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“Question: You’re A Dick. What Are Your Thoughts On That?”

Oh hi! Say, has anyone noticed a big, gory smear on the pavement lately? Yeah. That would be Seth McFarlane.

Now, if there is one thing I have had cause to think about this week, it is that people who intentionally seek to provoke outrage are really hard to deal with. Because basically, if you are outraged, they win! And there may ultimately be no point in engaging with a person of that sort unless you can control the conversation and keep him from turning it to his own advantage.

So, how do you engage with such a person? Well! Perhaps you could take some tips from your new hero, Deborah Solomon, who recently interviewed noted rape joke enthusiast McFarlane for the New York Times!

Now, I have to admit, my first thoughts, when I saw that he had been interviewed, were more or less along the lines of, “oh, great, more press for Seth McFarlane, I CRAVE THE SWEET RELEASE OF DEATH.” And the opening gambit really did not do much to allay my irritation. Because here is how it started:

Peter Griffin, the hero of your show, is a big lug of a dad who lives in Rhode Island and makes the sort of insensitive comments that send teenage boys into hysterics. Who is your biggest audience?
It’s men, 18 to 34.

Oh well, ho-hum, nothing to see here. Oh, except:

Personally, I find the show’s rape jokes especially unfunny.

BLAM! And she goes on, thusly:

In one episode, Peter learns that three co-eds were raped and murdered. He says to himself, “Everyone’s getting laid but me.” Why is that funny?
Because he’s so oblivious. You’re not laughing at rape; you’re laughing at him being an idiot.

Ugh. Well, it’s a stupid answer, but I guess he’s attempted to justify himself, and we should just move on to the next question. What is the next question, by the way, Deborah?

In another episode, Peter asks, “Would you rather be black or crippled?” Why is that funny?

Oh, DAMN. Deborah Solomon: you made me love you! I didn’t want to do it! Oh, okay, I totally did. But you made it very easy.

Anyway, it goes on from there, and you should read it all. Personally, my favorite part is when she semi-assuages him and does the friendly interviewer thing by comparing his stuff to The Flintstones – Seth McFarlane likes The Flintstones, apparently! – and then uses that to hit him once again on the sexism thing. Oh, or the part where she’s nice again for about five seconds, and encourages him to compare his work to The Simpsons, and then gives him concrete examples of why The Simpsons is a much better show? Fabulous.

Basically, if you enjoy the spectacle of Seth McFarlane being blindsided, over and over again – a tactic which, I would suggest to you, is both more effective and more viscerally satisfying than tackling him head-on – and humiliated publicly, you will like this interview. Four stars! Highly recommended! And so on, and so forth.


  1. smadin wrote:

    Yep. I don’t have a steady gal.

    Why is that?
    Oh, boy, we’re getting deep.

    Oh, damn. Deborah Solomon, I salute you!

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink
  2. Nila wrote:

    Because he’s so oblivious. You’re not laughing at rape; you’re laughing at him being an idiot.

    The problem is that so many people watching the show ARE laughing at rape. A huge proportion of the fans are too stupid or undereducated about these issues to understand the subtleties of Seth McFarlane’s supposed intent.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  3. Robin wrote:

    This interview delighted me, especially because I’d just written a paper for a seminar on racism and sexism attempting to debunk the “it’s not racist, it’s making fun of racism” defense, relying heavily on examples from Family Guy.

    Then my favorite TV critic, Alan Sepinwall, lost HUGE points with me by getting all defensive on Twitter about it, tut-tutting the interviewer for lack of “tact” and linking to an article suggesting Ms. Solomon has doctored quotations in the past. It’s so, so frustrating that even the easiest targets in a fight against misogyny are protected by the derailing tactics of an army of defensive dudes.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  4. You just made my fucking day.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Permalink
  5. TheDeviantE wrote:

    You know how he keeps saying that Peter Griffin is oblivious?

    And then she says these things like:

    It captures an era when men returned home from work and wives were already there

    and he is totally, oh, what’s that word I’m looking for? (it’s on the tip of my tongue)… OBLIVIOUS that it is a condemnation not an encouragement.

    Oy. Self-awareness: yur doin it rong Seth old chum.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Permalink
  6. Nomie wrote:

    You know, normally I can’t stand Deborah Solomon because I feel she’s a very bad interviewer, but this was awesome.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink
  7. I think my very favoritest part was when, not content with the current hole he was digging for himself, he takes a quick side trip to a neighboring hole with “their Hispanic nanny”.

    I would really really love to see an uncondensed, unedited version of this interview. Because I have to believe it was edited and condensed for reasons of extreme awkwardness.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm | Permalink
  8. Tanglethis wrote:

    I followed the link but I didn’t see much of what you quoted – it said “Interview has been condensed and edited.” Is that new? Have they taken stuff out of it? Or do I have to follow a special link to see the whole thing?

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  9. Sady wrote:

    Nope, I looked at the article, and the bits I quoted directly are in there. It looks the same as it did when I read it. If I had to guess, I’d say the “condensed and edited” thing has to do with the concerns about her interviewing style that Sepinwall (among other folks) raised. And, to those concerns, I say: Maybe I will think about them later! I’m just really happy to see someone going at this dude without being overly kind about it.

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
  10. Broggly wrote:

    “Are you straight?”
    “Yep. I don’t have a steady gal.”
    “Why is that?”
    “Oh, boy, we’re getting deep.”

    Sunday, September 13, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Permalink
  11. Dan wrote:

    I can actually appreciate this, and would completely accept that Seth McFarlane is an offensive jerk, and that Family Guy is an offensive show. However, I am struck by the contrast between this and your recent post in which you said this:

    You can belittle people and attack them personally and fail to listen to them and score points off them. And it doesn’t actually help anyone. It just makes the cause you are presenting look like something that crazy mean people use to boost their self-esteem and justify their cruelty.

    Like I said, I have plenty of reservations about McFarlane. I’m just not sure we should be getting pleasure out of him, or anyone for that matter, being “humiliated publicly.” (I’m not saying that I DON’T; I’m saying that I’m not sure I SHOULD.)

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 6:10 am | Permalink
  12. Sady wrote:

    @Dan: Yeah, you’re right. My mean feelings come to the surface, with that dude. But what I’m reacting to, I guess, to put it in context, is the fact that challenging someone on their BS is so often seen as a question of “tact,” so the questions are often phrased as “what do you think of the backlash to the rape jokes on your show?” Or something similar. Making the dude feel comfortable, allowing him a chance to respond by making fun of or disparaging his critics, etc. Not “this rape joke isn’t funny to me. Why do YOU think it’s funny?” Which puts the burden of defending the stuff squarely on him. Obviously, some people are going to find what she did cruel or rude but I liked it because it was confrontational and challenging in a way I don’t often see interviews being.

    Although, to be fair, it’s not like people have historically gone soft on McFarlane. Dude is a punchline for anyone outside of his viewership at this point.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 7:49 am | Permalink
  13. snobographer wrote:

    Because he’s so oblivious. You’re not laughing at rape; you’re laughing at him being an idiot.

    Ha ha! It’s such a lovable-lunk thing to do to equate rape with sex.

    I’m sick of that bullshit excuse. They used the same one for Andrew Dice Clay.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  14. Davey wrote:

    I don’t know, I tend to like a lot of hostile interviews, particularly those on the Daily Show, but this one rubs me the wrong way, probably at the point where Solomon asks McFarlane, “Are you straight?” As a follow-up to “Are you contemptuous of families?”, it’s more than a little risible. Particularly because I have heard that question asked about (though not to) McFarlane a number of times, based on his extensive knowledge of musical comedy and enthusiasm for voicing “gay sounding” characters.

    On a side note, McFarlane is indeed an asshole. I don’t watch Family Guy extensively, but I remember after one particularly prolonged rape joke Peter turned to the camera and said, “Oh shut up! It’s a cartoon!” Which of course never seems to apply to the long (liberal) lectures the dog spews out now and again.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  15. K.A. wrote:

    There are many, many, many examples of misogynist, racist, ablist jokes that didn’t have Peter Griffin involved to make McFarlane’s ridiculous excuse fly. They are often done as those little asides with none of the main characters.

    Sometimes the jokes even show up on American Dad, which I is usually more overt in its satirization of extreme fundy right-wing bigotry. But the actual bigoted jokes sneak in there too sometimes.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  16. HeatherMae wrote:

    I used to find Family Guy tolerable enough, but I decided I could never watch it again after I saw the aquaman joke – I’d rather not recap it, but if anyone’s curious just search “family guy aquaman” on youtube – it’s the first result. Definitely a trigger warning on that though, and, as always, avert your eyes from the comments…I don’t know what’s there but I’m sure it’s not pretty. Needless to say, I was rather elated to see this.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  17. HeatherMae wrote:

    elated to see this interview, that is. ahh, ambiguity.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
  18. Rita M wrote:

    I’d like to see him explain why Meg is so reviled by her whole family. What exactly is that about?

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  19. toad wrote:

    That Aquaman video was ridiculous, but also useful in that it reaffirmed my long-standing decision to stop enduring McFarlane’s drivel.

    Also, I skimmed the comments long enough to give credit to the one viewer with a modicum of taste.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  20. Davey wrote:

    One last note- this Sunday was the final episode of King of the Hill after 13 years. Even though it was a show about a profoundly conservative man, and generally defended his values while sometimes lampooning liberals, there was far more tolerance and just plain humanity given to all the characters in any given episode than McFarlane could manage across all three of his serieses. It ran for a solid 13 years, but nobody seems to be trying to imitate it, as opposed to the millions of “audacious” pop-culture reference shows in the vein of Family Guy, Aqua Teen, or Robot Chicken*.

    Also, Heather the creepy punchline of the bit you mention is just to cover up the fact that Aquaman jokes are to the 00’s what airline peanut jokes were to the 80’s.

    *That’s not to say I hate all those shows. I’m drooling for the return of The Venture Brothers. But most of them seem to burn through their premises so fast that after a season they’re running on fumes as they try to find more horrific ways to violate their cast.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  21. Throbbing Gristle wrote:

    Without a sense of humor, you’ll wallow in a self delusional pity. Lighten up!

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Permalink
  22. Sady wrote:

    Why, Throbbing Gristle! I had never considered such a grim future for myself prior to your comment! “Lighten up,” huh? I’d never thought about that before. And truly, your name betrays a certain Puckish whimsy; I trust that you are a certified humor expert, qualified to tell all of us what “funny” really means.

    So, you want to tell us why the “everyone’s getting laid but me” joke is funny now? I’d love your input.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Permalink
  23. Sady wrote:

    @Davey: Ooooh, good point. (About the “are you straight” thing.) Didn’t catch that.

    Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  24. Davey wrote:

    For the record, I do actually get the “everyone’s having sex but me” joke, in the sense that I get that it’s a joke about a character’s obliviousness. To pick a less risable example, there was on the Simpsons where Marge sends a “funny headline” into Jay Leno, blithely ignoring the fact that the subheading revealed that it was about an accident that killed ten people. I don’t bring this up to say that McFarlane stole the bit from The Simpsons, but that it’s a fairly standard, mediocre joke in both cases. But McFarlane goes to the rape hot-button, as he does so frequently, because either (a) he’s trying to salvage poor material with shock value or (b) he just likes talking about rape. I think it’s a little of each, but the amount that it’s (b) is becoming increasingly apparent, to the point that he hung a defensive lampshade on it in the example I gave above; and in that one there’s literally no joke, just Peter lunging at an unconscious girl and then snapping at the audience.

    I’m aware this probably comes from a privileged position, but I don’t believe that you can never make jokes about rape. I do understand why some people feel the opposite way, just as I understand why my grandmother will never watch “The Producers.” But I do feel, even hypothetically putting moral concerns of hurting a large segment of your audience to the side, that it’s far too easy most of the time, used to shore up crappy material and get a cheap shock.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 4:23 am | Permalink
  25. Sady,

    What interview did you read?

    I read the entire New York Times interview – McFarlane came across as charming, funny and engaging, the interviewer came across as a starchy humorless prig who simply does not understand the concept of COMEDY.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink
  26. PeterZeroOne wrote:

    The jokes are funny because shock humour depends on making fun of those in power. You might not accept this explanation because of your belief in a Patriarchy that’s as strong as it ever was, but humour depends on making fun of those with power, which women have plenty of in modern American society.

    It’s just like with the sacreligious jokes that the show puts on; they’re funny because Christianity is still a force to be reckoned with in the U.S.; I’ll bet the same Jesus jokes would be treated with a yawn in Europe, where Christianity is largely irrelevant. I’m sure there was an era when Zeus jokes where totally bad-ass and funny.

    Why is making fun of Meg so funny? It’s funny for a young man to see a young woman fail and be humiliated because so many women succeed and excel in real life. Young men these days grow up with women who excel in primary and secondary education and go on to college while the boys fail out, are put on Ritalin, and become janitors, or if they’re lucky, auto mechanics.

    It’s also why the joke about those college girls is funny; it’s about something bad that happens to those who hold a higher place in society than the less successful young men who watch the show.

    Or put it this way; you’re “Mad Men” fans. These Family Guy jokes would not have been funny in that era, would they? And that’s because the Patriarchy of the 60’s was a strong one, women were considered weak, so you don’t make fun of those who are weaker than yourself.

    Whereas the Patriarchy today is very weak comparitively, especially in the circles of the younger liberal men who watch Family Guy.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 7:21 am | Permalink
  27. Sady wrote:

    @PeterZeroOne: Aaaaand, we have our answer! And the answer is, rape jokes are funny if you… resent women? Oh, no, if you resent the fact that women are NOT AUTOMATICALLY LESS POWERFUL AND SUCCESSFUL THAN MEN. You know, what with the whole “equal citizenship and equal opportunity” thing.

    Yeah, I kind of knew that one.

    Oh, and also, the point about how, in MAD MEN days, people would NEVER tell rape jokes: consider John McCain, a peer to the “Mad Men” characters (in 1963, he would have been about twenty-seven… hey, he’s Pete’s age!) who told a well-publicized rape joke himself. In those times, rape jokes were, if anything, LESS controversial and more popular than they are now. This is because rape jokes will always be popular in a society that has a vested interest in making light of women’s rapes and thereby conveying the message that women are second-class citizens. The fact that they continue today is proof, not only that we haven’t gotten as far as you fear we have, but that resentment from dudes such as yourself has the end goal of pushing us back down into our place.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  28. AAKK wrote:

    lolz. I really hate Family Guy.

    I also like that bit at the end:

    I’d like to see all those parts that were cut out…^_~

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 8:22 am | Permalink
  29. Roxie wrote:

    Rita: They write Meg that way b/c McFarlane has said he doesn’t know how to write for/about a female character. Seriously.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  30. PeterZeroOne wrote:

    “The fact that they continue today is proof, not only that we haven’t gotten as far as you fear we have, but that resentment from dudes such as yourself has the end goal of pushing us back down into our place.”

    Have you possibly considered that for young men the equality line has been crossed and has now wildly swung in the opposite direction, that young men feel they are at a disadvantage vis a vis women?

    Maybe it’s not about “pushing women back into their place” as subjects, but as equals. Please tell me how a 60% female to male ratio (and rising) at universities is equality. Please. This is what young men experience today.

    Many feminists accuse men of dehumanizing women, of sort of “lumping” them all together as one blob called “women” without any personhood or human rights. And this does occur, when denying women the right to birth control or abortion.

    What I’ve come to realize is that the Patriarchy as a concept does the same thing to men. It dehumanizes them and lumps them all together. Hence, the forthcoming “Oh noez, what about de menz, lulz!” comments which will appear in response to my posts.

    “…if you resent the fact that women are NOT AUTOMATICALLY LESS POWERFUL AND SUCCESSFUL THAN MEN. ”

    Or, maybe, just maybe, it’s not a resentment that women are “automatically less powerful than men”. Maybe it’s just a resentment that they’re more powerful than men. Which they shouldn’t be, women should be equally as powerful as men.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink
  31. Davey wrote:

    You know who’s also gotten too powerful? That Helen Keller chick. There wouldn’t be so many jokes about her if she wasn’t keeping the rest of us down.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  32. Samantha b. wrote:

    Peter, you do know that women still make 77 cents on the dollar when compared to male salaries? Breathe easier.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  33. PeterZeroOne wrote:

    “Peter, you do know that women still make 77 cents on the dollar when compared to male salaries? Breathe easier.”

    I knew this would come up. Tenured professors, physicians, and law partners in late middle age (aka the baby boomers) are responsible for much this disparity. The raw wage gap will drop off precipitously as the boomers reach retirement. Much of the rest of it is due to women taking time off for child rearing. In other words, any gender gap is due to historical factors, not affecting the current generation of young men.

    My point was to explain the attitutes of the men, aged 18-34, who watch Family Guy, towards women. To these men, there is no wage gap, there is no disadvantage. The women around them are employed in larger numbers and have better careers than they do. The men are powerless. The young women are powerful, and so they’re fair game.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  34. Sady wrote:

    Wait! So, you’re saying that, at some point, women WON’T be unequal to men in the workplace? And – forgive me for extrapolating, here – that, as younger people come to maturity, we might make visible progress, and at that point it could EVEN be possible for a woman to run for President without voters and/or professional members of the media attempting to kneecap her with misogynist slurs rather than reasonable critiques of her policies as compared to her opponent’s? And maybe even our OTHER government representatives WON’T be disproportionately male? And – God forbid – maybe men won’t have the SOCIAL advantage, EITHER, and it won’t be acceptable for men to terrorize, denigrate, or disrespect women in their day-to-day lives? And, maybe, at some point in this dystopian nightmare world of a future, the amount of power you have could rely on factors like HOW HARD YOU WORK and HOW WELL YOU DO IN SCHOOL AS THE RESULT OF WORKING HARD AND LEARNING rather than being born into a privileged race, class, or gender?

    Anarchy! MADNESS! How do we make it STOP?!?!?

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  35. Gentleman Associate wrote:

    Peter, you suggest that “the Patriarchy as a concept […] dehumanizes [men] and lumps them all together.” By “Patriarchy as a concept,” I think you mean not a social structure that privileges men so much as a (false) notion held by those (mostly women) who could stand to benefit from widespread acceptance of such notion. This is not a small point: if you didn’t modify “Patriarchy” with that little adjectival prepositional phrase (“as a concept”), I’d probably agree with you because, yes, one of the problems with “the Patriarchy” is that it dehumanizes both men and women, holding people, regardless of gender, back from reaching their potential (just as, say, racism affects both oppressor and oppresessed). But I suppose that’s beside the point.

    You seem, by your insistance on the dehumanizing power of the concept of Patriarchy, to imply that structural criticisms of this sort (i.e., explication of power structures) are necessarily false because they do not account for the individual. Even were this the case, I do not think it would be fair to call it dehumanization. Dehumaniztion requires an object to be stripped of human qualities, and merely positing that members of one class or gender or race or nationality (or, of course, combination thereof) may enjoy different priviliges or challenges than another does not, in fact, deny the reality of any individual’s experience. Is it dehumanizing to suggest that, say, children from families in which both parents have advanced degrees attend elite universities at a far higher rate than children from families in which neither parent attended college? Of course it isn’t: it’s a statement of fact (and an obvious one at that). And, really, only after accepting such statements can one properly assess individual achievements: nobody is that impressed when another blue blood attends Harvard, as hard as it might still be to do. When somebody from a high school with dropout rates well into the double digits gets there, however, congratulations are in order.

    Further, the oft-repeated 60:40 line about college admissions hardly tells the whole story. In the last decade and a half, I attended three colleges: one public university, one community college, and one Ivy League institution. At all of them, even when women outnumbered men in a given class, men dominated the discussions. This is not to say that what men had to say was more insightful: frequently, in conversations after and before classes, or in the papers and notes of others, I found more nuanced arguments and more thoughtful readings from my female classmates, even as my male classmates were quicker to drop names and boldy claim authority. This, I should add, was all in the humanities — we’re not even touching on the hard sciences, or how the “sterotype threat” manifests itself there ( Now that I find myself (again), in the workplace, I note that the blustery argumentative style so favored by the men in college is rewarded: it asks for notice for existing, for congratulation for merely being there, and it is those who so carefully catelog their achievements and who constantly remind you of everything they’ve done that tend to get the recognition. Most often I found my female classmates (and I find my female coworkers) to recogognize that nobody deserves a hand just for showing up.

    Which is, really, the undercurrent I detect in all of your posts: it is harder for men to succeed because women today have it better. Because of this, if you don’t suceed, the blame isn’t all yours. Well, fair enough. I’m a lefty: I believe in structural criticsim. There are probably myriad apparatuses standing between you and success, erected by those invested in preserving their own power. But don’t for a minute think that one of them is some conspiracy to keep men down. Claiming that isn’t an explaination for why you didn’t suceed, it’s an excuse for why you’re not even going to try.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  36. Sady wrote:

    @That Dude What Wrote The Comment Right Above Me: I like your style, Mister! Where do you hail from?

    And now, I shall present This Comment Thread: A Play In One Act!

    Actor the First: THE MAN IS KEEPING US DOWN!
    Actor the Second: Who are you?
    Actor the First: Um… The Man?

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  37. smadin wrote:

    Wow, I missed all the fun in this thread. After reading PeterZeroOne’s first comment, I was all set to congratulate him on a nicely crafted parody of the MRA argument, managing to just barely stay on the “too absurd to be real” side of the line.

    Then I read his other comments, and realized I need to recalibrate my bogometer again.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink
  38. Devonian wrote:

    “I’d like to see him explain why Meg is so reviled by her whole family. What exactly is that about?”
    I figured he was trying for some sort of satire, seeing as how Meg is considered ugly despite looking very similar to her mother (who’s considered hot)…

    That’s probably giving him more credit than he deserved, though.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Permalink
  39. Sady wrote:

    Oh, but Meg has glasses! GLASSES! And her boobs are small!

    Remember when the dudes break into the house, and she pretends to be scared that they’ll rape her, and then she’s SO UPSET when they don’t do it? Ha ha, because she’s ugly! And because women… want to be raped… because… um… it’s a compliment?

    Yeah, I remember really laughing at Peter’s “obliviousness” during that scene in which he was not present and did not deliver any lines.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 6:44 am | Permalink
  40. Ashley wrote:

    Also, ugly women don’t deserve to be treated as human beings, even by their families. HUMOR!

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  41. Isa wrote:

    Hahaha, wow… Peter… to quote Barney Frank, on what planet do you spend most of your time? Seriously. I’m dying to know.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
  42. Isa wrote:


    “Remember when the dudes break into the house, and she pretends to be scared that they’ll rape her, and then she’s SO UPSET when they don’t do it? Ha ha, because she’s ugly! And because women… want to be raped… because… um… it’s a compliment?”

    RAAAAAGE. That was the first REALLY rape-y and anti-woman kind of joke I noticed on Family Guy. I’ve always disliked Family Guy but now it is dead to me. Dead.

    Friday, September 18, 2009 at 4:10 am | Permalink
  43. HeatherMae wrote:

    I would be seriously unsurprised if peterzeroone were to reveal that he is a pickup artist. Count me as another who missed all the fun in this thread :'(

    Assuming the statement that young women have some power over young men in some ways (which I guess is perhaps possible? I’m not going to weigh in on that but just assume it for the sake of argument), this argument is still not logical. Because women do not have power over men when it comes to rape. Men are the perpetrators of rape in the vast majority of rapes, and women are the victims of rape in the vast majority of rapes. Men joking about this specific topic are joking about something that they still have the power in, namely, that they are very unlikely to ever experience rape in relation to the likelihood that any given woman will experience rape. Here is an example using people who have differences in privilege, which may or may not hold as an analogy: a het woman and a gay man would each have different privilege, because the het woman has heterosexual privilege and the gay man has male privilege. The woman could joke about many things, but she could not justify joking about gay men being the victims of gay-bashing to this gay man by saying that he has power over her because of his male privilege. Het people are the perpetrators of gay-bashing in the vast majority of gay-bashing, and gay people are the victims of gay-bashing in the vast majority of gay-bashing. Het women joking about this specific topic are joking about something that they are privileged in, namely, that they are very unlikely to ever experience gay-bashing in relation to the likelihood that any given gay person will experience gay-bashing.

    So there you go: men joking about rape does not fall under the humor category of “making fun of those with power” (wow, I can’t believe I actually had to type that). Unless, of course, you think that women have power over men when it comes to sex because men want to have sex with women and women can say no to having sex with men. Then the argument makes sense in fuckneck rape-apologist land, but not in the logical world where double standards are bullshit.

    Friday, September 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  44. Broggly wrote:

    Come on, it’s pretty clear that Peterzeroone’s right that mocking humour is mostly aimed at the priviledged. For example, minstrel shows developed and were considered hilarious in the 19th century when African Americans had power and high social standing. (start at 1:40)

    Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 5:51 am | Permalink
  45. The S-Dog wrote:

    I’m confused: why would you ask someone the question “why is that funny?” when you want them to answer the question “why is that not sexist?”

    Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink
  46. Sady wrote:

    Because the time-honored answer for the question of “why is that not sexist” is always “it’s not sexist because it’s funny.” Trust me. I have asked. Many a time. Solomon just skipped a step, there, and asked him why the jokes were funny. Which they’re not, of course. So it was a shrewd move.

    Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  47. Steve wrote:

    Just found this blog via a link via a link and couldn’t agree more with what your saying! Family guy is rubbish.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink
  48. Odette wrote:

    Poor, poor PeterZeroOne. I guess we all don’t know what it’s like, being male middle class and white…

    Monday, November 2, 2009 at 4:03 am | Permalink