Saturday, March 3, 2012

Women's History Month in the Recent Media

Happy month of empowerment, fellow ladies and warrior goddesses. But before you go reciting a vagina monologue and doing a sister circle, I'm going to go ahead and put up the stankiest contradictions to everything that any suffrage or liberation front fought to let us have. 

A really great example on TV these days of that classic second-wave feminist idealism and ambition is the character of Leslie Barbara Knope on Parks & Recreation, played incomparably by Amy Poehler. She's basically a younger version of Hilary Clinton who's determination and all-consuming hard work at a largely thankless and at times contradictory job as deputy director of a small-town Parks department. What's great about her character is that it doesn't shy away from the vulnerability aspect of a single woman in a man's world, and her penchant for waffles and white wine. 
In the media, particularly in television, for every show like Parks and Recreation (2009 - ), which parody's and satirizes the idea of female empowerment, we have a show like the Real Housewives of... (2006 - ) where they actually call themselves 'evolved and intelligent' when the opposite is clearly true, but it's not even funny at that point, it's just so sad. Let's condense the history really quick. First, we got the vote, then we got equal pay, and then women got to be secretaries of state, but running along side all of those trailblazers were the following lovely, classy, and most lady-like members of the gentler sex that seem to keep us perpetually in second place. Enjoy your free drinks!

Basically what I'm saying is that for every Leslie Knope, there's 10 Taylor Armstrong's. The media is not the best example of woman's fight for equality, particularly reality television. And while public figures like Gabrielle Giffords, Nancy Pelosi, and Michelle Obama are making tremendous strides forwards, pretty girls with big boobs have television ratings to fish for and still ascertain most of our attention.

Below please find a very taught satirization of women's progress by SNL legend and huge female presence in said institution who broke down barriers for the likes of Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, and Maya Rudolph, Cheri Oteri. This is when Monica Lewinsky and the Clinton sex scandal was the major diet in the newspapers. It's actually frightening how foretelling it is considering we now have to deal with people like Dana on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and her 25,000$ sunglasses or Snooki on Jersey Shore, or all of the whiney bitches on Grey's Anatomy, who are all proving that the glory days of strong self-sufficient, ambitious, and independent women is a dream forgotten, and no Beyonce and Sofia Vergara don't count. 

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