Whenever the old “If you could go back and live at any time, what time period would it be?” question comes up, I look strangely at the people asking and say, “Are you crazy? Have you read history?” Assuming I would still be a woman, going back in time really doesn’t help my standing with society; in fact, it only gets worse. With some new shows coming out this season on TV like Pan Am and The Playboy Club I’m not feeling any more inspired to take a trip into the past.
So, with the already highly debated Playboy Club starting this week, I decided to hunker down in front of the TV, force my fingers to click in NBC at the alloted time, and watch the thing. In the first few minutes, viewers are shown a bunny almost getting raped, but accidentally killing the guy by kicking him with her stiletto (very cliché), a bunny getting hit on, a bunny getting leered at, a bunny copulating, and so on. To add to the realism, the creators have added in a nice touch of having one of the bunnies’ boyfriends working at the club so viewers can see the boyfriend’s side. Of course, it’s torture for him. He watches with a set jaw as a group of guys hits on his girlfriend just feet away from him. When the boyfriend voices his frustration to an older man working there (something along the lines of “You don’t know what it’s like to watch your girlfriend get hit on every night by every guy”), the older man replies that that’s why he married his wife; to get her pregnant and ugly. Wow. The visions of female empowerment just won’t stop, will they? I couldn’t stand to waste anymore of my time on this.
Some people are complaining because they don’t think the material is appropriate, I have a bigger issue; why are they trying to pass this fluff off as women’s lib? It can be debated as to whether Playboy began a sexual revolution for women in the beginning, but this show isn’t giving off empowering vibes. If the men making these shows really wanted to give us something related to women’s liberation in the 60’s, they could have picked something a lot better. Instead, they give us a show that objectifies women by placing them in fishnets, bow ties, bunny ears, and satin leotards with fluffy bunny tails. That’s what you wear when you want to show people you mean business. I haven’t seen Pan Am yet, but if it’s like The Playboy Club I think I’ll bang my head against a wall. Maybe NBC and ABC are fighting for the title of sexist TV show of the year?