(Un)Feminist Guilty Pleasures: Millionaire Matchmaker Edition

To kick off this brand-new series, I’m going to start with the guilty pleasure that spurred it all, the Millionaire Matchmaker. Now we could probably dedicate a whole post just to Bravo and the gamut of shows they have which fall into this category, but for now I’m going to focus on this one.
I love it. I’ve watched every episode, including maybe some re-runs. The show is reality style, focusing on Patti Stranger, the matchmaker herself (she comes from a long line of matchmakers). She specializes in taking really rich men and helping them find hot sexy women–to marry. While almost everything about her service (and the show) is based on sexist and debasing stereotypes about women, she makes it pretty clear that this is not an escort service. She even has some endearing things to say about the matchmaking profession, and how if she could do this for free around the world, she would. By the end of the season I started to almost believe her.
Her manhandling of the men on the show also appeals, as she tries to whip them into the shape she thinks they need to snag a woman. And some of these guys are weird.
In the end it definitely makes my feminist alarm bells ring at high volume, especially when I found the link to the service’s site. Talk about leggy blonds. But it’s fun to be outraged by Patti and her crazy techniques, to poke fun at the awkward bachelors and at this same time hope that someone might find love.
Stay tuned for more (Un)Feminist Guilty Pleasures from the Feministing crew!

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39 Comments

  1. Andrea
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Yaaaaay Miriam!!! That is my favorite new show. I absolutely adore Patti and how crazy she is. I love her rants about how men think YES when their penises go up and NO when they go down. I love how she says she is doing God’s work. I reallly love that she gives the men as much shit as she gives the women, so even though her dating service is based off harmful gender stereotypes (women have to save the pussy from the horndog men in order to get baubles, 50s style dating is best, hooking up is bad, yadayadayada), I think the show is better than most dating-related shows on television. I actually see a lot of myself in Patti, in that she is stubborn, difficult, and utterly disappointed every time someone else doesn’t agree with her, but all wrapped up in a bubbly package of fun. While the cuckoo men and women give the show a plot, at it’s core Millionaire Matchmaker is an exhibition of the fabulous Miss Patti and what a cracked out, wonderful person she is.

  2. j
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Wow, it’s like you guys are reading my mind! I’ve been really wound up about how to reconcile my feminism with my love for (choose one: America’s Next Top Model, Bravo, Bootie Mashup albums, a running club that sings derogatory songs about women) but now I see – I don’t have to! Free pass!

  3. Olivia
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    My (un)feminist guilty pleasure on tv is Desperate Housewives. It’s a completely ridiculous show, but can’t stop watching it.

  4. manifestadestiny
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to take this time to say that I appreciate all that you are doing to make feminism a real force in the world. You are encouraging women to respect themselves and to be aware of the world around them. You fight back against the forces that portray women in a bad light, and you continue to hold every segment of society to the flame.
    Please don’t give television a free pass. They are doing enough damage every minute, repetitively–commercials and shows–to roll back all our efforts. A regular segment called “(Un)Feminist Guilty Pleasures” really worries me.

  5. ellestar
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I preferred Confessions of a Matchmaker on A&E. It centers around regular people instead of millionaires and gold diggers. It sounds like all of the fun and dysfunction of Millionaire Matchmaker with only 1/4 of the unfeminist guilt!

  6. FemiDancer
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I think part of the (un) feminist guilty pleasures is to examine exactly why they are unfeminist. Not so much giving television a pass, as admitting that you like something you know you shouldn’t, and exploring why you shouldn’t in discussion.

  7. adminassistant
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    This is so awesome! Last night my husband said he was confused by how Hillary called the women “trash” and other unsavory things, when they accused Bill, but her campaign is courting women with a feminist-type message. I told him it was possible to be both a feminist and to defend your man, but it made me think about how, in order to be a “true” feminist (whatever that may mean to each of us) popular expectation is that if you call yourself a feminist, you have to disavow anything and everything in pop culture.

  8. Shinobi
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    My TOTALLY guilty feminist pleasure is The Girls Next Door.
    I know… Right?
    But their relationship dynamics just fascinate me. I keep wondering what they are REALLY thinking.

  9. Andrea
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    adminassistant: “but it made me think about how, in order to be a “true” feminist (whatever that may mean to each of us) popular expectation is that if you call yourself a feminist, you have to disavow anything and everything in pop culture.”
    Pretty much. I am so sick of getting the reaction, “How can you like (insert tacky sexist TV show/movie/artist/song/painting/whatever)? You’re a feminist!” People just can’t seem to understand that, for me, it’s possible to enjoy a healthy addiction to reality television while consciously critiquing everything you watch. I love Top Model because I love models, fashion, Miss Tyra, Mr. Jay, and Miss J. This doesn’t mean that I don’t realize that the modelling industry, Miss Tyra’s talk show, and television as a whole are antifeminist. As FemiDancer said, “I think part of the (un) feminist guilty pleasures is to examine exactly why they are unfeminist.”
    Asking feminists to avoid pop culture because it is sexist is utter nonsense. Should working feminists avoid careers because many workplaces are sexist? Should hetersexual feminists avoid dating men, since heteronormative relationships are sexist? Fuck no! To me, the point of the feminist existence is to live in the world as it exists while constantly trying to change it. Feminists can engage in pop culture and view it in ways that fit their beliefs, or create feminst media. Working feminists can advocate for workplace equality. Heterosexual feminists can date feminist or pro-feminist men and insist that their relationships be egalitarian.
    That said, does anyone watch the most misogynist show of all, Flavor of Love? I was going to ditch this season, but then I saw Buckwild and Saaphyri will be guests on next week’s show, and decided to stick around for a bit.

  10. Posted March 20, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    @manifestadestiny — I don’t see this as giving anything a free pass. I think it’s totally possible to enjoy an un-feminist program/product, and have part of that enjoyment come from the way it stirs your analytical mind. For example I can see that a large part of why Miriam enjoys Millionaire Matchmaker is that it presents all of these scenarios ripe for discussion about sexism, chastity, gender roles, etc. That’s part of the fun I get out of it.
    If you are honest with yourself, you will realize that we all do something that could be labled “unfeminist” — buying and wearing makeup or padded bras, flirting with a bartender for faster service, simplifying issues for our kids or guiding them into socially mandated gender roles, dieting, not confronting our mother every time she asks when we’re going to get engaged already…
    I think the point of the series is to air the fact that being a feminist doesn’t mean we’re opting out of society, just that we partake in it with a critical eye — and we CAN do that in a self-assured, good-humored way.

  11. ElleMariachi
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Hahahaha, I never would have thought the names “Buckwild” and “Saaphyri” would be on Feministing! (Pssst–Andrea–thanks for the tip, I’ll have to check out that episode! And I was a “Charm School” viewer too. Haha!)
    I totally agree with FemiDancer…it’s important to examine why things are unfeminist. I don’t know examining that will cause me to stop watching my own guilty pleasure shows (sadly I’ve been suckered into “The Bachelor” this season because the guy’s actually kind of cute, and a British accent never hurt anyone)/listening to my own guilty pleasure music, but eh. It gets you thinking, which is good.

  12. manifestadestiny
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    “I think part of the (un) feminist guilty pleasures is to examine exactly why they are unfeminist. Not so much giving television a pass, as admitting that you like something you know you shouldn’t, and exploring why you shouldn’t in discussion.”
    Let’s have this conversation while we’re at it: “I know my boyfriend is a total ass who treats me like shit, but I love the way he fucks me! It just melts my mind!”
    Is feminism the equivalent of a Republican closet-homosexual lashing out at gay sex so his sex can be more exciting because he’s ensured that it’s more illicit? Does feminism exist to make closet submissives feel “guilty pleasure” when they fall back and let the patriarchy roll all over them?
    We’re not talking about watching it and getting disgusted, we’re talking about watching and loving. I wouldn’t read Shakespeare’s Sister if they started writing, “Why I like John McCain” and were serious about it.

  13. Posted March 20, 2008 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Right on Miriam and right on Andrea– you hit the nail on the head.

  14. SarahMC
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Millionaire Matchmaker is so horribly anti-feminist and so horribly cringe-worthy, but yeah, to quote Miriam – “it’s fun to be outraged by Patti and her crazy techniques, to poke fun at the awkward bachelors and at this same time hope that someone might find love.”
    I resent the fact that, while she doesn’t agree with the men’s preferences, Patti goes along with them and participates in (and profits from) the misogyny.
    But I often agree with her when she admonishes the men for being asshats. Especially when they get all pissy that she has “rules” and gives them dating advice.
    Your way ain’t workin’, fella! If you don’t want Patti’s guidance, don’t pay shitloads of $$ for her services.
    It saddens me that the women willingly submit themselves to such sexist treatment.
    The show really reinforces terrible stereotypes about women.
    But I guess men and women who are that superficial and shallow deserve each other.

  15. norbizness
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Individually, most of the words in this post and the comments make sense, but not necessarily in the order presented.

  16. zoelawgirl
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    adminassistant, Femidancer, and manifestdestiny– right on. my sisters bug me all the time about LOVING the girls next door because i’m a feminist. but let’s face it– i love those girls! i am also totally facinated by their relationships and i kind of like how open and forward they are about their sexuality. i used to be vehemently against pornography for alllll of the political reasons you can think of but that show has actually started to see the other side: if its in a healthy, consenting environment, and adults are having fun– it doesn’t seem so bad. and of course kendra’s nipple tassles always crack me up.

  17. plenilune
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    i watched the show a few times and thought it was kinda funny, particularly these guys, who are so successful in a business sense yet so utterly clueless in a relationship sense. but then patti had to go and blame men’s peter pan complexes on women who put out, and *click* channel change.
    the sexual double standard pisses me the hell off, but then when you go and blame women for men’s immaturity, well that’s where i draw the line. boys will be boys my ass. these guys need to learn to be responsible for their own actions, period. women are not men’s moral gatekeepers!!!

  18. dragonfly88
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    “Let’s have this conversation while we’re at it: ‘I know my boyfriend is a total ass who treats me like shit, but I love the way he fucks me! It just melts my mind!’”
    I have to say that I’m with manifestadestiny on this one. When I read the post I had the same gut reaction–and a similar example popped into my head.
    It’s not that I think someone, as an individual, can’t be a feminist if they watch those kinds of programs (although it does boggle the mind, a bit), but I am not comfortable with a Feminist entity like Feministing publicly defending the existence of television shows that exist solely to exploit our fellow human beings (male or female). I don’t have to step very far out my front door to find people discussing the latest reality tv train wreck, if that is what I am looking for. It’s definitely not what I come to Feministing to read about. I have always seen Feministing and other online feminist communities as a refuge from the sexism that is so pervasive in pop culture.
    I really hope that Feministing rethinks this feature.

  19. ElleMariachi
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    “Let’s have this conversation while we’re at it: ‘I know my boyfriend is a total ass who treats me like shit, but I love the way he fucks me! It just melts my mind!’”
    I’m completely not being sarcastic in any way when I say this, but I don’t get the connection between being in an abusive relationship for the sex and watching a TV show that is considered anti-feminist. I don’t really think I should have to turn in my feminist card because I like to shake my ass to some Eminem once in a while. I’m pretty aware of the fact that certain things in pop culture that I might think are enjoyable are not very feminist–hell, I grew up with a mom who was (and still is) part of the ol’ victim blaming school of “She asked for it because she was wearing a short skirt/didn’t listen to her parents”–but as long as I have my head planted firmly in reality, I don’t really see the shame in admitting to watching a certain TV show. JMO, YMMV, etc.

  20. Andrea
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    ElleMariachi – I’m pretty sure Charm School was one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever seen. Mo’Nique is one of my favorite celebrities, and I thought she truly had the women’s best interests at heart. That pageant director creepy guy was a bit much, however. And, though I hate to admit it, the finale had me in tears. I really felt like the show started out as a typical slut-shamer, but ended up helping two terrific women get their heads in the right place.

  21. poemless
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I not only like, but commend this series! Not because we should all have nothing better to do than talk about why we like infantile tv shows or buying shoes. Not because the tv shows themselves deserve our attention.
    But because no one is immune from this. Admit it or not, sexism in culture is so pervasive that even those who do the good work of advocating for women’s rights, etc. are bound to find themselves being sucked into the culture around them. And it leaves us conflicted and gives us just one more reason to judge ourselves. I LOVE America’s Next Top Model. I must be a bad feminist. :( No – I am a human and a product of my environment and living in a confusing/liberating time where the old standards by which we judge gender are blurry. Just as no human could possibly ever attain the ideal of womanhood demanded by patriarchy, no human can possibly ever attain the ideal of womanhood demanded by some feminists. I think it is fair to say that if you are at this site – or, uhm, devote your time to contributing to or running it – you are doing a damn fine job, considering. Life presents infinite choices, and despite ourselves, we make some that are not ideal. We will smoke knowing it will kill us, take long hot showers knowing some people have no access to fresh water, fall for the wrong person no matter how hard we fight it, order dessert even though we don’t need it, and watch bad tv when we want to turn our brains off for a while. I think it’s always better to admit something, understand why it is harmful, and come to terms with whatever it is about this harmful pasttime that gives us pleasure, than everyone pretend they are perfect. No one is, but a lot of us try and fail and try again. Most of us. It is normal. Can we not judge and pathologize the fact but accept it and just keep trying? Call it the battle you lost. Which is a better message to send to women: “sometimes you will not be perfect, and that’s ok. Accept it an move on.” Or, “if you don’t do x, y and z, you are a bad bad feminist and should be ashamed?” The latter seems like a good way to discourage women from identifying as feminists, even if they believe in equal pay and donate to Planned Parenthood and volunteer at a rape crisis hotline. If they watch Sex in the City, they … should not admit it? It’s just that shameful? I really don’t think so…

  22. ellestar
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I fail to see how enjoying something like America’s Next Top Model is even remotely similar to being in an abusive relationship. (Being a fan of the Chicago Cubs, however, just never stops hurting.)
    I also don’t think it’s about defending the television shows (or music, movies, books, whatever). Sometimes a person can’t help but like something that appears to be against their (in this case feminist) moral leanings. Rather than just accepting that we are hypocrites, some of us would like to further examine what keeps us coming back to this media, what infuriates us about it, and what we can do to make changes as active consumers of the media.
    In my America’s Next Top Model example, I started watching because I was interested in the fashion pictures and how women were able to model and make clothes or whatever artistic and beautiful using their bodies. I found that the context of the models’ daily lives and personalities made me more emotionally invested in how the pictures turned out. I’m not ignoring or condoning the stereotypes of beauty put forth by the show, nor do particularly like how the models are treated and tested within the show. Those factors do detract from my overall enjoyment of the show. And if they detract enough (as they sometimes have) I turn it off, write letters, make angry posts, etc.
    I don’t see anything wrong with liking something, but still being able to critique it. And it feels, to me, like a more genuine critique coming from someone who actually enjoys it. Let’s say that didn’t particularly like hip hop. I could sit here and decry its misogynistic lyrics and say the whole genre is a shambles. But it means nothing because I didn’t really ever like it to begin with, never listened to it closely, and don’t see the potential for change within the genre.

  23. harlemjd
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    In the interests of full disclosure, I admit that my (un)feminist guilty pleasure is probably the most (un)feminist of all (unless someone out there likes voting Republican) – I love James Bond movies. Yes they are horribly sexist and many of them star Sean “I hit my wife” Connery.
    But you know what? They’ve also been the focus of some really good conversations about feminism. I’ve watched them with other women and talked about our desire to (just once!) see him NOT get the damn girl (for reasons other than he doesn’t want her or she dies before he can bed her). I’ve talked with my guy friends about why certain scenes are more cringe-inducing than others and why the Connery-era Bond is a rapist.
    It’s called popular culture for a reason. Those aspects of it that are salvageable aren’t just guilty pleasures; they’re also potential teaching moments.

  24. Ruby
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I get it — we are not immune from popular culture and it is not a sin against feminism to partake in it. But I’m with dragonfly and manifestadestiny on this one. I’ve always enjoyed Feministing because it is one of the rare spaces where I don’t have to deal with uncritical conversations about sexist pop culture crap. There are so many other outlets for that. Why Feministing?
    I’m disappointed in this new addition to the blog.

  25. dragonfly88
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    “I fail to see how enjoying something like America’s Next Top Model is even remotely similar to being in an abusive relationship.”
    I don’t think anyone is arguing that watching sexist television shows are the same thing as being in an abusive relationship. The point is that the “excuses” are eerily similar. “I know it’s really sexist, but it’s so addictive,” sounds an awful lot like “I know he treats me like shit, but I love him.” Perhaps a more apt comparison would be, “I know that joke was racist, but it was just so darn funny.”
    As I said earlier, I don’t think that woman are necessarily “less feminist” if they watch these kinds of shows. I can’t stand reality tv because I find it to be incredibly exploitative (of both men and women), but I’m quite sure that I have watched things in my life that are far from a feminist ideal. This isn’t about being the perfect feminist.
    It’s about my disappointment that the editorial staff of Feministing has decided that this is an appropriate forum in which to glorify these kinds of things. I come to blogs and online communities like Feministing to find refuge from the bombardment of sexism that is so inherent in our culture. This is a huge disappointment.

  26. Posted March 20, 2008 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    In the full realisation that this is not my blog and I am merely a guest here, and the Feministing crew can post anything they want here…
    I’m not really seeing either a critical look at the shook in the original post, nor a critical discussion of the show in the comments. I thought that’s what you said in the previous post this would be, and it’s certainly how it’s being defended in the comments.
    I don’t really have a judgment on anyone who watches any t.v., but where’s the critical discussion? I can still love and watch Buffy while simultaneously criticising Joss’s racial issues, and love and read slash fiction while criticising the way they portray women. I don’t see much in terms of “let’s talk about what’s wrong with this show, which only people who love it will really get or care about”.
    If that’s not where you want to go, I can accept that, but it seems that’s what people are defending these posts as, and how these posts were presented. Perhaps some retooling?

  27. meeneecat
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely loathe these reality dating/matchmaking shows. I can’t really speak about this show individually because I haven’t ever seen it, but from the description, it seems that it plays over the same old stereotypes that these shows all seem to have in common. It’s one of the reasons I stopped watching TV. For me the only way to show my disapproval of (most) pop culture, is through a total boycott. It’s hard because this stuff is everywhere – but not watching TV is the least I can do.
    I also agree with another commenter who said that one of the great things about Feministing is that it’s a refuge from all that sexist pop culture crap. I have to say I’m a little wary of this series too.

  28. Ruby
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Great point, Anna. I also wasn’t under the impression that the intent of this series is to deconstruct (un)feminist guilty pleasures. If that were the case, I might feel better about it…
    Also, isn’t “(un)feminist” just a euphemism for “sexist?” If the series were entitled “Sexist Guilty Pleasures” or “Misogynistic Guilty Pleasures,” would people still find it appealing?

  29. Lori
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I don’t like this either, for all the reasons already stated. Just adding one more voice to that side of the discussion. Don’t think it’s appropriate all.

  30. manifestadestiny
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you dragonfly88–especially for elaborating on the point I made and making it more understandable, but also for pointing out that there are plenty of other forums dedicated to loving television shows–Lori, Ruby–great point about sexist guilty pleasure/misogynist guilty pleasure, meeneecat–I’ve also stopped watching tv–and Anna for speaking up.
    There was a study done by Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that concluded that people can show the same symptoms of addiction to television as they do to drugs. It is a struggle for people to overcome it; I’ve experienced people getting mad at me for muting the commercials, let alone turning it off when there was nothing on.

  31. moriath
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Also, isn’t “(un)feminist” just a euphemism for “sexist?” If the series were entitled “Sexist Guilty Pleasures” or “Misogynistic Guilty Pleasures,” would people still find it appealing?
    I do think there’s a fine difference between “not-feminist” and “mysogynistic” There are plenty of forms of entertainment that don’t espouse specifically feminist values, but also don’t espouse mysogynistic or anti-feminist values. I don’t have to eschew all forms of TV in order to be a feminist, but I can stay away from the blatantly mysogynistic shows (like most “reality” shows seem to be) and the shows that aren’t particularly feminist but are otherwise rather harmless. One of my new favorite shows comes to mind “Eli Stone.” Though they are starting to have some trouble painting the women as anything other than jealous harpies. Then again, a lot of the men are jealous harpies as well. A positive, blatantly pro-feminism show? No. Better than the London Bachelor? Hell yes.

  32. ellestar
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Again, I’ll restate that I like this new edition. I don’t know if the original posts will have the critique, but as the comments above show, critique will certainly result from the posts.
    Currently, my favorite subscription is to Bitch Magazine which (as most of you probably already know) is “the feminist response to pop culture.” I like discussing pop culture and its impact on society. I don’t think that Feministing will forgo any of the other posts to include this new feature, but I like that that it has been included in the discussion.
    I consume pop culture (especially television and movies) and feel as though I am an active participant in this media, watching questioning content that is available to everyone. I’m glad that I will be able to come to Feministing to read and discuss this pop culture with other intelligent people who, while they may not agree about what is entertaining about it, will engage in a thoughtful discussion of what I believe is a huge part of our culture.

  33. Mina
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    “There are plenty of forms of entertainment that don’t espouse specifically feminist values, but also don’t espouse mysogynistic or anti-feminist values.”
    That’s especially true for music without lyrics! ;)

  34. dragonfly88
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    ellestar wrote: “Currently, my favorite subscription is to Bitch Magazine which (as most of you probably already know) is “the feminist response to pop culture.” I like discussing pop culture and its impact on society.”
    I am huge fan of Bitch and I also like to discuss pop culture’s societal impact, but I didn’t feel like this post was discussing the impact–it was just glorifying the train wreck.

  35. moriath
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if the original posts will have the critique, but as the comments above show, critique will certainly result from the posts.
    I love critiquing pop culture; I intend on getting at least one higher degree in comparitive media studies. And maybe future posts will have some form of critique, but I haven’t seen any critique of this “guilty pleasure” in this post. The original post is 95% summary of the show for those of us who haven’t seen it, with the remainder being excuses for why this is entertaining, even to feminists. The comments have been either “I love this show, too (or others like it) even though I know it’s bad” or critique of the existence of this new series of posts.

  36. ellestar
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Okay. I’m beginning to understand the resistance (took me long enough). I had assumed that a discussion and critique of the guilty pleasure would take place after each post. It appears that the fear is that this won’t happen, that it will just be a place to list things that we like that are (un)feminist.
    So, I totally agree with everyone who’s wary. I had thought that the posts would be a jump start for a discussion, which would be good. If it’s not, maybe that isn’t so good.
    However, it’s hard to say that no critical discussion will follow these posts based on this trial alone because any discussion has been drowned out by the novelty of these types of posts and the reaction to them.
    But you’re right: If these posts don’t have a healthy dose of criticism included, I’ll stop reading them.

  37. soalexgoes
    Posted March 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I think this feature has the potential to turn into something really interesting that helps guide people through the sometimes murky waters of pop culture as it relates to feminist thought. So far, it’s already fostered some pretty thoughtful dialogue on the subject.
    However, this particular entry doesn’t seem to offer enough talking points to make it seem like it’s anything but an admission of guilt for liking a series that is, um. (Un)Feminist.
    I totally agree that one can be both a feminist and an unabashed consumer of pop culture at its trashiest, but I do hope that, if Feministing decides to continue with this particular feature (And I hope it does! I think it can do a lot of good.), that it doesn’t sidestep personal responsibility or thoughtfulness on the viewer’s part.

  38. Jol
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I agree with the other criticisms of this series. This doesn’t seem to be an analytical look at the show, only a restatement of the fact that Miriam gets “guilty pleasure” out of it.
    I’ve given money to Feministing because I felt it helped me – but lately I feel like it’s swerving into frivolity. I think critiquing pop culture, advertising and other media influences is valuable, but I get the sense it’s happening with decreasing robustness here in recent times.

  39. Jol
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I agree with the other criticisms of this series. This doesn’t seem to be an analytical look at the show, only a restatement of the fact that Miriam gets “guilty pleasure” out of it.
    I’ve given money to Feministing because I felt it helped me – but lately I feel like it’s swerving into frivolity. I think critiquing pop culture, advertising and other media influences is valuable, but I get the sense it’s happening with decreasing robustness here in recent times.

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