Some jokes aren’t funny. Some jokes are just plain sexist.
Even though I rarely watch them, it is relatively common knowledge the Academy Awards are met with a level of sophistication with the ceremony of presenting the Academy Awards.
However it seems that level of sophistication and elegance took a dramatic turn for the worse at this year’s controversial awards ceremony. I’ve read numerous articles from a variety of publications about how host Seth MacFarlane went too far in some of his jokes, even though the Family Guy star is known for making those types of jokes.
I have to agree. It’s distasteful, especially in this age, to make those types of jokes about women or men even if it’s not supposed to be taken seriously. Not only is it dehumanizing but also it’s quite insensitive to a lot of serious issues women are facing every day. These types of jokes have been made for at least 30 years. Enough is enough already. (As an aside that is also the reason I don’t enjoy Family Guy).
The Academy itself was equally as inappropriate and perhaps more deserving of blame for making MacFarlane the host.
Pushing the envelope with sexist jokes is, after all, what he is known for and it was to be expected.
But although his jokes were inappropriate, it also does draw attention to issues facing women today. And if it accomplishes raising awareness of those serious issues, then great. That may very well be the intention behind these jokes. It certainly does have people talking about it.
However that’s not how it comes across to a lot of people. There are more positive ways to draw attention to those issues and make a change.
Some of the controversial comments he made were cited by the Associated Press, when talking about the film Zero Dark Thirty. He described it as an example of “a woman’s innate ability to never let anything go.” He also made fun of women dieting to look slimmer on the red carpet or the women who “conveniently got the flu in the weeks leading up to the awards show.”
He also stated Django Unchained is a “movie where a woman is subjected to violence, or as we call it, a Chris Brown and Rihanna date movie.” Those are just a few examples.
Stereotypes, eating disorders and abuse are very serious issues that aren’t funny by any means.
Vulture magazine stated that “(MacFarlane’s) relentless commentary about how women look reinforced, over and over, that women somehow don’t belong. They matter only insofar as they are beautiful or naked, or preferably both. This wasn’t an awards ceremony so much as a black-tie celebration of the straight white male gaze.”
On the flipside, there are people out there who will say that it is OK for those jokes to be made because they are, after all, simply jokes meant to be funny. There is no harm done.
I have to respectfully disagree. Saying those types of jokes are OK is being OK with the status quo. There is no denying that sexism is still very much alive in today’s world.
Regardless of the intention of sexist jokes, making sexist jokes largely reinforces that belief system. I believe women and men deserve to be treated equally as do people of different cultures, beliefs, sexual orientation or language. There is a long way to go before, if ever, we will get there. The least we can do, male or female, is treat each other with respect.