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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Babe, is this Sexist?

Thanks to everyone who voted on the Facebook poll to chose the topic of our Oscar Edition of Babe, is this Sexist? We had a hard time picking out some of the exact moments to address (thanks to Seth MacFarlane there were so many), but this time there was a very clear winner!


  • The opening "Boobs" number
  • The Rihanna/Chris Brown domestic violence joke
  • The Jennifer Aniston stripper joke 
  • The sexist and racist jokes conflating Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek being interchangeable and so pretty people don't care they can't speak "proper" English
  • The Zero Dark Thirty -women can't let go of anything joke
  • The two separate child rape jokes (Quvenzhan√© Wallis being young enough for George Clooney and the Jack Nicholson house reference).  
These were all sexist and deserving of being called out.  And plenty of people have.  But a lot of people think all this sexism (and racism and homophobia) are OK, because it's just MacFarlane's shtick, he's edgy and offensive.
But honestly, these jokes are old as dirt.  They're not creative or challenging, they're a regurgitation of ideas, jokes, and themes that have been in existence for ages.  Good satire, the satire of Swift, punches up at those in power, not down. A Modest Proposal was not written at the expense of the Irish.  Colbert targets the white, straight, Christian, and often wealthy men that he's a caricature of.  Meanwhile MacFarlane jokes about women, and violence against women, and rape of 13 year olds, and sexualizes young girls, while representing and entertaining an Academy that's 77% men. 
Seth MacFarlane's intent doesn't matter.  The fact that this is his "type of humor" doesn't matter.  Perpetuating sexism, and racism, and homophobia is what matters.  And no amount of shouting "just joking" can defend that. 

Any suggestions for the next installment of Babe, is this Sexist? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

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