February 2010


Misogyny Gone Wild, Part Two of ???

I Dream of Jeannie on G's Blog

Some anonymous reader decided to check out G’s Blog, From the Big Apple to the Big Bear, and noticed right away that there was a post with a gigantic picture from the 1960s American sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie.

I dunno about you, but I think that show was sexist:

I Dream of Jeannie is a 1960s American sitcom with a fantasy premise. The show starred Barbara Eden as a 2000-year-old female genie, and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries. (Wikipedia)

Quite frankly, in the context of what G was blogging about at the time, it’s funny, but it’s clearly sexist: Jeannie is mastered by a male astronaut and does his bidding.  Given the awfulness and horribleness of sexist (and misogynistic) behavior, I am surprised the photo was used at all.

8 comments to Misogyny Gone Wild, Part Two of ???

  • Being a sexist does not necessarily mean being a misogynist.

  • G

    Adam- it was sexist. All TV shows from the 60’s and 70’s that I know of were. Even Star Trek, which was also racist, although it tried really hard not to be.

    Are you really so lacking in self-awareness?

    You won’t persuade me to stop seeing reality through your hectoring. In fact, if you bothered to google Feminism 101 , you might notice that the tactic of telling me my feelings are unwarranted and have no basis is one of the first responses noted (also used to tell Blacks that there is no racism and Jews that there is no antisemitism and G/L/B/T that there is no homophobia/transphobia/etc…).

    I don’t usually quote chunks of other people’s blogs, with excerpts and pictures, without asking. Perhaps that is just another part of your male privilege showing- lack of courtesy and aggressiveness in personal dealings being something you might want to unpack.

  • Michele J

    Gonna have to come down on G’s side here. For the record, I disagree with her – as commented on Heather’s blog, I think the egg thing represents more the widespread sexualization of advertising, not misogyny. But this seems a little vindictive to me and, might I say, stalkerish? Come on – I mean, “some anonymous reader”?

  • tqe | Adam on the road

    I’m not currently in a position to respond to G’s comment. That will come later today.

    However I want to be clear: I did not find the sexism on G’s blog. It was pointed out to me by a reader who emailed and pointed it out to me.

    I posted it here because I believe it is relevant to the discussion: if misogyny and sexism are so offensive to G that she rallies against it on other people’s blogs (3 different blogs in addition to mine immediately come to mine) then it’s fair game to point it out on hers.

    This is no different than going after anti-gay, pro traditional monogmous marriage types who have affairs or buy time with male escorts. Hypocracy is worth exposing.

  • G

    Adam, if you bothered to read that post, you would note that picture is used to illustrate a gender situation. One that might actually be considered sexist. It is appropriate. What isn’t, is your not bothering to read a post that you have actually clipped and posted on your blog.
    But you are taking this to a level that I really don’t want to go to. Before I start becoming like you, and attacking other groups to protect myself, I am going to bow out of your war on me: because I think you are non-reflective, sexist and patriarchal, I don’t believe that to be true of all other men or even of all other men who more closely fit your characteristics. I won’t even extrapolate to the Midwest. If you want to keep talking to me, use my e-mail: it is listed. By the way, the only hits through you on my blog before this post came from your town. I don’t allow “anonymous” posts on my blog for a reason.
    I’m unsubscribed, so communication can now come through the normal channel of e-mail, rather than public attacks.

  • Reko

    Having known Adam for the better part of ten years, I find any attempts to denounce his character or integrity implausible and despicable.

  • disenchanted

    Look guys and gals, I’ve got to agree with Reko. I’ve known Adam for over a decade and he is neither sexist or misogynistic.

    And, for the record, I am the person who pointed out the Jeannie picture. I wanted to see what all this fuss was about and I looked at the original egg picture, as well as the blogs of the people who were fighting about it. That doesn’t make me a stalker — because if you didn’t want people to read your stuff, then you shouldn’t put it on the Internet.

    As for misogny, the definition includes the words “contempt for women.” In my opinion — and this is my opinion as a straight white woman with substantial education and a husband — “I Dream of Jeannie” was both sexist and misogynistic. There is a great deal of contempt for women in that TV show. Master? Really?

    Now personally, I think this whole getting the egg laid debate is just silly. I’ve heard women use the term “get laid” all the time. Heck, the female students at my college have also embraced big bad F word! Lord knows, I hear them shouting it all the time. There’s a huge difference between getting laid and getting raped or sexually assaulted. And yes, I know this from experience because I have been both laid (consensual) and assaulted (not consensual).

    If you want to fight sexism and misogyny, the better fights would be against rape, abuse, punishing women (but not male) adulterers, forcing women to wear burkas against their will (but again, you have to make sure it’s against their will), a system that allows for unequal pay for equal work. Real issues — not just some slang on a carton of eggs.

  • Reko

    I fear that one would have to look long and hard to find examples of 1960s TV shows that would offer portrayals of gender equality that would come remotely close to the ideals of the intelligentsia of the contemporary post-industrial world. However, many people today see in these same irritating situation comedies a coded proto-LGBT liberation message. This is particularly clear in “Bewitched”, but I think that it is also a plausible reading of “I Dream of Jeannie”. In both cases, there is a superficially “normal” married couple (I believe that this arises only in the later seasons of IDOJ) with a deep, dark secret. The viewers are in on the secret and realize that it is silly to make such a big deal of it: So what if Samantha is really a witch or Jeannie is really a genie? Both are characters full of love and compassion and their “secrets” make their lives infinitely more INTERESTING than those of their rather dull, middle-class “peers” (ditto for their partners). And don’t forget about the other thinly coded arrangement: the mature adult male who comes along to “help out” the widowed father, such as Mr. French on “Family Affair” and Uncle Charley on “My Three Sons” (it took me decades before I fully realized the full implications of Uncle C’s past in the merchant marine).

    None of this is meant to “defend” the implicit and explicit sexism of popular and high culture of the past or the present.