Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Harassment is different from just being crude

Time and time and time and time again defendents in sexual harassment cases try to play this game where they imply that the victim is just overly sensitive and too babyish to laugh off sexual humor. But jokes are one thing and using jokes to harass people is an entirely different thing. And that's what we're seeing with this suit against "Friends". They are hiding behind their jobs. "Oh we have to be funny at this job, unlike other jobs where good humor is not allowed because of sensitive whiners," seems to be entire defense here.

Of course, the show isn't really that funny and I don't really see how "jokes" like whipping your dick out at a woman have anything to do with writing a lame sitcom. I agree whole-heartedly with Steve Gilliard's assessment here.

A lot of these guys are spoiled children unable to behave professionally in a work setting. In fact, I'd bet that these guys enjoyed tormenting and shocking women. Her lawyer has played his hand well, saving her comments close to trial time. I would bet anything that when Lyle describes how tormented and abused she felt when these nasty white men said all these sexually suggestive things to her, Warners will be quite unhappy.

The suit is alleging not only that people were harassed due to gender discrimination but also to due to racial discrimination. In other words, these whiny white dudes who write this sitcom were offended that they had to allow black people and women to even be around them and they weren't going to take this lying down.

I shouldn't be surprised, of course. Just watching the show, you gather a truckload of information about the writers' opinions on gender relations, and you can fill in the blanks on their opinions on racial diversity by the lack of it on the show. The joke in practically every episode was, "Men and women are so damn different, aren't they? Men are big doofuses who only care about sex and women are giggling morons who only care about men." The baby-obsessed character of Monica alone was the gold standard of offensive sexist stereotypes in TV sitcoms; her obsessions with all things Woman--weddings, babies, cooking (though she couldn't eat, mind you, since she used to be fat)--were so out of control that her character seemed less a human being and more an issue of Redbook come to life. Shitty writing and a shitty show. It's a shame that the actually funny Lisa Kudrow was on it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ashamed of his photo


Blogger Elayne said...

So what you're saying is, I've missed absolutely nothing by never having watched Friends. (I tried a few times but I never laughed even once. Contrast that with quite a few chuckles for the sitcom Joey, which has me scratching my head wondering about the discrepancy...)


Blogger zuzu said...

As Steve pointed out in comments to his post, at what job other than porn star could you walk around showing your dick to your coworkers and not get fired?

Suggestive is one thing, harassing is another.


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