The Uncommon Man

April 28, 2006

Masculinity on The Simpsons

I've often wondered - does the TV show, The Simpsons, play up on stereotypes in a way that is thought-provoking and helps viewers deconstruct some of these issues, or is it just using these stereotypes for laughs? I haven't decided, yet - at times it seems like both.

Below, two pieces look at stereotypes about feminism in a particular Simpsons episode.

via Real Men Are Not - Masculinity, Patriarchy, and Stereotypes About Feminism in The Simpsons

Posted by Russell at April 28, 2006 01:20 PM


I just saw an old episode of "That 70's Show" today and the main character Eric and his girlfriend Donna were making out/messing around on some campground a few yards away from a group of women who were holding a "Take back the night" rally.

Somehow between Eric and Donna, Donna's long hair gets caught under Eric's arm and she says "ow, ow, you're hurting me. Eric stop!" The women hear this and chase Eric, strip him naked, and write "PIG" on his forehead. He then tells his parents that it was a group of "angry feminists" who did it to him.

So long story short, this is the same old shtick that comes at the expense of feminism and the brutal reality of sexual violence: rape and sexual assaults are just overblown and misunderstood by women...and when it looks like it is, it isn't.

I see this time and time again with jokes about racism too. King of Queens, for one, consistently has jokes in which the white couple's words or actions are taken out of completely ridiculous context..and they offend their black friends or coworkers...all the while the audience cues in on the laughter that they've just been misunderstood and that they're really not racist and people of color are just always "playing the race card."

Posted by: Luke Lee at April 30, 2006 03:12 AM

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