February 25, 2013

"Were the Oscars always this sexist, or are we spoiled by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Golden Globes?"

"Host Seth MacFarlane has been leaning on sexist punchlines all night, and people are noticing. Here are the transcripts, so you can calibrate your outrage and/or eye rolls accordingly...."

That's Maureen O'Connor at The Atlantic. Maybe she's just looking for traffic or a neat framework for presenting some of the jokes from last night's big show, but how can you judge how sexist the jokes are when only the jokes about women are taken out of context? What was said about men?

I know there was a big song-and-dance number naming lots of actresses and the movies where they bared their breasts, but what was said about male nakedness? All of those women chose to display their boobs — to use the word in the song lyrics (which you can read at the link above (video here)) — and they got whatever admiration or career advancement they got. Having taken the advantages offered — perhaps including ousting some other actress with more modesty or less impressive attributes — they're not immune from jokes at their expense.

We make fun of men all the time. It would be sexist to have a rule that you can only make fun of men. So, were there jokes about male genitalia? But male actors don't normally go waggling their willies around in big Hollywood pictures, so it's hard to say what the parallelism would be for "I Saw Your Boobs." (It looks funny to write "male actors," but "actors" is used these days for both sexes. Maybe we could use "mactors" or — I know, it's taken — "malefactors.")

Now, it might have been impolite or in bad taste to call out the names of actresses who were there, proudly seated at this ritual of self-celebration, and to sing out "I saw your boobs" at particular individuals, right when they wanted everyone to think they were such goddesses, in their lovely ball gowns, which were quite possibly designed to make a special show of the very boobage that the song was about.

But that's not the topic of sexism. That's the topic of whether you want the Oscars host to display respect and reverence to the assembled dignitaries or would you rather have some broad comedy that might appeal to the big TV audience? It's a question of taste and a desire to maximize the size of the audience, which was the same question that led to the baring of the boobs in the first place.

ADDED:  I don't really think Maureen O'Connor cares about sexism one way or the other. If she really thought McFarlane's jokes deserved condemnation, she wouldn't have written "are we spoiled by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Golden Globes?" — which is also a joke about boobs. I'd condemn that joke for being so stale.

Who was the first person to equate "Golden Globes" and actresses' breasts? The Golden Globes were first presented in January 1944, so I'm betting the joke goes back to 1943. We needed some sexy laughs back in 1943. I'll bet just about anything you might say about breasts was either sexy or funny or both back in 1943. But today? It's hard to say something new. Maureen O'Connor doesn't seem to know how to say something new. McFarlane did. Gasping about how that might have been sexist is really incredibly dull. One thing that actually makes some people sexist is the unwillingness of (some!) women to laugh at themselves. Come on. Laugh at women. Laugh at men. We all deserve it.

85 comments:

Scott M said...

There's really no equivalent to "showing the boobs". Women seem to get as twitterpated over seeing an A-lister man's ass because I suppose it rarely happens.

I can't see that it's sexist. There's simply no parallel and that's down to biology. Seems like there's another burning issue in which, due to simple biological differences we men are told "because, shut up".

bridgecross said...

"assembled dignitaries" Heh.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's show biz, right?

I think that answers the question. Show biz is about entertaining people. Who gives a damn about sexism, except when the principal or the boss sentences you to Diversity Training?

Fuck the principal! Fuck the boss!

I give you credit for the "waggling their willies" bit. Must have been a million short lived bands out there named "One Eyed Willy."

SteveR said...

Seth McFarlane was pretty boring. Reminded me of Norm McDonald on SNL, who was doing it on purpose

Shouting Thomas said...

Does Jennifer Aniston ever show her tits?

Aniston is the dullest, blandest off the rack standard dirty blond white woman to ever be a movie star. Jesus, is she homely!

She can act a bit. She was good in Office Space.

Tibore said...

"Sexist" misses the point. Part of Macfarlane's brand of comedy is to get a reaction of discomfort from someone in the audience - including Maureen O'Connor - and put that out for comedic consumption. By bringing up the charge of sexism, she's falling right into the ridicule trap Macfarlane is setting up.

I'm just amazed that she seems oblivious to that.

MadisonMan said...

Didn't watch. Not inclined to read some ginned-up manufactured outrage.

I think this is an excellent example of her having to write about something, and there's a deadline, and she needs clicks.

Was she writing it topless?

Darrell said...

The song I submitted--They Suck From The Cock Of Socialism--is not sexist in the least.

Surfed said...

Watching the Oscar's? Reading about the Oscar's? Life at my age is short and brain cells are not being replaced. Why would I ever want to kill off more by subjecting myself to an Hollywood award show?

Colonel Angus said...

We make fun of men all the time.

Of course. Just look at tv commercials where unless its a Dodge truck commercial, men are always depicted as idiots.

dreams said...

I like Jennifer Aniston's looks but she is showing her age, which is the only advantage we men have on women.

EDH said...

...but what was said about male nakedness?

"I guess I just had my first taste of the filthy side of this business."

Salamandyr said...

If women did not want eye candy in their movies just as much as men, Channing Tatum wouldn't have a career.

dreams said...

I've noticed that women treat George Clooney like a sex object.

AJ Lynch said...

Sexist? Jeez according to the librul womyn at the Atlantic, I guess the last 50 years never really happened and we are still in the 60's.

AllenS said...

I know there was a big song-and-dance number naming lots of actresses and the movies where they bared their breasts,

Would it be too much to ask for some pictures?

AJ Lynch said...

I find it funny that McFarland, a guy who produces pretty lowbrow & crappy cartoons, was picked to host the Oscars. Of course, he is an atheist so I bet that gets him a bunch of brownie points on the Left Coast.

madAsHell said...

I read the article, and discovered that Channing Tatum had been an exotic dancer.

Wow! I wonder what an exotic dancer turned movie star looks like??

Imagine my surprise.....Channing Tatum is a guy!!

chickelit said...

AllenS asked: Would it be too much to ask for some pictures?

The song lyrics provide a list of films for googling.

Meade said...

"Gasping about how that might have been sexist is really incredibly dull. One thing that actually makes some people sexist is the unwillingness of (some!) women to laugh at themselves. Come on. Laugh at women. Laugh at men. We all deserve it."

Hey, I was one of the first to laugh at Jessica Valenti with Bill Clinton... and got called sexist for it. Which was funny. And I deserved it.

Surfed said...

Proposal - A Constitutional Amendment - Separation of Hollywood and State.

Colonel Angus said...

I like Jennifer Aniston's looks but she is showing her age, which is the only advantage we men have on women.

If that's showing your age at 44,.most women should be so lucky.

Bob R said...

The phrase "malefactors of great wealth" is one of my favorite pieces of political invective. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

SGT Ted said...

The critic, Maureen O'Connor, is a moron.

Seths "boobs" song was spot on and nailed the contradictions of art and nudity.

The Hollywood types go on and on about the "art", trying to paint nudity as highbrow, but they still are just showing their tits on film to everybody. And it works because people, mostly men, want to see the tits of hot actresses and will pay good money to do so.

Making fun of an aspect of Hollywood that involves the visual exploitation of hot women and their breasteses isn't sexist, its accurate.

The Best Supporting Actress winnar thought he was hilarious.

virgil xenophon said...

@Col Angus/

"...STRAIGHT WHITE are always depicted as idiots."

There, FIFY

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: I know there was a big song-and-dance number naming lots of actresses and the movies where they bared their breasts, but what was said about male nakedness?

Wasn't there lots of giggling about that scene in "Room With A View" where the guys all ran around wagging willies?

SGT Ted said...

Biology is so sexist.

Lyssa said...

I didn't watch the Oscars, but I'm a fan of Seth McFarland's work in general (yes, I know it's horrible, but it's funny, IMO). It is generally pretty sexist and misogynistic. It's also pretty misandristic (is that the proper adjective for "misandry"?), relying heavily on the "dad's a doofus" stereotype. It's also often shockingly offensive with regards to religious and ethnic jokes, and a recent episode of American Dad featured one character smothering a baby to death.

It's really just all around pretty hateful stuff. It's funny, but it is what it is. Why he was chosen to host the Oscars, I have no idea.

Ann Althouse said...

"I find it funny that McFarland, a guy who produces pretty lowbrow & crappy cartoons..."

The "Boobs" number seemed like something that would work in cartoon form.

I believe the whole Oscars show had a "musicals" theme.

I don't watch "The Family Guy" but I'm familiar with the way musical numbers are done on "South Park" (and "The Simpsons").

I'm guessing that was something of the idea.

McFarlane is also nice-looking and has an excellent voice. He makes a good announcer.

JohnBoy said...

I guess all of those actresses who 1) showed their boobs, and 2) participated in the song and dance about showing their boobs were really just showing us the repression inherent in the patriarchal system?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yet another reason that I'm glad we don't watch the Oscars. Besides the fact that none of the movies are worth watching until they come out on Netflix streaming or DVD, the Oscars, as an entertainment show, really sucks.

We watched the last episode in Season 2 of Dowton Abby, an old episode of Firefly [series we didn't watch when it was on] and Antiques Roadshow. Much better entertainment value....AND we didn't have to sit and be insulted by a bunch of overpaid nincompoops.

Lyssa said...

The only one of those jokes that struck me as sexist was the one about Zero Dark Thirty. The joke about George Clooney was making fun of Clooney, not the girl actress. If anything, it was anti-male (assuming that you accept that an offense on Clooney is an offense on all males, the way that the article apparently assumes that we should accept than an offense on the Kardashians or Rhianna is an offense on all females).

Colonel Angus said...

Exactly how many of these self congratulatory award shows for the celebrity set are there?

Astro said...

I guess somebody is wearing her 'easily offended' bonnet today.

Lyssa said...

Vigil X said: @Col Angus/

"...STRAIGHT WHITE are always depicted as idiots."


To be fair, on "The Cleveland Show" (another Seth McFarland work) the black father is depicted as just as much of an idiot as any other dad in pop culture.

SGT Ted said...

Col Angus,

Richard Gere revealed in a post-Oscar interview that there are 18 of them.

dreams said...

"If that's showing your age at 44,.most women should be so lucky."

I think most women and men including me would agree.

Leland said...

Anybody that didn't expect McFarlane to make sexist jokes at the Oscars apparently did not watch Ted. The Oscars got exactly what they paid to have. If any actress felt uncomfortable with the comments, I offer two points of advice:
1) Keep your shirt on in front of the cameras.
2) Fail to accomplish step one, then don't be surprised if someone notices, as that is why you took your shirt off in front of the camera.

I like Family Guy too. It's a guilty pleasure, but I'm not sure why it should be. I guess it is so wrong to laugh at ourselves. I guess humility is no longer the virtue it once was.

Astro said...

I watched part of a travel documentary on satellite instead of the oscars. I think the title was 'SI Swimsuit 2013'. It included an homage to SI featuring 5 swimsuit issue covers recreated in body paint. That bit of nostalgia was very touching.

traditionalguy said...

Roger and Hammerstein wrote songs for a musical about Mitchner's stories of love in a time of war that opens with a happy peon to the structure of Dames being missing in the South Pacific.

Men mostly fight for the structure and feminine personage of Dames.

Being sexist was normal until it was slandered by the Women's Studies Industrial Complex.

Old RPM Daddy said...

@The Professor: "But male actors don't normally go waggling their willies around in big Hollywood pictures ..."

For which we can be profoundly grateful. On the other hand, my wife always looked forward to Richard Gere movies on the reasonably good chance she'd get to view his bare behind.

Bob Boyd said...

'How to be a thoughtful, relevant and socially aware journalist without really trying.'
By Maureen O'Connor

Ann Althouse said...

"I guess all of those actresses who 1) showed their boobs, and 2) participated in the song and dance about showing their boobs were really just showing us the repression inherent in the patriarchal system?"

It was an all-male dance routine and the punchline of the whole song was "Ladies and gentlemen, the gay men's chorus of Los Angeles."

Think about how that affects the interpretation of everything.

Ann Althouse said...

The women who were being named and taunted were sitting in the audience waiting to be celebrated... and they were celebrated in a way they weren't expecting.

Chuck Currie said...

Every aspersion Hollywood casts upon conservative America, is a reflection of the industry they work in, and the life they live.

These are very sad, unhappy people pretending the golden age never ended.

Cheers

edutcher said...

It's less about sexist (and sexist is mostly about giving feminists something about which to whine; feminists are the sexist things on the planet) than about keeping the ratings afloat.

Same reason Moochelle was there.

Nobody cares otherwise.

Ann Althouse said...

I'll bet just about anything you might say about breasts was either sexy or funny or both back in 1943. But today? It's hard to say something new.

Same was true in '18, or '63, or '76.

They probably had the same problem when all the boys went off to Troy.

Salamandyr said...

If women did not want eye candy in their movies just as much as men, Channing Tatum wouldn't have a career.

If women did not want to be eye candy in their movies just as much as men, Channing Tatum wouldn't have a career.

FIFY

Ann Althouse said...

"Hey, I was one of the first to laugh at Jessica Valenti with Bill Clinton... and got called sexist for it. Which was funny. And I deserved it."

That was back in '06. I would love to have the opportunity today to replay that whole sequence of pushbacks coming from Clinton-supporters. Even though you might go back to that now and think I was pretty tough and knew how to double down, I did not have a thick enough skin and I still believed that persuasive interaction could prove transformative.

I'd love a do-over! Knowing what I know now, I would be so much stronger, funnier, and hardcore.

EMD said...

Richard Gere revealed in a post-Oscar interview that there are 18 of them.

Ted Cruz was right!

Sorry, wrong thread.

Ann Althouse said...

""Hey, I was one of the first to laugh..."

Maybe if all that crazy shit hadn't happened, I'd never have gotten together with Meade.

Who knows what would have happened down the road not taken?

Chuck Currie said...

There are more willies on parade than you think. Just watched Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in the mostly blah "Wanderlust" and there was a willie on display - no, not Paul's. Also, David Duchovny was on display in "Goats" and, if not his, then certainly others in "Californication".

HBO and Showtime seem to be willie central - Rome, Game of Thrones, Shameless, Henry VII to name a few.

Cheers

Shouting Thomas said...

I did not say that Jennifer Aniston was showing her age. I said she's a homely duck. She was always a homely duck.

Dullest, most homely movie star ever.

She does a good acting job when her character is the standard, boring white woman who's been over-praised since grade school for just being average.

There are so many of these women, and they are so self-absorbed that Aniston will never be out of work. Dull, homely white women can't seem go get enough sucking up about how fascinating they are. See Sex and the City.

Patrick said...

I'd love a do-over! Knowing what I know now, I would be so much stronger, funnier, and hardcore.

What the hell, why not give it a shot?

rhhardin said...

Not laughing is feminism.

Chuck Currie said...

Maybe next year Ellen will host and do the same routine but change it to "I saw your junk"

Cheers

rhhardin said...

The singular of boob is bob.

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

I did not say that Jennifer Aniston was showing her age. I said she's a homely duck. She was always a homely duck.

Dullest, most homely movie star ever.


You forgot Katherine Hepburn.

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe next year Ellen will host and do the same routine but change it to "I saw your junk""

I rarely go to the movies anymore, but are they showing male frontal nudity now? I remember Harvey Keitel in "The Piano." Have we seen anyone else?

I don't think we want to see that. What are the chances the best-looking malefactors have great-looking genitalia worthy of prideful display?

Scott M said...

Have we seen anyone else?

Doctor Manhattan. I agree and so does Elaine Benes...it's "bad naked".

Chuck Currie said...

Every idiot dad portrayed on TV is just another version of Ralph Kramden and Edward "Ed" Lillywhite Norton, and the smart, wisecracking wives are Alice and Trixie. Same characters, different actors.

Cheers

rhhardin said...

Imus questioned why porn movie stars are called porn movie stars in the news.

Aren't they at best actresses?

And aren't all women actresses?

Said Imus, hoping his wife wasn't listening.

The same could be said of any movie star.

I have no idea what any of them are famous for or what they look like, except that they all look the same.

Chuck Currie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Gee said...

Have we seen anyone else?

Oliver Reed and Alan Bates in Women in Love. And on the DVD commentary track, the producer says neither one was willing to do until assured the other did not out-willie him. Hilarious accout of Oliver Reed sweating off 25 pounds in a steam box to do the scene, too.

rhhardin said...

Maybe all women being actresses is why women watch movies, or notice boobs, namely to pick up tips.

There's no tips to be had from penises, so no audience for it.

Guys will watch female junk the same as they'll watch porn, from inborn wiring.

So boobs it is, for audience.

virgil xenophon said...

Lyssa@9:46/

That's the sort of closely argued Jesuit-like thinking utilized by a band of brigands, accused of kidnapping and killing three men and a dog, as if in refutation triumphantly produce the dog alive..

Chuck Currie said...

"...but are they showing male frontal nudity now?" See my list above.

And, not only frontal, but low camera angle, legs spread, junk dangling, glad it's not a cold day, nice bum, rear views.

No need to go out, it's all on TV now.

Cheers

Titus said...

I love Seth and think he is very talented.

I also love Family Guy-I enjoy as raunchy as it can get.

Ted was fucking hilarious.

I liked that some of the women were in the audience when he sang, "you showed your tits". Get over it you "actresses". He hit upon Kate Winslet for showing them all the time but he forgot Hellen Mirren who never stops showing them in movies.

I wish they would now focus on showing the vagines more. We have seen your tits-now let's get to the cooches.

Meade said...

The real Titus was much funnier than this new imposter. The real Titus always signed off with...

*tits*

Meade said...

"There's no tips to be had from penises, so no audience for it."

Not true, according to a mohel friend of mine.

Shouting Thomas said...

What did the leper say to the prostitute?

A: You can keep the tip!

Basta! said...

Craig Parker, who's good-looking, in Spartacus, season 2. Full frontal, and not just a flash-by.

"What are the chances the best-looking malefactors have great-looking genitalia worthy of prideful display?"

This was worthy. The word horse comes to mind.

"I wish they would now focus on showing the vagines more."

Viva Bianca, who plays his wife, gives a full-frontal in season 1. A gen-u-ine blond. But if you're talking a spread vulva closeup, I don't think you're gonna find that outside of porn.

William said...

A word of recognition and respect for Keira Knightley. Despite being relatively flat chested, she appears topless in many movies. This is an actress who is faithful to her art. Compare her with Scarlett Johannson. A topless lesbo makeout scene with Penelope Cruz would have advanced the aesthetic that Woody Allen was striving for in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but no so such luck. In none of her films does she get topless. If she wanted to be modest, she should have beome a Carmelite nun instead of an actress.

caplight45 said...

It is hard to be concerned about a charge of sexism when so many millions are made off of those breasts being exposed on film.

Tibore said...

"What are the chances the best-looking malefactors have great-looking genitalia worthy of prideful display?"

Someone I know was sharing her discomfort with her mom waxing eloquent about Jamie Fox's, er... junk in Django Unchained, so that may count. At least to this one woman.

EMD said...

Hollywood is sexist.

Discuss.

SOJO said...

This is way too long a post to plow though just for some boob point.

Alex said...

Thank god for Jennifer Lawrence. An injection of youthful hotness with a head on her shoulders!

Will Cate said...

I thought the song was Monty Python-esque. Clever, bouncy and risque. People who are having a hissy fit over it need to grow a sense of humor.

Unknown said...

Have loved Jennifer Lawrence since "Winter's Bone." Jennifer Lawrence meets Jack Nicholson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJmhsJ5T5L0


JL clearly has brothers.

Titus said...

The women at those functions wear dresses that are just a frame for their tits. Tits on a Platter.

All their dresses say is look at my tits.

They need to get over it.

dreams said...

Our local sweet KY girl won.

"Louisville’s sweet little neighborhood of Indian Hills received some wonderful news this week. First, local girl Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for Best Actress. And, as if to place icing on the cake, Indian Hills was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best American suburbs in which to live."

dreams said...

News about Jennifer and her hometown.

http://www.louisville.com/content/jennifer-lawrence-and-indian-hills-both-rated-best

Nomennovum said...

Somehow, I am reminded of the joke:

Q: How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: That's not funny!

jr565 said...

IF you watch tv you'll see an awful lot of penis. OZ was known for showing naked dudes, as is Spartacus.

jr565 said...

Movies I'm trying to think -
I remember a movie with Michael Pitt where they show a closeup of his dong. Don't remember the movie, it was some arty french type movie with three people in an affair being all arty and trendy on the eve of revolution (maybe it was Italian).
I believe they also show the women actress's bush in that movie.

And then of course Forgetting Sarah marshall has Jason Shwarz dislaying his dong.

Trying to remember if there are any other recent examples.

mariner said...

sexist - adj. Something some self-righteous bitch doesn't like.