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The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

Two ways tv men react to women

May1

I was watching the Andy Griffith Show while trapped on the couch with a baby who can apparently only sleep when attached directly to me with both arms. Move one arm to eat or drink something and he wakes up. The sling? It is now hated. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATED. The crib? Is obviously the devil. OBVIOUSLY. So I’m stuck with a 6 week old infant weighing me down except for when I try to grab a few scream-filled minutes to use the toilet. I’m just explaining why I didn’t change the channel. I couldn’t free up one hand to use the remote. It’s also why I watched “Hackers,” “Once Bitten,” and part of “Mr Mom.” It’s also why I’m slightly more mush brained than I was when I woke up this morning.

Anyway, the plot of the Andy Griffith Show was that a woman had the damn silly idea that she, as a human being with the right to vote, also had the right to run for city council. Imagine that! A woman! Doing something outside the home! Griffith and the other men all roundly denounce this idea and plot how to foil her and the other women, who are rallying to her cause. Otis, the town drunk who is currently in jail for attempting to assault his wife and accidentally punching his mother in law in the mouth so hard she had to get dental care advocates punching the women concerned in the mouth. Ho ho ho! Domestic violence is fucking hilarious! Some of the other men have a different idea, however. That idea? To cut off the charge accounts at all the stores so that the women, who are dependent on men for money because they are full time housewives who don’t work outside the home, cannot make purchases. The men use economic pressures to attempt to force their wives/daughters/etc, who have a legal right to vote, not to vote. Oh ho ho! Silly women! I can’t for the life of me imagine why they’d want a position like city councilman!

In response the women stage a strike and refuse to… not with hold sex, but to with hold sewing and cooking and other such affairs of the home. The men are willing to put up with it, however! And fortunately Otis manages to keep from beating his wife. This time. The menfolk hold fast and continue verbally berating the women and their silly, silly ideas about independence and self worth and being full human beings who are equal to men. At least, until Opie repeats some anti-woman screed Andy had said earlier. I couldn’t hear what it was because Nick chose that moment to howl, scream, and then fart loudly. If I weren’t so classy, I’d have reacted to the show in the same way. Anyway, this inspires Andy to make a public speech about how it’s ok if ladies run for a council seat and vote and stuff, because he realizes that his actions were making Opie “hate women” and he was afraid Opie would turn gay. Thus, he grants permission to the women to, like, take part in government and vote and stuff. Whew! Thank GOD a man was there to tell those silly women it was ok to run for a council seat, hold independent ideas, and attempt to be represented by those who make laws!

The whole time I was thinking about this episode of “Gomer Pyle USMC” I saw previously. In the episode, Sgt Carter and some of his knuckle dragging cronies decide it would be hi-larious to set Pyle up with a stripper and tell him that she was a school teacher from out of town. Pyle obviously falls for it and begins courting this woman, treating her with dignity and respect and showing off some of his interests (botany, history, looking at pretty pastoral scenes with a pretty lady) and all around being a cool guy. He never “gets fresh” or expects her to put out. It’s pretty obvious he’s falling for her, and she seems to like and respect him as well. Either Carter or his friends then invite Pyle to see her perform on stage. Pyle watches the show, she sees him and runs off, he goes after her. She asks if he hates her or something like that, he responds that what she does on stage is just her job and he still likes and respects her and has enjoyed the time he spent with her. He doesn’t castigate her or run off in horror or judge her. He just keeps treating her with calm respect and consideration.

Imagine that. Pyle, who is usually portrayed as brain damaged, respects women and the choices they make; even ones that are usually considered loose or slutty. Meanwhile, fine and upstanding law man Griffith thinks that women shouldn’t bother their pretty little heads with things like making laws or voting or, you know, thinking.

posted under feminism friday, wtf

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