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Delectable damsels scattered all over the place
November 29, 2007 10:05 AM   Subscribe

"Hello, and welcome to Mainly For Men (part 1, part 2). And, as the title implies, this is a programme, fellas, just for you." Yes, everything the BBC thought the red-blooded male back in the late 1960s would be interested in (ie women, cars and shark fishing). The result was so hideous it was never broadcast until a TV Hell themed night many years later. Possibly NSFW... some brief nudity ('artistic', naturally) and mild swearing. And rampant mind-blowing sexism.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (85 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is hilarious. The shots of statue breasts (from Venus de Milo, who nevertheless "too plump"). The comparisons of women to cars. The "art angles" to break up the talking head bits. The "Ideal Woman" song, illustrated by a woman in a maid outfit perkily dusting Her Man's Chair.

Yes.
posted by DU at 10:20 AM on November 29, 2007


"She doesn't cook like mum, of course, because men are the best cooks."

Priceless.
posted by The White Hat at 10:24 AM on November 29, 2007


MANY THANKS!
posted by schmedeman at 10:25 AM on November 29, 2007


Watching that was not easy.
posted by nola at 10:26 AM on November 29, 2007


Hey thanks, you gave me a seizure.
posted by Mister_A at 10:28 AM on November 29, 2007


This is completely awesome. And by awesome, I mean bad. But not good bad, bad bad.

The Youtube poster compares it to Monty Python, and that's apt. Except it's not funny. Except it is.

And oh, that song. Someone cover it in Mefi Music, stat!
posted by the dief at 10:33 AM on November 29, 2007


How is this different from the Man Show?
posted by found missing at 10:34 AM on November 29, 2007


They're British.
posted by yhbc at 10:47 AM on November 29, 2007


Plus ça change...
posted by Zinger at 11:02 AM on November 29, 2007


Seriously, the Britishness 70% of the awesomeness here. "What do I look for in a woman? Tits. Yes, quite. *taps pipe*"
posted by DU at 11:03 AM on November 29, 2007


omg, the many flavors of 60's hipsters' sexism. The blokes wanted the dollies to be more like a fellow, to pick the dollies clothes, for the dollies to be just intelligent enough to be entertaining after the sex act, not tweaky like Ferraris.

Gruellingly demeaning, all spoken about quite pleasantly, in educated tones. ugh. They were looking for chicken parts, lumps of pretty meat, like cuts of prime in a butcher shop with an orifice attached.

Thanks for that disturbing look into the past, heavily laced with hilarity.

The add ons for the mini car were entertaining. The bladder that shifted the mirror in dealing with drivers with dazzling headlights and loved the Many Thanks sign. Can only imagine the vocab if that were in use today! Road Rageaholics with windshield signage to match!

Fun, if mind bending find fearfulsymmetry (wonderful username). Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 11:14 AM on November 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


About David Bailey, whose comments I felt were the most despicable. He did, imo, the most damage of the four interviewees with his pseudo-modern brand of sexist misogyny. His false innovation was actually a social set-back,advancing pathological narcissism in the world at large with his icons in the cult of personality. He trophy-ized unusually tall 11 year old boys' bodies with little breasts, touted a few anorexics (whose proportions are unlike 99.9...% of the rest of the females on the planet).

The world is full of run of the mill lotharios like him, that's no big deal, it's that he caused more misery in the world with his type of images, which are devoid of compassion, well wishing or authentic humanity.

One of his many, obviously codependent, wives, after being told by Mick Jagger's wife that Bailey was cheating on her:

After popping down to see my rabbits - Bailey had bought me two, which used to hop around his former dining-room - I'd put one or two of their doo-doos in his bowl of peanuts.

"How were your peanuts, Bailey?" I'd ask, clearing away the empty bowl.

"Delicious, thanks."

posted by nickyskye at 11:58 AM on November 29, 2007


Clearly, I need to take up shark fishing.
posted by briank at 12:47 PM on November 29, 2007


And oh, that song. Someone cover it in Mefi Music, stat!

Agreed. The chorus was brilliant - musically and lyrically.
posted by meech at 12:54 PM on November 29, 2007


That...statue...had...naked....

*runs to take cold shower*
posted by telstar at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2007


"I want you to look very oriental"
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on November 29, 2007


George Best had a really cute accent. (Yes, men can be objectified, too.)

I liked him - his bit about the clothes wasn't sexist - he was saying that he would like to take an interest in her clothes, and he would like her take an interest in what he wore. He was obviously just interested in fashion. My husband is a frustrated fashion-designer-wanna-be, so I understand this.
posted by jb at 3:27 PM on November 29, 2007


Having watched further - wow, is this nerdy. They are trying to be all hip, all manly, but it's so slow. And the host's accent and manner - it's David Niven, or Leslie Howard when he's the foppish Pimpernel. Sure, both were attractive in their own weedy, cute way (I wanted to marry Leslie Howard when I was 12), but not exactly manly men.
posted by jb at 3:43 PM on November 29, 2007


Is the announcer doing Kegels?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:45 PM on November 29, 2007


This was an absolutely terrific post and truly entertaining.


(...but it was a horribly ungroovy salute to 1969. What total plonkers.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 4:46 PM on November 29, 2007


How is this different from the Man Show?
They're British.

and the Man Show was occasionally funny.
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on November 29, 2007


his bit about the clothes wasn't sexist

In light of nothing being spoken about the females being more than appearance and body parts, in his case very long legs, clothes, no make-up and capable of keeping up with him, rather than anything to do with character or personhood, yeah, I think what he said was sexist.
posted by nickyskye at 6:05 PM on November 29, 2007


Awesome videos. Missed the sexist bit, though. What mm:ss does it happen?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:28 PM on November 29, 2007


In light of nothing being spoken about the females being more than appearance and body parts, in his case very long legs, clothes, no make-up and capable of keeping up with him, rather than anything to do with character or personhood, yeah, I think what he said was sexist.

And women aren't unrealistic when describing ideal men? Not read many romance novels, have you? I keep waiting to find one about a cute, short guy with a bit of a pot belly but a wonderful sense of humour - but no, they are all tall, lean and handsome. Funny-looking guys only get women in things written by men. Women write about handsome men.

Best talked about appearance yes, but saying he'd like an active woman who could keep up with him, and that he doesn't like make-up isn't sexist. He has to kiss her, so he gets a say on what chemicals are on her face. In fact, nothing about clothes or make-up is about what a woman looks like, but about what she does. Yes, he said he liked women with long legs. We all have certain tastes. He then went on to describe her behaviour.

This show can be made fun of for being
a) dorky
b) slow and boring
c) reminding me more of National Geographic than of Maxim

But as an unreconstructed tomboy and someone who is very sensitive to the pidgeon-holing of women, I didn't find it that sexist. I did find the second commentator funny (David Bailey, I think) - he was describing a very attractive woman, while being rather funny looking and strange himself. I was thinking, "And what do you have to offer this ideal woman...?" Of course, I was objectifying him by his appearance and manner.
posted by jb at 5:47 AM on November 30, 2007


"But as an unreconstructed tomboy and someone who is very sensitive to the pidgeon-holing of women, I didn't find it that sexist."

jb,
Honestly, I cannot see any justification whatsoever for your comment!

(Obviously, I'm not sitting on the fence here.)

I often think I'm appallingly lenient about sexism, as a woman. I tend to like guy humor, I have teenage boys, I work with a lot of men, when I was a newspaper journalist I was often a winking "enabler' of boyzone stuff - just to make life easier for myself.

And "Mainly For Men'" struck me as charmlessly depressing. Even revolting.

In fact I thought even poor George Best seemed to be wondering why anyone was interested in his fatuous comments - while Bailey was hardly bothering to hide some sort of profound contempt for our gender.

But I'm still glad the clip exists.

Even though I'm startled that anyone would argue about it being sexist!

I honestly thought it was something even the most unreconstructed nitwit today would watch - and think "wow, I guess the crazy feminists way back then did have a point!"
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:44 AM on November 30, 2007


I honestly thought it was something even the most unreconstructed nitwit today would watch - and think "wow, I guess the crazy feminists way back then did have a point!"

Yes, Jody Tresidder, my thoughts exactly. And I also am glad the clips exist.

And women aren't unrealistic when describing ideal men?

1) The post was about the show, so I commented about the videos referenced in the post.

2) Women tend to talk about men, in my experience, as being people with bodies, not just bodies with their personhood in the shadows. The most typical comments I heard from women about men in the late 60's, approximately the age of the men in the videos, were statements like, "He's cute, he's such a sweet guy." Yes, women might say, "Oooh, he's got a lovely hairy chest, soo sexy." but almost always included something about the guy as a 3 dimensional human being, not just meat cuts. And certainly, if it were commenting about an ideal man, I don't know women who would simply refer to male body parts, their clothes or their capacity to exist only in the women's narcissistic frame of reference.
posted by nickyskye at 10:27 AM on November 30, 2007


There was absolutely a reason for feminism - and it's all clear in the recent post about the "Ladies against Feminism" why feminism was the best thing to happen to women in the 20th century.

I just think this is a weak and flimsy target - it's just not terribly sexist. The song was probably the worst bit (artistically as well, I fast-forwarded through that bit).

In addition to rather mild expressions on basic attractiveness, they said things like (paraphrasing, since it was so boring I don't want to watch again)

"I have to be attracted to her mind"
"She has to be able to keep up with me"
"she shouldn't be too high maintenance"

how are these judgements based solely on the body? They are about mind, behaviour and attitude. The men didn't talk about women as "just bodies with their personhood in the shadows", and it's unfair to project to project this onto them.

I don't remember all the bits said by Bailey, because I was getting really bored at that point - but bored, not offended. When I was watching the video from the Ladies against Feminism all about how women should stay at home until marriage, learn to see their fathers as protectors, etc, that got me offended.

yes, Best expressed a preference for long legs -- and frankly, why shouldn't he? Why is this sexist? So many women tell me that they would never date a man who was shorter than they were - some wouldn't even date a man about their own height. Men face constant judgement from women based on their appearance, just as women do from men.

Frankly, since sexism is discrimination on the basis of sex*, it's sexist to hold men to a higher standard than women are held to.

*Best's preference for long legs is "long-legism".
posted by jb at 12:17 PM on November 30, 2007


Ok jb, now methocically going over the video to quote in detail why the comments are sexist:

Video 1: at 3 and 15 seconds images of naked female bodies mixed with an image of a car and at 16 seconds the image of a disembodied female mannequin hand. In light of the show being called Mostly For Men, it would seem that naked female bodies, car body and disembodied hand are of the same value in being entertaining for men.

at 45 seconds: Delectable damsels scattered all over the place implying females were things, confetti, decorations to be scattered

55 seconds: Venus de Milo, a little bit plump for me...1 minute in: ideal woman-wise she's not my cup of tea referring to her plumpness, the implication being that ideal women = physical bodies, nothing else

1:35: I have to feel that somebody would be interesting, you know, one has to talk afterwards.. said with a smirk and meaning that the women's intelligence is basically only to provide him with something to talk about in the time after sex.

2:00 Some women physically are marvelous when they're long tall and skinny and others with big tits, I mean there are different types of women...types meaning to him body part sizes.

2:10 An ideal woman is like an ideal car, there's no such thing as an ideal car...again the implication is that a female is like a commodity to own like a car, an appliance to use, a bunch of parts, inhuman.

2:20 an ideal woman should be like a fellow

2:23 the more tweaky they are the more liable they're to go wrong, like Ferraris
...the implication being that women are like machines, inhuman, and the simpler they are the more convenient to him

2:29 an ideal woman should go along with you...meaning not disagree, have her own opinions or be contradictory

2:33 camera zooms in on marble torso breasts

2:30 to 3:10 George Best is the least sexist of the bunch in framing his tastes as "the most beautiful girls". His entire focus is on appearances only however, no discussion of any kind about character, integrity, intelligence or anything other than body parts, needing to keep up with clothing fashions and his need for her not to wear make-up.

However, at 3:10 he says all in all she's gonna lead a hectic life and all in all she's gonna have to be really something, meaning keeping up with his life, not her own life. It's just about his needs, the female is to be there for external appearance satisfaction and only to keep up with his life.

3:22 When you're out everybody turns around and looks at her and you're very proud...a trophy on the arm to be touted as a possession

3:25 and yet when you're at home she's just like dear old mum...she doesn't cook like mum of course because men are the best cooks...interesting Freudian slip there. Either the trophy on his arm is a man or it's a put down of his mum as well as the trophy on his arm being inadequate as a cook.

3:35 without their make-up and hair pieces I don't suppose they would be an ideal woman, they'd all be plain and simple and as attractive as most of us men
... it sounds like he's more attracted physically to men and that the only thing he gets out of an attractive women walking with him is the attention bestowed on him by other men.

There is no mention at any time in the entire show, in the topic of women's roles in relation to men of friendship, intimacy, love, mutuality or commitment on the part of any of the men or any kind of relationship at all, just objects or services performed. Their ideal females are a commodities, body parts to be used either sexually or to garner attention from other men.

It's one thing to like body parts but ONLY body parts, ONLY to be used is grossly sexist.
posted by nickyskye at 1:38 PM on November 30, 2007


*Mainly For Men, not mostly and in a couple of places typed women, when I meant woman
posted by nickyskye at 1:45 PM on November 30, 2007


jb,

We are so far apart on our reactions to the show, I feel my sense of humor slipping out the door and running down the street on its long, shapely legs!

All I can say is that I couldn't ever even remotely fancy a guy who watched it while nodding pleasantly at how charming and "retro" it all was...not even if he looked like Paul Newman stripped to his shorts in his Cool Hand Luke days!

(I watched this again just the other night. Yummy!).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2007


Nickyskye,

Superb.

My own last comment (didn't preview) now looks incredibly wet.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:04 PM on November 30, 2007


Jody Tresidder, thanks. And no, your comment doesn't look remotely wet. Please. Wish I'd spelled "methocically" correctly at least, lol, rolling my eyes at the many typos, yoiks. Think I was extra cross-eyed going back and forth from video to comment to document second by second (making excuses for my long history of typos).

For the record I love a good many men. :) And not only for their delectable body parts, should they happen to have any, or any one part of their entity as humans but most frequently for what I am able to experience of their entirety. And some of those men I'm also sexually attracted to.

Recently a woman I once knew as a 15 year old girl, 39 years ago, contacted me and we talked about a boy we both knew back then, in 1969 as it happens. He was a classic hipster type, like David Bailey in the video and just as misogynistic it turned out.

I'd forgotten so many male hipsters of yore were so sexist, while appearing so modern externally and the video of this show is such exquisite evidence of something I preferred not to remember. Now, watching the video, am interested to understand that it wasn't just the old fogey, corporate types back then, in their suits and conservatism who objectified women so nonchalantly but the hip looking guys too, the trend pioneers of photography, fashion and music who also felt that way about women. In addition to that it was going to be packaged by the venerable BBC, sold as culturally acceptable, along with shark fishing and car accessories.
posted by nickyskye at 3:32 PM on November 30, 2007


[video] 3:22 When you're out everybody turns around and looks at her and you're very proud... [nickyskye] "a trophy on the arm to be touted as a possession"

Yes, it must be sexism that would cause a man to say that he'd be proud to have a gorgeous female companion. Not egoism or conceit or esteem.

Those who focus on sexism will inevitably find it because, let's face it, sex is the very foundation of life.

To think that it is necessarily a bad thing is to not give it much thought at all.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:35 PM on November 30, 2007


"Those who focus on sexism will inevitably find it because, let's face it, sex is the very foundation of life."



Jeepers, five fresh fish.

You need a kipper tie to go with your 1969 outfit?

Sexism is about gender here.

And, funnily enough, there was precious little about sex in the show anyway - the focus seemed to be on furtively looking at birds.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 4:05 PM on November 30, 2007


Yes, it must be sexism that would cause a man to say that he'd be proud to have a gorgeous female companion. Not egoism or conceit or esteem.

When that is the only thing mentioned about his connection with a woman, apart from her being an inadequate cook like his mum, lol, looking like a man without the hair pieces..yeah, it adds up to sexism.

Egoism and conceit and sexism.

sex is the very foundation of life

Sex and sexism are two different things. One essential, the other not.
posted by nickyskye at 4:21 PM on November 30, 2007


Wow. I'd rather assumed five fresh fish was joking.
posted by Artw at 4:26 PM on November 30, 2007


My first message was joking. The second, not so much: I don't see the sexism or offensiveness of feeling "proud" of one's partner's looks.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:42 PM on November 30, 2007


Oh fer God's sake five fresh fish, no one is saying it's not okay to be proud of one's partner's looks.

It's that the guys in the video described "an ideal woman" only in terms of an external embellishment or function of convenience for them.

This isn't about you feeling proud of your wife's looks when you go out with her. It's fine to feel proud about anyone's looks but when that is the only thing one values as defining "an ideal woman" it ends up being so limited that it's sexist. The sexism link I posted above should have gone to this simple definition.
posted by nickyskye at 11:10 PM on November 30, 2007


George Best had a really cute accent. (Yes, men can be objectified, too.)

A compliment or liking an aspect of another's physical presence is not an objectification.

Objectification is focusing only on the other's physical parts or as if their entirety were not as important as merely one or another of their physical qualities which depersonalizes them.
posted by nickyskye at 11:48 PM on November 30, 2007


I didn't say the show wasn't sexist - just that watching it after reading the comments here, I found it suprisingly not that sexist. I have seen far worse on recent tv.

And I really think that you are reading them too harshly -- you are taking every comment in the worst possible light. Yes, they did talk about physical attributes. Men are visually attracted to women. But Best clearly said he was interested in women's clothes and would like an ideal woman to take an interest in his own - meaning he had an interest in fashion, and not only would like to have a say in what she wore, but have her have a say in what he wore. The bit about make-up I assumed was his pointing out that either he didn't like the taste/smell/feel of it - or maybe he just didn't like the fact that women felt pressured by society to wear makeup to improve their physical appearance. But you took his preference for natural beauty - something women have been trying to promote - as an objectification.

There is recognising blatant sexism, and then there is demanding that men be perfect. It was a show for men - and on shows for women, they talk about hunks and reduce them to just body parts. Would you be up in arms if women were talking about how they love a tall man? A dark and handsome man? They've just reduced him to his body parts - his leg bones, his hair, his face. You claim that women always respect men as people as well as for being attractive - well, that is a blatant lie. Tom Cruise didn't become a heartthrob for his personality. In other words, he has been depersonalised into his body parts.

Sexism is about seeing women as inferior, about discriminating against them by reason of their sex. The comment about how the best cooks are men was sexist, though not as over the top sexist as the whole restaurant industry that would claim women can't cook at all. It's not about being physically attracted to women and expressing preferences in that attraction.

As for being far apart on the issue - well, if you don't talk to people who disagree with you, then you may just find yourself becoming more and more extreme, without any balance.

Men and women must first and foremost come to respect each other as people - I wouldn't say these men were there yet, far from it. But not as far as people said they were, and also the judgemental attitude towards men shown in this thread is itself a form of sexism.
posted by jb at 7:54 AM on December 1, 2007


Looking back on it now George comments come over, imho, as a bit creepy in that it sounds like he just wants a doll to dress up. However, I seem to remember reading at the time, that he had a genuine interest in fashion, and actually opened a boutique at one point. Probably he was a lot less sexist that the average footballer then (and now). Though things undoubtedly went to pot latter in his life when the boozing turned him to an embarrassing wreck (I can't find a video clip of his infamous 'I like screwing, Terry' interview back in the 80s)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:44 AM on December 1, 2007


"The bit about make-up I assumed was [George Best] pointing out that either he didn't like the taste/smell/feel of it - or maybe he just didn't like the fact that women felt pressured by society to wear makeup to improve their physical appearance..."

JB,
I've always had a trivial soft spot for Best. I often used to see him in the 1990s - chatting to adoring men and women with his great ruined charm still visible - at a pub inside King's Cross Station in London on my way home from work.

But I think it's a stretch to rummage through his comments in the show - from the then 23-year-old football icon - for evidence of feminist philosophy!

And no one in this thread has defined "sexism" as merely :"about being physically attracted to women and expressing preferences in that attraction."

Be fair!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:10 AM on December 1, 2007


"What's wrong with being sexy?"
"Sexist, Nigel! Sexist!"
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:10 AM on December 1, 2007


"What's wrong with being sexy?"
"Sexist, Nigel! Sexist!"


Don't know quite who you're quoting there, or whether it's all meant to be super ironic, fearfulsymmetry

But I shouldn't imagine it's William Blake?

You know, your "fearful symmetry" guy? Famous chap who was a staunch defender of sexual equality? Hated sexist assumptions? Great mate of the early feminist Mary Wollstonecroft?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:19 AM on December 1, 2007


It's fine to feel proud about anyone's looks but when that is the only thing one values as defining "an ideal woman" it ends up being so limited that it's sexist.

On the basis of five seconds of video clip, you're going to tar him as sexist.

[rolls eyes]
posted by five fresh fish at 12:21 PM on December 1, 2007


"On the basis of five seconds of video clip, you're going to tar him as sexist."

Seriously, five fresh fish.

You're saying they left all the bits that corrected this unambiguous impression that fits young Georgie Best's very public persona on the cutting room floor?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:43 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Seriously, Jody Tresidder.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:48 PM on December 1, 2007


Now this? Sexist, and harmfully so.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:28 PM on December 1, 2007


fff, the tarring of George Best as a rampant sexist was done by many, over decades.

The TV interviews, newspaper articles, after-dinner speeches and innumerable biographies that become the mainstay of Best’s career after football were full of celebrations of the most self-indulgent and sexist behaviour.


He was a drunk, a women abuser, a sexist pig.


reported physical abuse of his wife Alex in 2004

1, 2, 3, 4...for starters.
posted by nickyskye at 3:43 PM on December 1, 2007


Besides, fff, you're playing at being deliberately obtuse.

I've repeatedly said it isn't any single comment taken out of context, it's the accumulation of comments by each of the men interviewed, only referring to physical appearances of women as being what they consider ideal, as their value.

What are you not getting about my having said that? *Only* talking about physical appearances as "the ideal woman" is a sexist way of looking at women. Do you really not comprehend that? Is that the way you see women, as just body parts or as a sexual service, ego gratification provider for men, not sharing the species in any equal way?

If it is, then I learned something about you I didn't know before.

And it's not just the men interviewed who are expressing sexism, it's the intent of the producers of the show as well, it's the whole package.
posted by nickyskye at 3:53 PM on December 1, 2007


The show as sexist, yes, of course. Naturally.

My disagreement is that you pull this quote out about some guy wanting to be "proud" of the woman he's seen with, and characterise that as sexist thinking.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:07 PM on December 1, 2007


fff, I pulled out all the quotes of the 4 interviewees, which could be characterized *together* as sexist.

This Gavin guy in the video actually doesn't say he's proud of her looks, he says "When you're out everybody turns around and looks at her and you're very proud". He's getting off the attention HE'S getting from her and being the object of envy of other men's ogling her body. He doesn't say he's personally proud of her body.
posted by nickyskye at 4:07 AM on December 2, 2007


The show as sexist, yes, of course. Naturally.

Hello, the obvious.

And, fff, in case you hadn't noticed the yard of quotations I pulled out of all the interviewees, not just singling out one guy, one quote, targeting a single statement. You seem to be obsessing about that single quotation as if I took it out of context, which I didn't. So please stop repeatedly mischaracterizing what I've said.
posted by nickyskye at 5:12 AM on December 2, 2007


I think you make the mistake of wanting to find sexism in what they're saying.

I think that is a mistake people make all the time: judging and categorising people based on sound bites instead of their actual behaviour and deeds.

A fifteen-word soundbite does not a sexist make. It wasn't until you brought biographical information to the table that it became reasonable to make such a severe judgement.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:08 AM on December 2, 2007


A fifteen-word soundbite does not a sexist make.

It certainly makes, though, for a fifteen-word soundbite sexist statement, five fresh fish.



Or are you arguing that fifteen words is below the minimum required for forming any judgment whatsoever about anything said by anyone at all in any context?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:40 AM on December 2, 2007


I'm simply saying that one shouldn't make snap accusations of sexism. Doing so harms society just as much as being sexist.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:19 AM on December 2, 2007


fff, in case you hadn't read the tags relating to this post, sexism is one of them. The only person in this thread who differed in that obvious point, is you.

judging and categorising people based on sound bites instead of their actual behaviour and deeds.

A fifteen-word soundbite does not a sexist make. It wasn't until you brought biographical information to the table that it became reasonable to make such a severe judgement.


fff, the judgment is that the show and what the men said are sexist. What George Best did in physically abusing his wife was criminal. The judge passed the judgment on him.

If the numerous comments made in those sound bites for each of the men add up to being sexist, then yes, sexist is a reasonable deduction.

The entire show, when it referred to women, and not shark fishing or cars, was a package of sexism - which is transparently obvious and each of the sound bites was part of that communication. How do you think sexism works, only with a cudgel or a megaphone? It arises out of a mind-set from which those kinds of comments are made, an ACCUMULATION of comments, a pattern of thinking.

wanting to find sexism in what they're saying

omg, fff, LOL, are you nuts?

snap accusations of sexism

Who made any snap decision of sexism? If any snap decisioning it was your misreading and then your obsessing over a quotation you took out of context. There was little need by what was said in the video to provide further evidence that any of the men interviewed were sexist.

If that's all they could say about women as being ideal, it was easy to deduce they were sexist. Sure enough, with a small bit of googling they proved themselves to be backward thinking about women and a couple staggeringly so, written about as such and at length. David Bailey and George Best have been the worst offenders. Paul Jones became a televangelist and hooked up with hard Right Christian movers and shakers as the 700 Club and we all know what free thinkers about women they are.

Gavin Robinson's comments indicated to me that he was, imo, closeted and how he saw "an ideal woman" more indicative of a man who sexually preferred men or to be seen with a woman, to get off on the attention it received from other men.

Any of the men, who said those remarks, could have evolved into freer thinkers as they aged. The sixties were an interesting time, some people evolved, some didn't. Three out of the four interviewed, based on Googling them, didn't.
posted by nickyskye at 3:28 PM on December 2, 2007


Gavin Robinson's comments indicated to me that he was, imo, closeted and how he saw "an ideal woman" more indicative of a man who sexually preferred men or to be seen with a woman, to get off on the attention it received from other men.

As a fifteen-word soundbite, this sure sounds like a sexist statement to me.

The production was sexist. There were choices made in scripting and editing that were clearly sexist. Sexists were definitely behind the scenes.

When you bring in additional information on how the interviewees lived their lives, yes, I wholly agree: they walked the talk. They were sexist men.

It wasn't Faux News.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:19 PM on December 2, 2007


As a fifteen-word soundbite

Yet again, playing obtuse. Don't know how many times it takes to tell you that the men's accumulated statements are what make what they said sexist, in light of their describing/defining "an ideal woman".

Gavin Robinson' said more than 15 words, (you're welcome to count the words if you're so inclined). the statements of his I referred to and my comments, AGAIN:

3:22 When you're out everybody turns around and looks at her and you're very proud...a trophy on the arm to be touted as a possession
[he never said he was proud of her, but that he was proud that other's noticed her]

3:25 and yet when you're at home she's just like dear old mum...she doesn't cook like mum of course because men are the best cooks...interesting Freudian slip there. Either the trophy on his arm is a man or it's a put down of his mum as well as the trophy on his arm being inadequate as a cook.

3:35 without their make-up and hair pieces I don't suppose they would be an ideal woman, they'd all be plain and simple and as attractive as most of us men
... it sounds like he's more attracted physically to men and that the only thing he gets out of an attractive women walking with him is the attention bestowed on him by other men.
posted by nickyskye at 5:23 PM on December 2, 2007


The man has the ego of the famous: he wants to be proud of the appearance of the lady he is with when they're out on the town.

His momma has probably spoilt him all his life, so naturally the ideal woman would do the same. Momma's attacks on innocent foodstuffs wasn't a problem until he became wealthy and started eating out at the best chef's restaurants. Now he knows there's better than bangers and mash.

And he recognizes that without all the glam and sham, his idealized girl is underneath it all probably just as plain as the girl down the street or his own ordinary self.

I don't see where you get a shedload of sexist out of that let alone a closeted-homosexual vibe.

Me, I get "dullard momma's boy" out of it.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:49 PM on December 2, 2007


Wow, five fresh fish.

So - in the end - it's his mother's fault?

"Me, I get "dullard momma's boy" out of it."

If you don't see the irony of where you defensively place the blame in a thread about sexism!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 5:16 AM on December 3, 2007


Well said JT.

This morning I woke up thinking to tell fff, that sexism is not necessarily a comment taken out of context, although certain comments can be said to be sexist. Sexism is a pattern, a mind-set, a way of thinking. As racism is. And it is first discernible through comments, such as the ones spoke by the men in the videos.

The men in the video were asked to define "an ideal woman" and what they said was only about a woman's looks, body parts or what use she could be to the man as a service. Nothing was mentioned as an equal, as 50% of the planet, such as being friends, being in a relationship either as partner, relative or co-worker, nor any mutual emotional connection valued.

They repeatedly said only things about externals, as if an ideal woman is only body parts or utility.

Seeing women only as body parts or as to provide a service to men is a sexist mindset. A pattern of thinking, such a sexism, usually repeats itself and has a kind of momentum, which over time tends to worsen.

Once a human being is categorized only as their physical, external utility, it is typical in the history of human beings that those being objectified get increasingly hurt. so it was no surprise to me that David Bailey and George Best became known over time as abusers of women, betrayers, violent or that John Paul became part of the no-equal rights for women Christian televangelist clan.

Perceiving others as a utility only can take any number of expressions. Those who denigrated Africans, used and perceived them as a utility only, later felt entitled to hang a slave who was "uppity", wanted their freedom. And if they were not hanged, chained etc.

That mindset perceiving others as utility only was also, pre-Dicken's time Child Welfare Laws, used on children.

It's a mind set used not only on women but in any number of ways, to objectify others. It may start out seeming minor but ends up becoming increasingly oppressive and less benevolent over time, with the end result often quite intolerable or even deadly for those being objectified.
posted by nickyskye at 9:46 AM on December 3, 2007


Can we get more shovels airlifted in?
posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2007


ArtW, lol
posted by nickyskye at 11:17 AM on December 3, 2007


Well said, JT?! WTF? Only if one wishes to lay blame on the mother, instead of the kid for not eventually growing up.

Sexism is a pattern, a mind-set, a way of thinking.

Good god, is this not what I've been saying? That you can't judge whether someone is sexist on the basis of a soundbite: that it's what they do that counts in the end.

They repeatedly said only things about externals...

No, the producer and film editor selected only things about externals.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:42 PM on December 3, 2007


What started me off on this is that on the basis of a soundbite in which some dude claims to be "proud" to have an attractive dame on his arm, you condemned him as sexist.

It bothers me greatly that you might attach a highly offensive label to the guy on the basis of a soundbite. I believe one should get a little more evidence before casually flinging that term around.

You eventually provided some biographical information that convinces me that a couple of the interviewees are, indeed, sexist pigs. And maybe you knew all that biographical stuff before you condemned them, I dunno: you didn't say at the time.

I am still flabbergasted that you think Gavin's remarks are sexist and indicate repressed homosexuality. They seem pretty innocuous to me, as I described above.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:06 PM on December 3, 2007


***Munches popcorn***
posted by Artw at 7:28 PM on December 3, 2007


Five fresh fish,


One of the standard definitions of sexism (from Nickyskye's links above) is: "Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender."

Just checking you're cool with that definition?

Fine.

In your most recent comment, you say: "What started me off on this is that on the basis of a soundbite in which some dude claims to be "proud" to have an attractive dame on his arm, you condemned him as sexist. It bothers me greatly that you might attach a highly offensive label to the guy on the basis of a soundbite. I believe one should get a little more evidence before casually flinging that term around."

Doesn't that quoted definition of sexism specifically permit applying the label to an "attitude'' which "promote[s] stereotyping"?.

And isn't a "soundbite" reasonable evidence for "attitude"?

What further proof do you require?

Is any person who makes a sexist statement further required to be filmed gleefully using, say, the vagina pencil sharpener you linked previously while waving his arms around shouting "I am 100% sexist and there is no difference between this vagina pencil sharpener and all women on earth" before you admit he might not, on balance, be best buddy material?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 5:47 AM on December 4, 2007


I guess it all depends on how many people you wish to hate, Jody.

Have fun with that.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:47 AM on December 4, 2007


"I guess it all depends on how many people you wish to hate, Jody."


I think that's rather a rude comment, five fresh fish.

At the very least, it's discourteous and unfair since I've tried hard in this thread to be especially aware this appears to be an emotional subject for you.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:08 AM on December 4, 2007


Yes, I thought it might come down to fff devolving into an ad hominem attack, projecting hatred onto anyone who points out sexism. Based on his comments in this thread, I think he is stuck in his mindset or, at the very least, very defensive about it.

Fascinating to observe his thinking that to point out sexism is hateful, when, in fact, the person doing the hating is the sexist.

Sometimes a soundbite is more than enough needed to know a person is stereotyping. A single word may be enough, which is often the case in racism, sizeism or homophobia.

No, I didn't know that Bailey and Best devolved, nor that Paul Jones had become a Conservative Right Christian televangelist. But what they said was typical of sexists and, in my experience, sexists get worse over time.
posted by nickyskye at 11:16 AM on December 4, 2007


Well, Jody, I think it's rather rude to label people on the basis of next to no knowledge of their lives whatsoever. Especially when that label is intended to tar the person as someone who is filled with hate for others.

Hope you don't make any mistakes in labeling others on the basis of a single word, Nicky. Especially when that word was selected by someone in the cutting room.

And with that, I'm done.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:46 PM on December 4, 2007


Is there some way we can link the [NOT SEXIST] argument up with the [NOT RACIST] argument over here?
posted by Artw at 10:49 PM on December 4, 2007


Is there some way we can link the [NOT SEXIST] argument up with the [NOT RACIST] argument...

Artw,
That's a spot on link - talk about identical twin arguments!

It shows it doesn't matter what the particular subject is - you just use the same techniques to refuse to budge from the position you held in the first place.


Thanks!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 4:50 AM on December 5, 2007


Jody Tresidder - Thanks!
posted by Artw at 9:22 AM on December 5, 2007


Jody Tresidder writes "And isn't a 'soundbite' reasonable evidence for 'attitude'?

"What further proof do you require?"


I haven't watched the video, so I have no pony in this race, but since FFF hasn't addressed this question, I'm going to say that, based on my reading of what he's saying, his position is that, probably, no, a soundbite is not reasonable evidence for attitude.

Jody Tresidder writes "It shows it doesn't matter what the particular subject is - you just use the same techniques to refuse to budge from the position you held in the first place."

The neutral "I don't have enough information to know" position? Yeah, shocker. Someone who doesn't have enough information to make a judgement, when presented with information that they consider insufficient to make a judgement, sticks to the position that they don't have enough information to make a judgement.

On the one hand, it's incredibly stubborn. On the other hand, it's a rare case where being stubborn and refusing to judge someone in either direction is a worse choice than making a snap judgement of someone based on a small amount of information. It does happen, of course. Sometimes a judgement is preferable to saying "I don't know". But for an issue which isn't critical (deciding whether some guy was a wanker 40-some years ago), I don't really see it. Again, I'm talking generally. Haven't seen this video, so perhaps this video does have enough to make a judgement. I'm just talking about the commonalities of the Morrissey thread and this one, where one party is being quick to condemn (possibly with good reason, possibly without), while the other party is being quick to say "I dunno".
posted by Bugbread at 10:01 AM on December 5, 2007


bugbread writes "based on my reading of what he's saying, his position is that, probably, no, a soundbite is not reasonable evidence for attitude."

I should probably be clearer here. Obviously, if we accept that the soundbite is not quoting a third party, or irony, there can be soundbites which are sufficient. If someone says "I hate women.", and he's neither quoting nor being ironic, then in just three words we can determine he's misogynist. However, from what I've read here, the argument isn't that what he's saying is directly sexist, but by only discussing women's appearance, he's showing sexism, because he's treating women exclusively as meat. For a situation where the proof is in what someone's not saying, instead of what they're saying, then fff's position is probably that soundbites aren't reasonable evidence, because the omissions may be on the cutting room floor.
posted by Bugbread at 10:10 AM on December 5, 2007


Bugbread,

Why so shy of viewing the 1969 film yourself?

I say that not to be difficult, but because I came into this thread with no doubt at all that here was a quaintly sexist show, unapologetically dishing up enough period sexism to make even the most gung-ho modern boyzone brigade member snort with half-embarrassed amusement into his beer!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:00 AM on December 5, 2007


Jody Tresidder writes "Why so shy of viewing the 1969 film yourself?"

Well, honestly, because I'm not too interested in this particular film (I just came to the thread because of the crossposting from the Morrissey thread). However, I am interested in the arguments about whether short clips can be taken as representative of the people who said them. The way movie reviews work ("MovieX is a romping good time, if you're an absolute imbecile" gets quoted as "MovieX is a romping good time..." in the newspaper ads) makes me shy away from the idea that a soundbite is automatically representative of a person's views. It can be, of course, but the only way you'd know is to check out the unbitten parts to see if the bite was representative. What I'm getting from this thread is that the show itself is definitely sexist, but there is some disagreement about whether George Best's comments are enough to determine that he is as well. I find that argument more interesting than the film itself. (And, of course, we know the answer of whether Best is or isn't sexist: his actions outside of the film show that he's sexist.)
posted by Bugbread at 11:09 AM on December 5, 2007


Fair enough, Bugbread.

The reason I thought ArtW's link was terrific, though, is that it points to a glaring difference (as well as similarities) between the two threads.

I can perfectly understand the fierce tribal loyalty to a singer or band - how a wider understanding of what they represent and how they can be selectively misrepresented without context - and how that would impact one's argument.

In this thread, attempts at showing the words complained of are not representative of the speaker have not got very far. We have the full context of the comments - absent all the unknown "contradictory" stuff left curled on the cutting room floor - i.e. this show "Mainly For Men".

Which leaves me wondering whether the fierce tribal loyalty being demonstrated by five fresh fish is more to do with the concept under discussion - the so-called crime of sexism - than anything else.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:33 AM on December 5, 2007


I dunno. FFF has been fine with admitting, multiple times, that Best is a sexist, based on the additional evidence. I don't see this so much as an example of fff exhibiting "fierce, tribal loyalty" so much as just believing that single statements are not enough to make a judgement of sexism. Specifically, fff seems to have a beef with the issue of "When you're out everybody turns around and looks at her and you're very proud" being an automatic indicator of sexism. Nickyskye's support for that is "well, it's a comment about her looks, not anything else", and fff sees that as an editing issue.

I think it may just come down, not so much to fff having some strong views either way on sexism, as much as him having more mistrust than y'all do in television producers.
posted by Bugbread at 11:52 AM on December 5, 2007


I think it may just come down, not so much to fff having some strong views either way on sexism, as much as him having more mistrust than y'all do in television producers.

And if I might add to your explanation, Bugbread, with all the restraint I can possibly manage by sitting on my hands and taking many, many deep breaths...

>only when it suits his particular ridiculous argument!!!!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 12:06 PM on December 5, 2007


I dunno, I don't keep up with individual MeFites that much. Might be true, might not.

(I don't have enough information to make that call. Oh! I said it!)
posted by Bugbread at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2007


I bet Morrissey has one of those pencil sharpeners.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:43 PM on December 5, 2007


bugbread, please do take 5 minutes and check out the first video. The sexism is transparent.

In some cases a simgle word is enough to know if racist, bigoted, sizeist or anti-gay stereotyping are happening, for example, nigger, fatso, kike, wop, dago, faggot.

Stereotyping women has been such an intrinsic part of society that most misogynistic words are spoken routinely. What can be pointed out is more the attitude of women being nothing more than sexual objects or as utilities rather than complete human beings.
posted by nickyskye at 7:49 PM on December 5, 2007


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