Friday, May 1, 2009

Sexist Beatdown: Lynn Crosbie Don't Make Sense, But She's Got Her Reasons Edition

Good morning! It's a beautiful, yet sad day, my friends: a day for the funeral of feminism in pop culture, with the eulogy being delivered by the delightfully nonsensical Lynn Crosbie of the Globe and Mail!

Today, the mournful Amanda Hess of the Sexist and the woeful me of Tiger Beatdown shall discuss her pronouncements! For, as in the wake of any death, we have questions, such as: WHAT THE HELL IS LYNN CROSBIE EVEN TALKING ABOUT OH MY GOD? Why is there so much time and attention defined to defining the indefinable nature of Samoan people? What, exactly, is feminist about Obsessed? And will we, the lady-people of the world, ever have a piece of televisual entertainment that addresses our concerns as aptly as the theme song to Two and a Half Men?

ILLUSTRATION: The future of vaguely offensive feminism in pop culture. Please press play, just so that you can hear the falsetto, and also Ben Lee insisting that you must "hear him roar."

AMANDA: "a woman is anyone who once was a tiny gamete with XX sex chromosomes instead of X plus Y." oh boy. we're getting into really enlightened conversation here.

SADY: oh, yes. apparently, "feminism" is about defining exactly who gets to be or not be a real lady on a profoundly restrictive biological basis! did you know ladies have the "indoor" "plumbing"?

AMANDA: that makes us more sophisticated

SADY: it does, in fact. sophisticated enough to appreciate the excellent sitcom, "two and a half men!"

AMANDA: I like this woman's style! I could never write a sentence like this: "It is this, the plumbing, not the chromosomes, that define and estrange us from the brothers." I think this is written in some sort of code. See: lede, "What is a real Samoan?"

SADY: right? in the end, we are told that defining Samoans is USELESS. there IS no such thing as a person of Samoan heritage or citizenship! i guess my question as to what this means for feminism in pop culture - the subject (?) of her article - is, HUH?

AMANDA: wait, is that what we learn? i truly cant tell if the sendoff is a joke: "Next week Your American Idol! Comments?" hmm, yes, I have a comment. umm ... get an editor?

SADY: hahaha this seriously reads like someone drank a whole bottle of nyquil and hammered out an article 1.5 seconds before deadline. like, her complaint seems to be that women can't be defined a certain way although also she can define women but women in pop culture have not been sufficiently indefinable, so, what's with defining things, Media?

AMANDA: i'm not sure why "Obsessed" will be good for feminism in pop culture but "The Reader" isntt? yeah, she seems to have an aversion to defining anything, like her point, or subjects of sentences

SADY: well, in "Obsessed," we learn the very important lessons that women are natural energies and also that you should STAY AWAY FROM MY MAN. ENEMIES, not energies. i have been stricken with ill-definedness!

AMANDA: "the very image of a woman so fluid in her possibilities." as is this essay, which i like to imagine was transcribed from a drunken voicemail

SADY: women are the trees, and the rain, and the wind.

AMANDA: the only thing i can say for sure about women is that they clearly ALWAYS have two XX sex chromosomes!

SADY: allow me to quote to you one of my favorite recent bits of feminism in pop culture, from singer/songwriter ben lee. it is called, "i'm a woman, too."
AMANDA: haha. great. ok

SADY: It’s true, it’s true
I’m a woman too
I move with the flow of the seasons

I do, I do
Cause I’m a woman too
I don’t make sense but I got my reasons

AMANDA: this whole thing makes me want to bang my head on my keyboard. maybe the results could be published in the globe and mail?

SADY: yes, in womanly fashion. MOVE WITH THE FLOW OF THE SEASONS, my fellow woman. if there is one thing we have learned from ben lee and/or the globe and mail, it is that women make NO SENSE.

AMANDA: hear hear. incidentally, i have a small obsession with two and a half men. because---i've never seen it---but i always catch about 2 minutes of it before gossip girl comes on. and it's always the sweet conclusion, which is usually charlie sheen sitting down on a couch and drinking a beer or something, and the other guy exiting and a laugh track. whatever happened before that may have been crazy interesting, but the end is always the same. it could be the same episode! i have no idea. and then the song comes on that's like "Men, men, men MEN MEN MEN men men men MEN MEN MEN men men men"

SADY: that sounds amazing! why don't women have a show like this!

AMANDA: pitch it


AMANDA: i do want to give lynn crosbie one credit here, which is, when I read the word "warmins," i laughed out loud. i'm still laughing

SADY: yes, a show about how women may change from summer to spring to fall but Warmins are eternal i have a question for you: "What would you rather do: Consider seducing your hot boss in a bathroom stall or watch Queen Latifah being chased by bees?"

AMANDA: that's a question for the ages.


  1. I would prefer to seduce Queen Latifah in a bathroom stall and watch my boss being chased by bees. Is that an option?

  2. that final question HAUNTS me.

  3. When she first started talking about XX vs XY, I assumed she was trying to make a garbled, "Gender is not defined by sex; the two are separate entities," argument. But then comes the "plumbing" stuff. Ummm... How exactly do we come by our "indoor plumbing" if it's not from our genes?* A fairy plumber? That ignorance aside, she put us right back on conflating gender and sex. So, it's not the genotype, but the phenotype that "defines" us. Wow, what an important distinction!

    And then let's lecture the young feminists on how they're doing it wrong without actually talking about any younger feminists. That sounds like a great idea. It's like she's heard some feminist buzzwords, and wanted to say something outrageous so she could get published. But she has no idea of anything about anything.

    *I'm aware that there are rare instances in which environment causes an XY genotype to express as a female phenotype. Somehow, I don't think that's what she was referring to here, though.

  4. ALSO, how exactly does one "[tear] down a load-bearing wall with an anvil"??? by throwing the anvil at the wall? attaching a tiny anvil to the end of a stick and hitting it? also, isn't that invention called a "hammer"? my tiny lady brain can not figure it out!!

  5. The "catfighting" Madonna/Whore dichotomy of Obsessed is so much more feminist than the male-gaze-serving faux bi-curiosity of Katy Perry ... somehow...?

  6. I can't read it, I just can't! I shall watch the Wicker Man instead. Also, Queen Latifah > hot boss every time. Wait, what if she was the hot boss? Conundrum!