your daily dose of gender rage

Cat Valente (yuki_onna) is on a roll at the moment, first with a splendid jab at the gendering of deodorant marketing (men get Science! women get Squishy Feelings!), and then with a right hook that takes down Super Bowl commercials.

Pretty much all I have to say is, right on. This is why I hate watching TV as it airs; this is why I stay away from sitcoms and comedic movies in general. Because they present me with this awful, appalling world of Bitchy Women and Immature Men and How They’ll Never Understand One Another, and then they ask me to find it funny. And not only do I not find it funny, I don’t want to. I look at the world they’re trying to sell me, and I hate it.

0 Responses to “your daily dose of gender rage”

  1. janni

    Because they present me with this awful, appalling world of Bitchy Women and Immature Men and How They’ll Never Understand One Another, and then they ask me to find it funny. And not only do I not find it funny, I don’t want to. I look at the world they’re trying to sell me, and I hate it.

    Yes, yes, yes, so very much yes.

    • janni

      Also, if one more person tells me the perfectly ordinary, sensible, considerate, well-meaning, decently-listening, interested-in-many-things men I know are rare exceptions to what Most Men are like–and that such behavior can’t possibly be expected of the male population at large–if they’re lucky, they’ll merely get far more of an earful than they were planning on.

      • Marie Brennan

        It makes me grateful I missed the whole “dating scene” thing entirely — too many people’s expectations seem to be informed by the movies, which warp reality beyond all recognition.

        • janni

          If you want to get really mad, there’s this so-called dating advice linked to.

          Apparently, requiring that a potential life partner read is asking too much of him.

  2. d_c_m

    Oh sweet Universe you are so writing what I have been thinking. Thank you!!!!

    I HATE romance novels and romantic comedies for the exact same reasons you just wrote.


    • Marie Brennan

      I wouldn’t tar romance novels with that particular brush — though I’m not a reader in the genre, what I’ve picked up from those who are leads me to believe the hero of any given book tends to be the one guy who isn’t a nine-year-old in a grown man’s body. But for some reason the movie iteration of the genre seems to love that idea.

      • d_c_m


        In my opinion heroes of romance novels are pushy bastards, but that is my take on it.

        And movie romantic comedies are just, well, not worth my time. In fact, they usually make my teeth grind together.

        • Marie Brennan

          I’m told the pushy bastard/alpha hero thing is not as popular as it used to be back in the day. (Old-skool romances, you’re dead on.)

  3. london_setterby

    The Superbowl commercials really offended me this year. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who thought so, actually. Two things sprang immediately to mind about that if I may: 1) Even if the Superbowl *is* watched mainly by men, we as a society do not need to pander to men by putting down women (helloo!!); and 2) most of the women I know do watch the Superbowl, actually. I suspect that women are a far bigger proportion of viewers than advertisers realize. I wish they would get their heads out of their asses.


    • Marie Brennan

      It almost certainly isn’t that they don’t realize women watch. That would be an easy problem to solve. But unfortunately, it’s a lot of factors, including men generally having more disposible income (and therefore being better targets), and women being more accustomed to adapting themselves to things aimed at men than vice versa.

  4. vegan_vulcan

    It used to be at least the personal-care products at the health food store were gender-neutral (ok, slightly feminine, but far less so than the Walgreens stuff, and nothing about emotions or other, uh, “girly” stuff), but I noticed a few years or so ago organic companies started jumping on the “MAN STUFF FOR DUDES” bandwagon, as well. There’s a couple of brands in grey and black boxes and it annoys me, because practically every organic company has unscented or not-gendered-feminine scents (lime, pine, as opposed to, I dunno, lavender). I’m sure they’re just trying to make a buck convincing dudes that it’s not “gay” and/or feminine to buy your deodorant/aftershave/cologne/soap from the HFS, but I find it absurd and patronizing. Unfortunately, given that these brands have been around for a while, it doesn’t seem like customers feel the same.

  5. ailaes

    This, and so many other reasons, is why I’m glad I don’t live in the ‘Mainstream’ of our society.

    Give me the paranormal, supernatural, crime, documentary, etc. shows I like (even though some storylines are way off base but I can forgive them in most cases).

    Ugh. Makes me kind of glad I don’t have TV right now. This kind of crap annoys the hell out of me.

    Also? Stupid comedy is not funny. Give me British humor any day.

    • Marie Brennan

      I finally figured out the categories of comedy I don’t like:

      1) Gross-out humour.

      2) Humor that depends on people being too stupid to breathe.

      3) Humor that depends on someone being humiliated.

      4) Physical comedy, with the occasional exception.

      Unfortunately, that’s most modern American comedy right there. Verbal wit is sadly rare.

  6. cloudshaper2k

    See, this right here is why I stopped watching sitcoms so long ago and one of the biggest reasons we don’t have cable or satellite. (Not to mention they’re both expensive and we’d only be watching three or four channels anyway. Besides, the shows we really want to watch get released to DVD or on the web anyway.)

    There’s a reason I point out these stereotypes to the kids in my Sunday School class. The universal response I’ve gotten from all the kids is they neither want to be like the men and women in these shows nor do they want the other sex to turn into those people.

    I wonder what the odds of putting together an intelligent sit-com and actually getting it on the air are . . . hmm, to heck with that – might as well go The Guild route and maintain creative control.

    • Marie Brennan

      Didn’t there used to be intelligent sitcoms? Like Frasier?

      • kurayami_hime

        I point you to How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Psych, and the older, but excellent Sports Night. Good sitcoms exist, but they are drowned in the sea of bad ones. And the sea is bigger for comedies because they’re only half an hour. There are plenty of bad dramas (I am looking at you, CSI: Miami), but as those are an hour long, the bad doesn’t feel as overwhelming.

        • Marie Brennan

          Point granted. 30 Rock (the only one of those I’ve seen) may not be to my taste, but not because it’s promoting horrible gender relations. And yeah, the greater numbers of comedies probably has something to do with the general impression of suckitude.

          But at least dramas, however bad, aren’t asking me to laugh at the appalling scenario they present. Also, their advertised source of entertainment is usually something other than how men are immature and women are bitchy and the two of them together are even worse, even if that’s a side effect of the actual plot.

  7. Anonymous

    Your hate will make you powerful.

    . . . I was going to make my usual *wink wink* sexist joke like I normally do when you write posts like this, ’cause I know you know I’m joking, but I got nothin’.

    About the only time I watch commercial TV anymore is on Thursdays when I watch Supernatural with a friend from work. Most of the commercials are so stupid that we tend to just make fun of them. Watching the show is kind of like a ten or fifteen minute segment of the show, followed by us making fun of the commercials for four or five minutes or whatever. I find it’s the easiest way to cope with them instead of the just letting their screwed up social outlook piss me off ’cause then I’ll just be angry and not able to enjoy the show.

    Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I was as stupid, and aggressive, and “manly” as main stream media tells me I should be. . . I imagine I’d be a far less interesting person.


    • Marie Brennan

      Even Supernatural I watch on delay, because I’m watching it with and ; ergo, no commercials. Some nights we watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, but then we mute the TV during breaks. And the ads Hulu uses have, in general, not been so bad. For which I am grateful.

      Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I was as stupid, and aggressive, and “manly” as main stream media tells me I should be. . . I imagine I’d be a far less interesting person.

      I would not like you very much. So, y’know, don’t do that. 🙂

  8. celestineangel

    Is it bad that all I can think about is my favorite commercial ever for the Blackberry flip phone? Because it’s a man and a woman and they’re both snarky and funny and wonderful? “My butt just hung up on you. Sorry.”

    • Marie Brennan

      Haven’t seen that one, but the quote makes me smile, which is more than most commercials manage. 🙂

      • celestineangel

        It’s two very lovely people having the perfect snarky conversation about the benefits of a flip phone over a non-flip phone. Sitting on a flip phone will not cause your butt to dial someone.

        YouTube is awesome: BlackBerry Butt Commercial


  9. slashmarks

    Oh, gods, *yes.* Thank you for posting this.

    You don’t know me — I’m a fan of your writing. I’ve been lurking on your journal for a while, finally decided to say hello.

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