EW: Take a Closer Look at Misogyny in Pop Culture
Guest post by Derryl Murphy
The November 9/16, 2012 issue of Entertainment Weekly has a commentary by Keith Staskiewicz titled “Worst Wives Club,” which purports to ask why TV fans have so much hate for the women in their favorite shows. Booing Lori Grimes at NY Comic Con, being happy that Rita on Dexter was killed (“good riddance” is the quote used), and more: examples trotted out also include Betty Draper on Mad Men, Skyler on Breaking Bad, even Carmela Soprano, because wanting your husband to maybe lay off the nasty shit and come home for dinner is apparently the height of bitchiness and you therefore must pay.
-Keith Staskiewicz, “Worst Wives Club” Entertainment Weekly (November 9/16, 2012)
I wrote a letter in response, which is a tad shorter than what you see here, but still covers the same points.
Keith Staskiewicz’s column in the November 9/16 issue really seemed to miss the mark. A quick glance at the web and the news shows how fanboys have treated Anita Sarkeesian after her Tropes vs Women Kickstarter and her comments on misogyny in video games (start here and then move on if you wish). You can also see how members of the atheist and scientific community treated Rebecca Watson after she spoke out against harassment – see her article on Slate for the low down on this and make sure you read the comments to remind yourself just how horrible males (I refuse to use the word men) can be. And of course we can’t ignore how women were viewed by a large segment of people running for office in the latest US election, and how many religions treat women. It seems that misogyny is an equal opportunity blight, and no matter what community one might belong to, there are plenty of reasons offered by other members of that community for us to bow our heads in shame. Is it a surprise that TV fans (male, of course) feel threatened by women who don’t behave exactly as they want? Perhaps it’s time EW looks at how fans of pop culture treat females who tread on their so-called territory. At the very least, I’d be curious to know what their mothers and sisters and maybe even sometimes–unlikely as it would seem to many that people like this would even have them –wives and daughters think about the language they use, the rape fantasies they seem to harbor, the anger that just won’t go away.
Derryl Murphy is the author of the novel Napier’s Bones (CZP) and the new collection Over the Darkened Landscape (Fairwood Press). He lives with his family on the frozen Canadian prairie, and is on Twitter as @derrylm.
Thanks to Derryl for letting me share this. I haven’t read the EW piece (it’s not online yet or I’d link it here), so if you have, chime in and let us know what you think. I think it’s so important that we speak out in whatever way moves us whenever we’re inspired to, and I sincerely hope EW gives some thought to Derryl’s suggestion. ~Rosie