Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Greatest Affront to Feminism in History


The greatest affront to feminism in history [since the last Fox reality show] is called "Battle of the Bods". [For the perversely interested, full episodes are available on Hulu.com, which is how I accidentally came upon this show.] It is grossly offensive, but somehow appealing in the same way you always look when driving past a wreck. I feel like mankind has fallen into a moral abyss.

The host:
  • Unknown British lady with a shockingly prim accent for the filth that comes out of her mouth. She sexually harasses the contestants in a way that would make my beloved Bill Clinton blush.
The contestants:
  • 5 women with cripplingly low self-esteems preen for men behind a 2-way mirror. These women would likely refer to themselves as 'classy', which is never a good sign.
  • 3 men of professional distinctions including surfer, bartender, construction worker, out-of-work male model, frat boy. The men criticize and demean the women the entire time while in the protection of their cozy booth.
The motivation:
  • The women get $500 per person in the correct position, to be divided into 5 at the end. After the travel costs and costume budget, clearly not enough to be humiliated.
  • Oddly, there seems to be no prize for the men...
The rounds:
  • Round 1: Face. The women get to wear 'silk' robes and trampy makeup.
  • Round 2: Ladies' Choice. They get to wear swimsuits while arguing that in fact they have the 3rd best bottom, not the 4th.
  • Round 3: Total package. They get to wear boudoir clothing and argue that they truly deserve #1. The saddest ones however are the women that insist that they should be #5. They applied for the show, auditioned, and yet in the moment to show their stuff, they just seem sad and dejected. It's extra pitiful. Like they spent all of that money to surgically enhance themselves and in the end they realize that it wasn't enough.
  • Round 4: Men. In a shocking turn, the men are ranked by the women. Just as demeaning.
I shudder to think of the corporate brainstorming session that imagined this monstrosity.

8 comments:

Habladora said...

Wow this show is nauseating and sad. I don't think I have the stomach for a whole episode.

Great post, Le Loup-garou.

DJ Dual Core said...

Wow. What an elaborate way to reward women for putting themselves down.

It's a weekly Miss America without the pretense and expense of college scholarships.

feministblogproject said...

Just when I think that the entertainment industry can't stoop any lower . . . I'm really tempted to not get one of those boxes that will make our old TV compatible with the digital conversion taking place in February. What's the point? I don't need more sexist media in my life.

Le Loup-garou said...

I find the show even more perverse because the financial rewards are minuscule.

There is also a constant badgering of the less attractive to "take one for the team" and rank themselves as #5. There is some level of deviousness, too, on the part of the producers. Many of the women are not attractive at all, so they are being set up to be deflated.

Renee said...

Yet another example of colluders in action. Yes the media is disgusting but you know what, women are willingly putting themselves into a position to be degraded like this. This show would not exist without the women. When we participate in events like this it encourages men to continue to sexualize our bodies for their amusement. These colluders are dangerous.

Casmall said...

I couldn't even make it through the clip.

Le Loup-garou said...

The women are perfectly happy as long as they are ranked well by them men. They are being complicit in their own degradation.

smartlikeme said...

This show is the panopticon among us..we women are the worst at reinforcing patriarchal femininity, surveilling one another as we do self-surveillance. (pulling out a little Foucault-based Sandra Bartky feminist theory!)