idiots and women are fat, fearful and desperate world-savers. No, really:
We can, from these observations, construct the perfect day as imagined by a gal and by a guy.
In the gal’s perfect day she is kidnapped on the way back from putting the kids on the school bus but vanquishes the kidnappers in time to go for a fattening lunch with her single-mom pals, at which they lament their lack of dates before donning designer gowns to go to a school board meeting where they successfully address all major educational problems.
In the guy’s perfect day he awakes and, still sleepy, sticks his hand down a running garbage disposal trying to retrieve the bottle opener he has dropped in it; an ambulance crew made up entirely of strippers rushes him to the Hospital for Advanced Trauma Care and Stripping, where naked but highly trained female surgeons sew his hand back on, then take him home and wash his entire house as well as his car with their breasts while answering questions like: Does being spanked make a woman want to have sex?
So, clearly, members of one sex are living in a sad, unrealistic fantasy world, trying in vain to compensate for the drabness of their day-to-day lives. Members of the other are living a rich life of the imagination, at peace with their self-image and excited by what the future might hold. Which is which goes without saying.
The whole article seems to be a case of the author confirming what he already believes to be true. For example, he asserts that Lifetime is full of true-crime scary-tales, whereas Spike is full of men getting kicked in the balls. Which is kind of true, on both counts. Except that I watch Spike three or four times a week because they play CSI over and over again, right around the time that I go to the gym, and I always want to see who the killer is so I stay on the StairMaster longer. Maybe that’s only because my ass is fat from watching too much Lifetime, but, point being, mainstream and men’s television is chock full of scary-time crime-dramas. I guess Lifetime is just noteable because it’s the only network where women usually save themselves instead of being rescued by whatever dude is playing their cop partner. Which isn’t to say that Lifetime is great and totally feminist — it’s really not. And it does play into the “your gonna get raped!!” culture of fear that women live in by constantly presenting story lines where women are raped, abused, etc etc. But that’s pretty much the entire premise of Law & Order SVU, so I’m still not sure why Lifetime is really breaking the mold.
But anyway, the crime soaps are the least egregious part of the article, and I am in full accord with the author in his characterization of Spike as hyper-masculine douchery (also, yes, I know CSI is a shitty show; it is, however, an unintentionally hilarious show, hence my gym-wating). Crappiness of both Lifetime and Spike aside, though, the article gets even worse:
IN GAL LAND THINGS WEIGH MORE THAN THEY DO IN GUY LAND.
By “things” here we mean, basically, “women.”
Haha did you see that? He called us fat! Good one, bro.
Plump women are almost never seen on Spike, and hotties are almost never seen on Lifetime. It’s a tough call as to which is the more cynical ploy: brazenly playing to a female audience that probably could stand to lose a few pounds or shamelessly playing to a male audience that likes to fantasize about women more gorgeous than actually exist in real life.
Hmmm, yes, which is more shameless… including actresses that look like actual real women on a network that targets actual real women, or only featuring actresses who are Playboy-perfect because, look, boobs? Clearly those things are the same on the cynical scale.
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