Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rant: HIMYM

Last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother, titled "The Naked Man," opened with Ted walking in on Robin's date totally naked on his couch. The date explained, in a last ditch effort to get laid, he'd decided to surprise Robin with his nudity in hopes she'd laugh and decide to sleep with him ("Works 2 out of 3 times," he claimed). With Robin, it worked (Note to men everywhere: This would never work). When Robin tells the gang she slept with the naked guy, Marshall deems her a slut. And he's not joking. She is called a slut at least 5 times throughout the episode. And she takes it...like it's the most normal thing in the world to have your friends call you a slut, repeatedly, to your face.

Now, HIMYM features Barney, perhaps the most sexually promiscuous character on TV. He's portrayed as a terrible womanizer, but he's funny and everyone loves him (really, if it weren't for Neil Patrick Harris as Barney, the show would have been canceled long ago). Robin is also pretty sexually promiscuous and it's never really been held up as a negative trait, until the episode last night. Basically, it's the old "Men who sleep around are studs while women who sleep around are sluts" double standard. And while the double standard is troubling, what really bothered me was just how freely they threw the word "slut" around. If some dude actually called me a slut without a hint of jest, I'd punch him in the face. There is malice in that word and I think it is unrealistic and even wrong of the show to pretend otherwise.

I know what you are thinking: Red. Get over it. It's a TV show...and a not very good one at that. And you're right, but like Ms. Norbury says, "you all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores" because it makes those words okay. And Ms. Norbury speaks the truth. Words hold more power than we'd like to think and we need to stop using them to attack women, especially for being sexual creatures...even on dumb TV shows.

That is all.

14 comments:

danielle970 said...

Dude, I thought the same thing last night. When Marshall called her a slut and clearly wasn't joking, I actually raised my eyebrows a little bit. And the fact that she had to prove she wasn't one...I feel your anger, Red!

But I still think this show has potential to be legen-wait for it-dary. Hands down one of my favorite TV shows of all time.

MichelleSG said...

Oh we are so behind, like 3 seasons, on watching HIMYM. We LOVE that show. Now I dunno if I agree with Marshall calling Robin a slut, he's a man whore himself and should just suck it up.
LOVE this show though, I won't let it stop me from watching it though. And for the love of all that is holy (in your book) don't post any spoilers!

Liz said...

The most annoying part of the double standard for me is that it's all a result of guys' stupid Madonna/whore b.s., where they want to have sex with girls, but then don't respect girls who have sex. Figure yourselves out, dudes.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I might try the naked guy on the couch move tonight. See what happens.

The only time I've ever actually called a woman a slut with malice was when I discovered that my fiancee was one month pregnant and we hadn't had sex for three months.

Liz said...

Which begs the question ... Why hadn't you had sex for three months?

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

She lived in DC and I was lived in Fort Wayne, IN. She had moved there for a job and I was stuck in mine.

Liz said...

I see. Either way, that sucks though, dude. Sorry

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

I've never watched this show. For some reason I could never compute that it would be good.

pistols at dawn said...

I've never seen this show (shocker), but I agree with you. Just this weekend, I was arguing a similar point - that there is nothing more emo (in the pathetic sense) than calling a woman a whore.

Every single time it's done, it's because the man in question is mad that she's sleeping/slept with someone who isn't him, and that hurts him emotionally, because he's insecure about his experience and abilities.

So whenever I hear those sorts of words, I just sort of tune out whoever's saying them, because they've already told me all I need to know about them.

words words words said...

I semi-regularly watch this show, and while I thought this episode was funny and that the "naked man" thing was funny, it struck a false note when Marshall called Robin a slut. I just didn't see that as consistent with his character. It's like they forced the slut reference. And I guess that, if anything, shows how unfortunate it is.

danielle970 said...

I think whether a chick is a slut has nothing to do with how many men she's slept with, but how she carries herself. The girl at the party dressed in a nightgown and fishnet stockings who is hanging all over your boyfriend and will go home with any guy just for attention, I would call her a slut. The girl who is polite and funny and respectful that happens to have slept with a ton of men, but doesn't flaunt it or shove her boobs in your face, I wouldn't call her a slut. I really think it has more to do with attitude and appearance than how many people you've actually slept with. JMO.

BeckEye said...

I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.

That's all I've got. I don't watch HIMYM and, as you know, I like offensive programming so the whole slut thing doesn't bother me. It's a double standard that will never go away.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Thanks, Liz. It was nine years ago, so I'm pretty much over it. After reading Red's post, though, I sat here and thought "When did I ever call a woman a slut with intent to be mean? Oh right!"

It was my only way of relating to the post and appeasing my comment whoredom. See what I did there? Irony.

McGone said...

That's not what I was thinking at all. I was thinking "Man, more blog posts should have pictures of Cobie Smulders. Mmm.... Cobie Smulders.... Canadia's own Phoebe Cates."

And then I agreed with you. It is a double standard.