Hello, readers! If you’re the sort of person who’s interested in these things, Tits and Sass has a panel proposal up at the South by Southwest PanelPicker. We’d greatly appreciate your support. If you enjoy reading us chat about Mad Men and Magic Mike, along with our discussions of why it’s not cool for pop culture figures to joke about how sex workers were abused as children, you’ll want to see this panel happen. Please go vote for us and help spread the word.
My generation has seen its share of dysfunctional cartoon characters. Many of us were raised on The Simpsons, which arguably paved the way for South Park. I recall South Park making a huge impression on television and popular culture, even though I wasn’t allowed to watch it when it premiered in 1997. Adults older than I are more likely to associate their adolescence with Beavis and Butthead. All of these shows have incited controversy at some point and all were popular. So it should come as no surprise that another occasionally controversial animated comedy would succeed with the same audience. But oh, it irritates me when people assume that I like Family Guy.
I have never felt comfortable with Seth MacFarlane’s brand of humor. And I’m not alone, judging by the reactions to the multiple gross sexist offenses during his turn hosting the Oscars. There is always something about his jokes that gets under my skin and causes me to consider the implications of certain statements.
For one, there are so many rape jokes.
Last Sunday, BDSM community site FetLife did what a lot of popular sites do every once in a while—it crashed. And the person running FetLife’s Twitter account made a poorly chosen joke: “Whoops… FetLife just went down like a drunk hooker…”, later saying that they “Couldn’t think of anything better to say!” and “I make equal fun of everyone.”
People (most of them polite) called FetLife out on both the comment and what sounded like a justification wrapped in apology packaging. All in all, they were pretty gentle reactions for a tweet that encouraged the stereotype of the incapacitated hooker:
Famous for being helmsman Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek series, actor and author George Takei is America’s clever gay grandfather. Takei currently plays to an audience of thousands via social media and is known for quotable and insightful Facebook and Twitter posts on everything from politics to gender issues to cute animal macros. On April 2nd, George alienated a decent amount of his followers when he posted this meme.
As a mother, wife, and child, I was annoyed and almost a little hurt.
My 54-year-old mother sat nearby, her eyes deep in her Catherine Crier book. We had stayed up late despite her return flight being early in the morning. I was rubbing my wrists in anxiousness, set back from the laptop when she glanced over. I turned the screen toward her.
“Who posted that?”
“Yeah. He posts a lot of stuff, but nothing like this usually.”
“Mom, how does that make you feel? That society says you’re a failure? That I’m a failure?”
A very long pause.
“Well, it doesn’t make me feel good.”
Last week I saw a SXSW panel called “Secrets of Fake Twitter Accounts.” The speakers included @BPGlobalPR, @JasperSloburushe, @MayorEmanuel, and @FakeAPStylebook. They were all pretty diverse in their reasons for starting fake Twitter accounts, from “What’s going on in the world outrages me” to “Those guys are dicks” to “We were just emailing jokes.” The guys behind @FakeAPStylebook, the “just making jokes” dudes, also have a mock eHow/Demand Media parody site called The Content Farm, where they publish fake how-tos like “How to Pour Milk” and “How to Tell If You Are Bleeding From the Scalp.” It’s a pretty great idea for a humor site. The submission page warns “We are a content farm, so odds are you won’t be paid.”
But today in You’re Not Funny, we bring you the recent “How to Bury a Hooker in the Nevada Desert.” “Note that this guide offers no instruction on how to bury a prostitute, escort or stripper in any region but the Nevada desert. Refer to the article, ‘How to Bury a Prostitute, Escort or Stripper in Areas Outside the Nevada Desert.'” OH HILARITY. I look forward to future “How to Lynch a Black Man” and “How to Kill Your Domestic Worker” articles from this dude. Making sport of the real dangers created by the marginalization of sex workers? Buddy, you’re not funny.