More Magazine now alerts us to what they call “Fall’s Worst Trend: Sexist Nostalgia.” Spurred on by the rampant success of Mad Men, the show about a Madison Ave advertising agency at the start of the 60s, TV is now presenting Pan Am, a show about flight attendants, and The Playboy Club, a show about, uh, The Playboy Club.
Like Mad Men, both Pan Am and The Playboy Club are set in the early 60s (1963 and 1961, respectively). While some credit the early 60s as being the beginning of feminism, this is like saying The Dark Ages were the beginning of The Enlightenment. Betty Freidan’s 1963 groundbreaking book, The Feminine Mystique is generally acknowledged as the exact dawn of feminism. But, like any other revolution in societal thought, it takes awhile to catch on. For several years after the Feminine Mystique was published, women were defined more by Betty Crocker than by Betty Freidan.
Moving backward (like to pre-1861), there is also the return of Sister Wives, in which we can all live vicariously through the lives of people in a plural marriage. The family in question is Kody and his three wives (“I just fell in love. Then I fell in love again, and I fell in love again,” Kody says by way of explanation). All’s well with that scenario until Kody begins courting Robyn, a 30-year-old divorcee with three kids who is slim and pretty and brunette and the new hand-holding partner he hasn’t had in 16 years. Jealousies bubble up after a two-month courtship when Robyn declares, “Kody’s my soulmate. I love him.” In an effort to console herself over Kody’s latest “wife,” one of the non-hottie wives declares, “I’m glad he’s getting a trophy wife. He’s a great guy. He deserves a cute girl.” Rock on, Kody. You deserve it.
And then there’s Toddlers and Tiaras, the all time guidebook for life in a sexist society. Any sexist society needs training that starts at an early age, and this show delivers big time. Diapered Divas (the kind that haven’t been potty trained yet, as opposed to the kind that grace the pages of magazines wrapped in plain brown paper), prance across the stage in glitter and make up. Once they reach pre-school, they add hair extensions, fake teeth, suntans, and high heels. They jiggle, they gyrate, they pout, they strut their stuff, all to the back-of-the-room commands of the stage moms who say things like “My daughter and I are the same person. When she wins, I win. That’s the deal.”
Recent heartwarming episodes have included parents cramming endless packs of Pixy Stix and other sugar-laden snacks to sleep-deprived contestants, in an effort to have them flaunt their tiny bodies with wide-eyed abandon. Costumes have included a cone bra on a two year old, a hooker costume on a three year old, and fake boobs and butt on a four year old.
Women’s rights? Faggedaboudit, at least on TV. T and A is clearly what we want. All this takes us back to that old joke:
A boss interviews two women for the same job. Both are educated, have great references and can start immediately. Which woman does the boss hire?
The one with the biggest tits.