I’m watching so much film and TV atm, now that my exams are out the way and so I thought, why not put all those hours to good use in a new blogging series I’m calling ‘A Feminist Watches’ because if I’m honest, sometimes I find it really hard to just enjoy the film without focusing on all the inequalities. I’m not trying to appeal to the stereotype feminism takes the fun out of everything but also… well…
I thought I’d start with my all time favourite female comedian Miranda Hart- and it’s spoiler free. Her show Miranda capital STOLE my heart when I was 10 (sorry, did that make you feel really old) but when I recently re-watched it I realised it wasn’t all such fun. See what I did there? (If the answer is no then you’re probably really going to struggle with the rest of this post so I recommend you phone into work, say you’ve caught a terrible case of existentialist crisis, pop to HMV if it still exists, buy the boxset and spend the rest of the day watching it before returning back to yours truly to understand what I’m actually on about.) On with the post.
Hypermasculinity: Miranda, I love you, but sometimes the way you treat Gary is reallllllly bad. (Why did I address that to Miranda, she is famous, she is busy, Jess she is not I repeat not going to read this.) There’s literally a whole episode where she mocks him for being scared of geese when geese are actually pretty creepy- I learnt the hard way after eating a bread roll in front of a body of water in 2003 and having to retaliate to the car bonnet to prevent being eaten alive by one of the hundred birds that emerged from it. Don’t underestimate the quack, it’s lethal. So, not only is this phobia pretty natural- newsflash: men are scared of things too!- but then there’s another episode (or maybe it’s the same one, I’m such a fake fan) where Gary feels the need to turn into a ‘Geezer’ to stop everyone calling him ‘sweet’. All this does is suggest that men have to wear a string vest and own a power drill to be proper men, which is such BS. I’d way rather have someone affectionate that can cry at Captain Phillips with me, than someone that thinks they need a Cher Lloyd style swagger in order to fit in, so stop scaring all the emotionally vulnerable guys into the gym please! Send them my way instead!
Women. Swoon. At. Everyone: I swear these ladies could come into contact with Donald Trump holding his Muslim Ban in one hand and wotsit wig in the other and still swoon. It presents women as such drippy drips. Plus, no one swoons anymore, the game has changed. If you like them you just snapchat them nudes with the dog filter or something.
The Tall, ‘Plus-sized’ Character Is Funny: Yes, I am aware it’s a comedy and that Stevie is mocked for her height too and that Miranda made it pretty cool to be a over 6ft and in your 30s, but there are still problems. While it’s great to see a not-size-10-aerobics-everyday-salad-for-lunch-and-salad-for-dinner-yet-somehow-still-full woman on TV (nothing wrong with that type of gal it’s just, you know, the only one the media acknowledges) this comes at the expense of so many jokes. Like it’s just inherently funny to have to buy your clothes at special shops because high streets don’t cater for you, or have your size 10 friends name you ‘Queen Kong’, or regularly get confused for a man. We laugh at Tilly’s sillington boots language and Penny’s Nigel Havers innuendos but finding Miranda funny for her appearance only reaffirms the social belief that being a certain size is a joke.
Heteronormativity: Miranda pretends she’s a lesbian and then she doesn’t and then Stevie does and then she doesn’t and it’s all a big sexuality mess because anyone with a brain knows you can’t just turn something like that off and on like a dodgy flickering lamp. Not the best message to be sending out.
The Men Have Cooler/Better/Actual Jobs: To be fair, Stevie is spicy with her business conferences, but the rest of the women seem to just lounge around all day doing wedmin or being waitresses meanwhile the men are chefs, news reporters, firemen, gym instructors, shall I go on? tough because I’m going to anyway, chiropractors, priests, doctors, postmen, bed salesmen (ngl I didn’t realise there were going to be this many oops). French teachers! I just keep thinking of them. But ladies, where you at?
Maybe not a feminist issue as such, but still important to note, there’s a lot of Undermining Mental Illness: Cousin Benji is ‘mental’ and Miranda suddenly has depression in the final episode all of which completely reduces serious illness into some adjectives to describe a brief period of extreme emotion. I get this problem isn’t exclusive to Miranda, but once you start noticing it, it’s hard to stop.
Hope you enjoyed something a bit different. Comment below if you’ve seen Miranda and agree with any of these points or if there’s something you want me to watch and blog about. Sorry if I ruined your favourite show, I have a feeling that might be happening a lot over the next few weeks…