An episode of NCIS last night crystallized something I have been aware of for quite a while. In contemporary media culture, from sitcoms to commercials, it is perfectly ok and even virtuous for men to be scorned and it is perfectly ok for women to be held up both as superior to men and at the same time as perpetual victims who not only can be excused for bad behavior but cheerfully lauded for it.
The Young Hot Guy in the series (as opposed to Old Hot Guy Mark Harmon) is bantering with his Young Competent Woman workmate and we find out that one of his former dates, when she discovered that she was not his only date, --they had no exclusivity arrangment---broke into his apartment and spread dog shit in his clothes closet. He relates this with a weary bemusement; Young Competent Woman laughs and says he got off easy, that she would have shot him.
And we move on to the next scene.
Imagine the scene in reverse...
That's right, you can't.
As they always have, women are allowed to pour drinks on men and slap them and humiliate them and enact all manner of crap --here, literally-- on them and they must be excused? Because they are the Weaker Sex.
But in the PC Wonderland in which we live, they get to retain all the benefits of being the Weaker Sex and we still have to make believe that they are better than their Male Oppressors at everything. The Sci-Fi channel especially creates reams of awful films, really awful films, where an angry but super competent Bitch insults all the men around her and no one complains.
Similar indulgence is offered to POC (people of color) characters on TV, who can complain openly about "your bony white ass" or "white boy" this or that, and we are supposed to say, "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"
What is astonishing is that I assume that the media are still controlled, as they have been for always, by males, and white males.
Wassup wit dat?