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While CBC alienates the women hockey fans
May 24, 2012 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso run While the Men Watch, a website that offers "alternative commentary" for women during major sporting events. Now Hockey Night in Canada has joined forces by offering a special While the Men Watch broadcast during all Stanley Cup Final games. Some people are not impressed.
posted by barnoley (51 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now hopefully they'll come out with one of these for people whose SOs make them sit though Chopped and House Hunters marathons.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:42 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


God damn, I was sure that website was sarcasm or parody or something, but it tuns out it's real. This scares me tremendously.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:50 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know, there's definitely a market for sports commentary that isn't delivered by sports commentators. I wish every sports broadcast could have the options of:

- A second set of commentators with a hugely different style or perspective.

- shutting the commentators off while keeping the crowd noise. I particularly want this for tennis and hockey, but the crowd noise is a crucial part of any sporting event. Commentators, not so much.

- some sort of intro-to-the-game channel, telling people who just got here why this game, played by these people, is important, and for what reasons. A "what the hell just happened here" explanation now and then when things get hairy would be a great, great way to make televised sports more accessible.

There's lots of opportunities for improvement in this area - and can't digital TV deliver all this multi-audio-channel stuff to you already, if we just flip the right switches? - but this is some patronizing bullshit, right here.
posted by mhoye at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


some sort of intro-to-the-game channel, telling people who just got here why this game, played by these people, is important, and for what reasons. A "what the hell just happened here" explanation now and then when things get hairy would be a great, great way to make televised sports more accessible.

I feel like MLB does this a lot for Baseball, depending on who the announcers are of course. I’ve often wondered if it’s a deliberate plan to get people to be less intimidated by a game that seems more confusing than it is, like Craps.
posted by bongo_x at 7:00 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


shutting the commentators off while keeping the crowd noise.

This x 1e9. I'd even pay extra for an option that let me zap the commentators with a bolt of electricity.
posted by DU at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


That website is a treasure trove of awfulness.

There's an article about what excuses for why his team lost says about him? It's like Cosmo if Cosmo were lazy in addition to being terrible.

This article is about ways to improve baseball that is 2/5 fashion related and begins with an entry that is basically "Math is hard"? Note that basically none of it actually relates to the playing of baseball beyond the suggestion to add a time clock which seems to want to turn baseball into three hours of cricket which even cricket fans would admit is dumb.

Honestly, this article that's just a collection of Jeremy Lin inspired sex puns (CunniLINgus, LINgerie, Don't get a LINfection) is actually above average for their blog entries.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:11 AM on May 24, 2012


DU, I can't favorite your comment enough. How much extra to make them explode?

I don't need "alternative commentary", thanks. I understand the sports I follow just fine. And there won't be any "sex games for hockey season", either. I'm too busy dragging my husband to actual games and explaining "No, honey, really, the idea is to get the puck into the net, and kill as many of the other guys as you can on the way."

(Seriously, what the fuck? "OK, girls, we can't have our boys pay attention to that icky hockey game! Let's use our bodies to distract them, and let them know that we are merely their playthings!" UGH.)
posted by MissySedai at 7:16 AM on May 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


I appreciate Sexy Manly Athletic Thighs as much as anyone, but it's kind of hilarious that they assume that the alluring thing about hockey, a blood sport played wearing ninety pounds of lusty plastic padding and accompanied by the smack of flesh and teeth, is the attractive lad brigade. And socks. Really? Socks?
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:19 AM on May 24, 2012


This is so insulting to me on so many levels - as a female sports fan, as a parent of a daughter.... I really thought we were living in 2012, but apparently not in CBC's world. I even wrote a complaint email to HNIC, which I never do. I mean, my tax dollars are being used for this?
posted by barnoley at 7:19 AM on May 24, 2012


I'd like a version of this aimed at men, tbh
posted by MangyCarface at 7:27 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to get to the point in our societies were some women being stupid doesn't impugn all women.

Women don't have a single voice.
posted by oddman at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


you ever notice how, whenever someone is offering "commentary" or whatever mediation/insulation between you and the content, it is always for some shady fucking purpose

what is with that
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Q: Ken, it’s game day, game 7, final round, for an NHL player, do you advise sex on game day?

Daneyko: (laughing hysterically) I don’t believe in superstitions, to each his own. Absolutely! I think it gives you energy. I don’t buy that you lose your legs, that’s a fallacy.


yes, this is definitely helping my appreciation of the finer points of the sport of hockey, right here
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:36 AM on May 24, 2012


I hate the execution, and the but the idea of alternative commentaries is really interesting to me.

I recently got into a sport after pretty much my whole life ignoring them. (The New York Knicks.) I bought an NBA League Pass, and you don't get to choose which broadcast you're given. So sometimes it's MSG, which is pretty great. Sometimes it's EPSN, which is so-so. Sometimes it's TNT, which is so-so-er. And sometimes you end up with the local broadcast of the other team, which is almost uniformly terrible, hosted by two guys (and they're always guys) who chortle their way through everything as though it's the funniest thing ever.

"I told you, heh heh, that he always turns the ball over!"

"You did, heh heh heh."

"Let me talk about an upcoming tv show over the next minute of play."

So I'd love it if there was a way to hear alternative commentaries during a game, and I'd especially enjoy hearing a woman's perspective, just for a little variety. But these women? Please.

It feels like more and more, there's this kind of retrograde anti-feminism going on where women embrace being vapid twits. I don't know where it's coming from, but I'm ready for it to stop.
posted by Georgina at 7:37 AM on May 24, 2012


Some people are not impressed.

This is orthogonal to the topic, but I'm really annoyed with "reaction" columns that are 75% other peoples' tweets or blogs. Write your own critical review, Vancouver Sun.
posted by desjardins at 7:39 AM on May 24, 2012


I'd like to get to the point in our societies were some women being stupid doesn't impugn all women.

Women don't have a single voice.


I agree, and to be honest I wouldn't be offended if this were just a website. It's the CBC endorsement that bothers me - it's like they're saying they don't value their female fans.
posted by barnoley at 7:49 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


My girlfriend is known to mock my lack of hockey knowledge at times. Kinda dumb rules questions or various bad pronounciations of player names have left my mouth on a few occasions. (We do continue to call the Caps star "overchicken" though, because awesome.)

I find this sort of thing insulting. Doubly so since I am in part paying for this because it's CBC.

I think the basic idea of sports programming or commentary by or directed at non-sports people or new fans of a sport is a good one. But why does it have to be framed as a gendered thing?
posted by utsutsu at 7:51 AM on May 24, 2012


Lets imagine I set up a TV show "While Women Watch" that runs when a love movie or so runs on TV - like "Love Story" or "The Devil wears Prada".

John: "Well she sure has big ones.."
Bob: "hehehehe"
Frank: "Ill do her".

Would mens complain about discrimination against mens that are into love flicks ? Or would again womans complain ? Would they write to CBN ?
posted by elcapitano at 8:00 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


True story: I have never been much of a sports fan, but I'm fluent enough in baseball, football, basketball, etc. that I can watch a game and complain about officials and whatever. Once when I was in college I went to my girlfriend's parents' house in Tennessee for Thanksgiving and was sitting and watching football with her dad (me: extremely nervous, intimidated). The ball was on the 50 almost exactly. I turned to say something to my girlfriend right at the snap and missed the play so I asked her dad what'd just happened.

'They just made ten yards on a rush,' he said.

'That would put them on the 60,' I said. Then, after a beat, I realized what I'd said and my face melted like that Nazi guy in Raiders.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:03 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Write your own critical review, Vancouver Sun.

It's actually better for everyone if the people who work for Sun Media write as little as possible.
posted by mhoye at 8:05 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


So a few years ago my wife casually mentions who had recently won the Grey Cup. My response? "That's great it was a Canadian team!"
posted by ODiV at 8:14 AM on May 24, 2012


It's so laughably clueless to assume women have no interest in sports.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:17 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, there's definitely a market for sports commentary that isn't delivered by sports commentators. I wish every sports broadcast could have the options of:

I'll add my dream commentary, particularly for college football: one unabashed fan of each team and a neutral play-by-play guy. Imagine two guys just whaling on each other (verbally) in the booth for the whole game, pulling out every old jab at each other's school, maligning entire states, dismissing good plays, trumping up reasons that penalties should be reversed... You get the right guys in the booth, and even a Vanderbilt-Ole Miss game could be entertaining.
posted by Etrigan at 8:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The implied undercurrent in the gendered language that theirs might be the only way for women to enjoy spots is kind of problematic, particularly with how marginalized serious female sports fans already are, but WOAH:
Georgina: "It feels like more and more, there's this kind of retrograde anti-feminism going on where women embrace being vapid twits. I don't know where it's coming from, but I'm ready for it to stop."
Because yours is the only acceptable way to be a woman? Oh I see, because women with different tastes in things are vapid twits.

I'm not myself a woman, but I suspect I'd enjoy their commentary a lot more than the current variety or the ramblings of a hockey obsessed partner. Am I also a vapid twit? Or is that just women? I suspect that I'm with a lot of people who watch, or have partners who watch, hockey and have little interests in the player stats beyond those hard sweaty man thighs or team cohesion beyond the hard sweaty man hugs.

This thread disturbs me a lot more than anything related to this broadcast on CBC.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:18 AM on May 24, 2012


A couple years back there was a strike that meant no hockey commentators (CBC generally went on strike?) - the only comment I heard about it was how great watching hockey was without the chatter.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:24 AM on May 24, 2012




Some people are not impressed.

Well, sure, maybe talking about fashion and joking about the silliness of rules is not high art. On the other hand, is talking about men running in circles or banging into each other to "win" a symbolic battle any more impressive?

Don't get me wrong - I like sports now and then, and I understand the majority of the rules. I can follow and engage in a sports related conversation. But I'm a bit bothered that it's considered evidence that a woman is smart if she can do that, and that she's vapid if she decides not to.
posted by mdn at 8:52 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Write your own critical review, Vancouver Sun.

It's actually better for everyone if the people who work for Sun Media write as little as possible


To be clear, the Vancouver Sun's actually the Postmedia broadsheet paper in Vancouver. For reasons unknown, Postmedia also owns the Vancouver Province, which behaves like a Sun Media newspaper, only I believe with slightly less Ezra than the norm.

One of the few things both papers and I and really all of Canada can likely agree on is that the CBC treats "Hockey Night in Canada," its marquee ratings-heavyweight sports program, as if it were a used second truck on the CBC lot, an old clunker you occasionally use to move large items while you wait for the transmission to fail. By comparison to failing to renew the license to its legendary theme song or continuing to employ Don Cherry, this tone-deaf commentary-for-the-ladyfolk thing is actually pretty small potatoes.
posted by gompa at 9:01 AM on May 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Utsutsu, my husband and I also call him Overchicken. And Red Wings #8 will always be AppleTater.
posted by princessmonster at 9:04 AM on May 24, 2012


I'm calling dibs on the North American broadcast rights to The Adventures of Underdog and Overchicken.
posted by Billiken at 9:17 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Deal, but I retain animation rights.
posted by utsutsu at 9:21 AM on May 24, 2012


Oh my flipping gods:

8. Take Frank Shopping

The home plate umpire is basically dressed in a Frankenstein costume – blazer (note the shoulder pads), dress pants, dress shirt and don’t even get us started on the shoes the guy is wearing. Bottom line: no form of wool, nor a leather belt belong in sports. Let’s upgrade Frank with some modern, moisture wicking protective gear.


Those would be the shoes that protect his feet from hurtling baseballs. And he's wearing wicking fabric underneath, I promise you--even I have a large collection of that to umpire at the youth level.

My wife and I met at a baseball game; I'm quite sure she would slap these people given half a chance.
posted by stevis23 at 9:37 AM on May 24, 2012


You know, there's definitely a market for sports commentary that isn't delivered by sports commentators.

I sort of get this through Twitter. I follow a bunch of my baseball team's beat writers, plus a contingent of local sports bloggers. They're talking (tweeting) amongst themselves and commenting on the game. Baseball is slow enough that this works mostly in time with the broadcast. I'm not sure that would work for hockey. It's also really funny, which is nice when lots of things are going wrong for your team.
posted by gladly at 9:38 AM on May 24, 2012


My dream commentary, particularly for college football: one unabashed fan of each team...

SkySports in the UK do exactly that for the football - they have the "FanZone" commentators as an alternative commentary option for Premier League games.

(And now I have to scrub my computer clean for linking to a Murdoch empire website.)

posted by Hobo at 9:43 AM on May 24, 2012


A couple years back there was a strike that meant no hockey commentators (CBC generally went on strike?) - the only comment I heard about it was how great watching hockey was without the chatter.

That would be the 2005 CBC lockout, which actually managed to get a deal just before the hockey season started. Rumour at the time was that getting Hockey Night in Canada on the air was a major factor in the lockout ending.

However, that year, the CBC did air the Canadian Football League without commentary, only stadium noise, and that was well-received, especially by people who were not partigularly CFL fans.

By comparison to failing to renew the license to its legendary theme song or continuing to employ Don Cherry, this tone-deaf commentary-for-the-ladyfolk thing is actually pretty small potatoes.

These days, I mostly watch the hockey on RDS, because I don't have to scramble for the remote at the end of the first period in order to hit the No Fucking Don Cherry In My House button.
posted by frimble at 9:46 AM on May 24, 2012


I watched part of a Rangers-Devils game last week with the Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi feed on. That was an awesome experience; only a few names and occasional English words floating through the chatter. It's exotic, multicultural and although I'm sure the colour guy says something incredibly obvious/stupid on a regular basis, as they all seem to do, you don't notice it.

What occurred to me thinking about this thread was that the NHL just missed an incredible opportunity to roll out some Spanish commentary. While NHL.com has the languages of the major hockey-playing nations on their site, they are the only one of the Big 4 without a Spanish site. (MLB also has Japanese and Korean sites.) There will never be a better time than a Los Angeles vs. Phoenix playoff series to try to gain exposure amongst the hispanohablantes of the southern US, with the exception of a Kings-Panthers final.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:04 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I normally listen to baseball games on the radio since I don't want to pay for cable. And our radio announcers are much better than the TV guys. When one of our games is broadcast over the air on TV (usually Sunday afternoons), I will delay it a bit with the Tivo to sync it up with the radio, and mute the TV.
posted by exogenous at 10:20 AM on May 24, 2012


Blasdelb: Because yours is the only acceptable way to be a woman? Oh I see, because women with different tastes in things are vapid twits.

I'm not sure these women would be offended by my saying they've "embrace[d] being vapid twits", because it seems clear that's exactly what they're doing. The second line of their about page sets their aims quite neatly: "hailed as Sex and the City meets ESPN". Vapidity is their niche, man. And they're riding that niche for all the attention it's worth, all the way to a deal with CBC. Suggesting this site is for women is a misdirection. It's designed to pander to men. And it does it in the most tee hee, sports are haaard, gender essentialist way possible.

Look, I can be shallow as hell about sports. I've talked about who's the prettiest Knick. (Landry Fields, for what it's worth.) I have no high horse to ride in that debate. But this is just so cynical and icky to me in a way that, I don't know, maybe you either feel or you don't. And I don't mean that in some kind of passive-aggressive put-down way. There's lots of things that bother other people that I'm fine with, but this is something that bothers me, and especially so in the larger context of pop culture in the last decade or so and how there seems to be this resurgence in the idea that the best way for a woman to get ahead is to be superficial and downplay her intelligence and pander to men.

In an ideal world, feminism would be about a woman being whoever she wants, and that includes embracing her vapid twitness if she so chooses. But in the real world, we're not at that place yet. We're at the place where things are going backwards in some areas (reproductive rights especially), and at a standstill in others (wage equality, political equality, etc). These women behaving this way isn't helping matters, especially when they're doing so under the guise of speaking for all women. So, yeah, I'm going to be a little crotchety about it.

In other words, it's not that these women are vapid. It's that they're playing at being vapid to get ahead, and they're using some outdated and unpleasant gender stereotypes to do it with. That's way worse, in my opinion.
posted by Georgina at 10:27 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I normally listen to baseball games on the radio since I don't want to pay for cable.

Baseball is oddly well-suited to radio and doing other things while the game plays. It's great for afternoon housecleaning, for instance.

Sadly, my method for doing so (listening to the streams from terrestrial radio stations) was nixed by a combination of MLB blackouts and ultimately not caring enough about baseball to either buy a MLB.com account or hunt down a small local station that accidentally streams baseball games.
posted by frimble at 10:37 AM on May 24, 2012


Lets imagine I set up a TV show "While Women Watch" that runs when a love movie or so runs on TV - like "Love Story" or "The Devil wears Prada".

John: "Well she sure has big ones.."
Bob: "hehehehe"
Frank: "Ill do her".

Would mens complain about discrimination against mens that are into love flicks ? Or would again womans complain ?


It depends. Is your hypothetical program being produced by a public broadcaster that is funded by taxpayers? If it is, yes, I'd probably complain.

If it is being funded by a corporation that isn't funded by my tax money, then I'd probably not care. I'd likely think it was stupid and choose not to watch, but I wouldn't complain.
posted by asnider at 10:58 AM on May 24, 2012


how there seems to be this resurgence in the idea that the best way for a woman to get ahead is to be superficial and downplay her intelligence

seems to me this is not specific to women... apparently a recent contestant on America's got talent was there to show off his ability to get kicked in the nuts (thankfully i only know this due to Joel McHale). There's a lot of dumb stuff out there.

I don't see anything in this that makes it interesting, but it's not because it's anti-sports. It's just poorly done. Someone could do a smart, feminist-ish and generally sports-culture-mocking blog if they wanted, from where I sit.
posted by mdn at 11:03 AM on May 24, 2012


A second set of commentators with a hugely different style or perspective.

The CBC perfected that years ago: Don Cherry vs Ron McLean.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:20 AM on May 24, 2012


Georgina: "I'm not sure these women would be offended by my saying they've "embrace[d] being vapid twits", because it seems clear that's exactly what they're doing. The second line of their about page sets their aims quite neatly: "hailed as Sex and the City meets ESPN". Vapidity is their niche, man. And they're riding that niche for all the attention it's worth, all the way to a deal with CBC. Suggesting this site is for women is a misdirection. It's designed to pander to men. And it does it in the most tee hee, sports are haaard, gender essentialist way possible. "
Feminism is a plural noun, there are many valid ways to do and see the struggle for women's equality. However, the moment a feminism starts insisting on using gendered slurs as accurate descriptors of how some women's expressions of their femininity are somehow worthy of contempt, that should be a big bright red line of not the same team. I'm not a big fan of the gender essentialism in their work either, for one it explicitly shuts me out, but that isn't what you were attacking.

If you are honestly worried about the increasing harm being done to the feminist movement, I'd look to how so many women are being shut out of it by the exact intolerance displayed in your two comments. These women absolutely deserve a place in the tent, and they absolutely should not have to share your values with regards to sports in order to do so. Feminism is about equality for women, not all women appreciating sports in the same way.
Georgina: "There's lots of things that bother other people that I'm fine with, but this is something that bothers me, and especially so in the larger context of pop culture in the last decade or so and how there seems to be this resurgence in the idea that the best way for a woman to get ahead is to be superficial and downplay her intelligence and pander to men."
That you seem to associate their values, skills, and dispositions with superficiality, a lack of intelligence and pandering to men is not their problem.
Georgina: "In an ideal world, feminism would be about a woman being whoever she wants, and that includes embracing her vapid twitness if she so chooses."
I strongly disagree, a woman being whoever she wants is the only thing feminism has ever been about. That includes a world free from misogyny directed only at some women.

Also, for what its worth, I just google image searched Landry Fields and I totally agree.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:26 AM on May 24, 2012


It's so laughably clueless to assume women have no interest in sports.

I agree with this statement, but I would hope CBC would have at least looked into their demographics for HNIC before trying this out. This was a crap idea, but I hope I'm not way off in assuming they had some reason to think that not very many women were watching the NHL playoffs.
posted by Hoopo at 11:39 AM on May 24, 2012


Misogynistic caricaturing of women in sports is, of course, not just a CBC thing: many of the (US) regional Fox Sports channels are now promoting teams of "reporters" called "The Girls" (though their on-screen presence is presumably aimed at the male viewer just as much as the female).

And yeah, this is just the misogyny-laced special case of a broader plague on sports broadcasting: desperately pandering to the casual fans/non-fans while taking the committed fans for granted.
posted by RogerB at 11:49 AM on May 24, 2012


"desperately pandering to the casual fans/non-fans while taking the committed fans for granted."

They take us for granted because they totally can. I'm a committed NBA, Miami Heat, fan, and nothing short of a hospital emergency is going to keep me from watching tonight's game. In the absolute worst-case commentator-scenario (a Hubie Brown, Reggie Miller, Magic Johnson trifecta of suck) , I'd still watch . . . on mute.
posted by oddman at 1:31 PM on May 24, 2012


I wish every sports broadcast could have the options of:

- A second set of commentators with a hugely different style or perspective.


If you've got the right kind of sports package with your cable/satellite service, you can sometimes switch over to the opposing team's coverage of the game for a very different perspective. (this works particularly well if you happen to follow a team that isn't from your home town)

- shutting the commentators off while keeping the crowd noise.

If you've got Dolby Pro-Logic surround sound, you can *kinda* do this. Turn off all of your front speakers and just listen to the surround channel. You will occasionally hear some bleed-over from the announcers, but for the most part it's just ambient stadium sounds.

- some sort of intro-to-the-game channel, telling people who just got here why this game, played by these people, is important, and for what reasons.

Pretty much every single sporting event being broadcast has some kind of 30 minute pre-game show which fulfills exactly the requirements you're describing.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:47 PM on May 24, 2012


So I'd love it if there was a way to hear alternative commentaries during a game, and I'd especially enjoy hearing a woman's perspective, just for a little variety.

There are more female sports presenters over here in the UK, but few commentators. I wonder why that is - because it's seen as a boy's club, because commentating is a particular skill that means those who already have a name for doing it keep getting employed, or because people have got used to the idea of women talking knowledgably about sport but still wouldn't listen to a game where a woman tells them what's going on? (There's the common trope here that women don't understand the offside rule in football, for example.)

What I don't get is the idea of being a games widow, or an anything else widow. It would be great if someone could come up with something that would enable non-sports fans to understand and enjoy games, because the culture around them as well as the rules can be really off-putting if you don't know what's going on but want to see if you enjoy it. But if you don't like games, nobody is forcing you to watch them. Go out for a coffee. Take up woodwork. There's no need to be a martyr, y'know?
posted by mippy at 3:49 AM on May 25, 2012


I had my first feminist argument at age eight. At ten, I told my parents I wanted to be the first female Prime Minister, because I thought it wasn't fair there hadn't been one. By my early teens, I was arguing about double standards (especially the ol' women are sluts/men are studs dichotomy), and have been called a "fem-nazi" and "the PC police" more times than I can count. I say this not to display my Feminist Cred, but to try to express just how incredibly startling it is to have my words called misogynist. I didn't respond last night because I genuinely had no idea what to say.

Today, I went back and re-read the various links in the OP and my comments, to make sure I was seeing what I saw and said what I wanted to say, and I have a couple of follow-up thoughts.

1 :: I stand by my opinion that While the Men Watch is vapid. It's vapid like Cosmo is vapid, like Sex and the City is vapid, like any book or movie where the heroine's life revolves around finding the perfect red-soled shoe is vapid. This seems so straight-up obvious that it surprises me that it's something we're disagreeing on, but okay.

2 :: I don't consider "vapid" a gendered insult. I would agree that "twit" is mildly gendered in everyday use, even though my dictionary widget defines it as "a silly or foolish person" with no gender mention at all.

So could I have chosen a better phrasing? Sure. Does saying these women "embrace being vapid twits" make me some kind of woman-hater? Come on.

3 :: Something I learned way too late in life, as someone who likes to have an opinion about many things, is this: When somebody in a minority group tells you that a public representation of their minority group is bad, listen to them, because you, Georgina? You don't get a vote. So even though I liked Brokeback Mountain, I don't argue with one of my gay male friends when he gets furious about how that movie depicted gay men and gay relationships, because I don't get a vote. When I say that I think Community does a pretty good job with race, I don't argue when one of my Singaporean friends tells me she finds the portrayal of Ben Chang the worst kind of Orientalism, because I don't get a vote. Instead, I ask both of them to tell me more about that.

Nobody would tell my gay friend that he's homophobic for disagreeing with the way Brokeback Mountain depicts gay men. Nobody would tell my Singaporean friend that she's racist for disagreeing with the way Community depicts an Asian man. I similarly reject the idea that because I disagree with the way While the Men Watch depicts women, and say so, my actions are misogynist -- and holy hell do I find that more offensive than anything else in this thread, including possibly While the Men Watch itself.

Blasdelb, though you may not believe me when I say this, we're on the same side. I'm always glad to see people who don't identify as women speaking up for women's rights. But if we have a discussion like this again in another thread, I hope you'll reconsider before pulling out words like misogynist. They're like bringing a bazooka to a slap-fight, and, honestly, my hands are pretty small to begin with. Most people would win a slap fight against me without any added arsenal.
posted by Georgina at 4:02 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is great! I'm going to start listening to it just as soon as I've got this week's episode of "While the Women Cook" put to bed!
posted by Decani at 5:53 AM on May 25, 2012


Well said, Georgina. I agree your initial phrasing could have been a bit better, but honestly.... there's no way I'd call it misogynistic.

And I do see your initial point about it being a bit retro-grade. It's not so much that these women don't like sports - I couldn't care less about that. It's that they still need to create this alternate commentary. If they don't like hockey, then why don't they do something else with their time while their husbands watch the game? No one's forcing them to sit there and watch something they dislike.

And for the record, I would be equally put off my a man providing alternate commentary for something traditionally feminine, like chick flicks. It's because it plays into traditional gender stereotypes, which just seems so tired in this day and age. It's an insult to both men and women.
posted by barnoley at 1:33 PM on May 25, 2012


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