I have a confession to make. I love It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
I love it so much. And I'm coming clean about it.
I used to think my love for that show made me a bad feminist and a bad progressive.
Why, you ask? Because of things like this:
Don't worry, I'm easing you into things.
If you're thinking to yourself right now, "I am offended," don't watch any more videos. Maybe just skip down and read the rest of the blog.
By the way, they show part of that movie later on in the series. Both Mac and Dee show up in black face.
There's a fair amount of really terrible things in this show.
And they don't all have to do with race.
Okay, those are legit some of the most controversial moments in the show and with zero context, I understand why some of you may be thinking that I'm a terrible person for loving them (I especially love that last one). Absolutely nothing is off limits. Sexism, racism, child molestation, sexual assault, drug addiction... it's all been covered.
Here's the thing though - this show doesn't make you laugh at women, people of color, people who have been molested or assaulted, or drug addicts. We're laughing at these horrible, vile people and at the consequences of them being sexist, racist, narcissistic psychopaths. Consequences like being ripped off in a drug deal and becoming addicted to crack, being hit in the face with a volleyball, and watching their boat burn and sink. The one constant in this show is these are horrible people and nothing good ever happens for them because of their horribleness. There's even a Christmas Carol-esque episode that ends horribly for the gang because they are horrible people.
I'd actually go so far as to say this show is kind of a secretly progressive one. It's essentially the show version of "rape jokes are okay if you're making fun of the rapist." As viewers, we don't relate to any of these characters. Not a single one. We're not supposed to. That level of separation allows people (particularly white people) to watch and see the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt things these people do that are sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. and subconsciously want to do everything they can to NOT emulate them. They're always called out on their terribleness and they're always punished in some way.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is covertly teaching White America to be less terrible.
It's also just ridiculously funny and has been for 12 years.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Dear Women (and Men),
As we keep seeing in the media (well, at least the media I expose myself to), we live in an echo chamber. We surround ourselves with people who think the same way we do. We read and watch media that thinks the way we do. We decide to live in communities that think the same way we do. As such, I've realized that some of you may have seen the Women's March from one perspective and may not even know anyone personally who participated. Consider this a respectful explanation and different way of looking at it.
I was quiet about this for a long time but I have seen too many Facebook posts and heard too many women (and men) that are still annoyed with or straight up hostile towards the Women's March and those who participated, like myself, to remain silent on this.
I've heard we were just a bunch of whiners.
If that's what you want to call this country's tradition of protesting and demanding certain rights, so be it.
I've heard there are so much better uses of our time and resources like donating a can of food to a food shelter.
We can't do both? (For the record, don't donate canned goods. Give money. People using food shelters prefer fresh food too.)
I've heard we need to get jobs.
Not that it's any of your business, but everyone I knew who went works full time.
I've heard we were paid to protest.
Funny, considering that last statement.
I've heard there was no reason for us to march because life is good for women today.
Ironically, life is so good for you because of countless women who marched (some were beaten, imprisoned, and even died) for your rights. And sure, the threat isn't as big for me. But that's not because I'm a woman living in 2017.
It's because I have a good job that provides great health care.
It's because my health insurance pays for birth control.
It's because even if my health insurance decides to not cover birth control, I make enough that I can pay for it out of pocket.
It's because I probably won't ever need an abortion due to my access to birth control.
It's because I won't be condemned or discriminated against because of the person I love.
It's because my gender matches my genitals.
It's because my skin is white and my hair is straight.
It's because the faith I belong to (if any) isn't obvious based on my appearance.
It's because I have no fear that I or anyone in my immediate family will be deported.
It's because I don't have a serious mental illness.
It's because if I lost my home I have people in my life I could fall back on to help me get back on my feet.
I am privileged in a multitude of ways. I marched for myself on January 21st, but I marched more for those who face a far bigger threat. Even though the threat isn't as big for me or anyone else in similar situations, make no mistake - the threat is still real. You don't even have to agree with abortion, homosexuality, being transgender, atheism, Islam, or illegal immigration. All you have to agree with is treating others the way you would like to be treated. And that's why we march.
We march for ourselves, we march for those who have fewer privileges than us, and we march for those who don't think we need to march.