Aug 9, 2014

A Pretty Boring Ménage à Trois


      One of my favorite quotes of all times used to be 'behind every great man there's a woman'. Although the exact origin of the saying isn't known for sure, the women's movement of the sixties and seventies adopted it as its own which is more than fine by me. They also promoted the notion that 'a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle' which is quite lovely too, but I still prefer another quote to both of these two which is a variation of the first I mentioned and was said by Groucho Marx.
      Groucho Marx was an American comedian and TV star who made the majority of his films and TV appearances in the forties, fifties and sixties and that's when he probably said the following: "Behind every successful man there's a woman — and behind her is his wife." Now, maybe the feminists got their slogan from him or maybe the opposite is true, but either way at first, I wasn't overly amused by his words and I'm sure you too can't help but feel sorry for the successful man's poor clueless wife. Maybe the feminists back in the day weren't too excited by the quote as a whole either and decided to omit the final part but let's be honest, that would be cheating. If I said 'you're so sexy, you make my vagina feel like cotton mouth', you can't go around telling people I said you're hot because that would be taking stuff out of context, but let's forget about my vagina for a second and focus on Mr Marx and his quote.
      Maybe he wanted to say that a successful man needs to get laid since the constant strive for wealth and/or success is stressful that's why he needs a mistress because wives in general don't have sex with their husbands. Maybe he wanted to say that a successful man is smart enough to have a concubine on the side, whether the wife fucks him or not. Maybe he simply wanted to say that all successful men cheat. Or — maybe he wanted to say that a successful man needs not one but two women behind him in order to be successful and guess which explanation I'm going with. The last one, yes. Call me feminist, go ahead, I'll take it as a compliment.
      This shouldn't come as too big of a shocker, I think, since I've written about female supremacy before — many, many times before. After reading one of my posts not too long ago, even my boyfriend said: "Babe, I think you have a feminist tendency." Gee, ya think? But even though I'm pro-feminism, I'm not exactly on board with saying that women don't need men, period. In all honesty, we do, we need them, women need men — who else will otherwise kill those woolly mammoths for us and shoo away all the swarms of pterodactyls and shit? So although saying that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle is entertaining, I wouldn't say it's one hundred percent true, while I do wholeheartedly support other aims advocated by feminism like for example first and foremost gender equality.
      Yes, I'm all for equality of the sexes but it seems that even though it's so fashionable to adopt this stance these days (Beyonce, for example, preaches about feminism in at least two songs on her latest album), somewhere along the lines people (women) started to forget that 'equality' doesn't mean 'let's be equal most of the time, but I do want special treatment here and there', that's actually the exact opposite of 'equality'. What am I getting at? I'm getting at this:
      Last year a comedian, Sarah Silverman (and a very brilliant comedian may I add) did a show where she picked on Jonah Hill for being fat and said, among a slew of other  insults  jokes: "Jonah, on a scale from one to ten, do you own a scale?" Then Jonah Hill (who's another very brilliant comedian) came on and defended himself by taking jabs back at her saying: "I think [Sarah] is gorgeous . . . she's hot for someone her age . . . Sarah is a role model for every little girl out there. I mean every little girl out there dreams of being a 58-year old single stand-up comedian with no romantic prospects on the horizon. They all dream of it — but Sarah did it." Sarah was 43 at the time, has been on the Maxim's Hot 100 list twice and also appeared on the cover, just FYI. That's why what Jonah said was funny, he didn't say that to Roseanne or Rosie O'Donnell (who in turn wouldn't pick on Jonah for being fat, I think).
      Nonetheless, a lot of people (women) were offended yammering about women's rights and I've recently read an article about the 'incident' by Abby Ellin from Psychology Today saying how sexist and all kinds of wrong that comeback by Jonah Hill was. But come on, that wasn't wrong, that was comedy. Even Sarah herself gave props to Jonah afterwards and said he was hilarious, because that's comedy for you: it's open season, it's the wild wild WILD west out there in the comedic trenches on the front line of laughter and you have to be prepared to take one for the team from time to time, especially if you've tormented so many people beforehand (and you definitely can't cry wolf and play the 'but I'm a girl' card which in this day and age of emancipation and female empowerment should be burnt anyway).
      Sarah has in fact hounded a person or two in her career. Just before getting called an old maid by Jonah, she basically made a bunch of fat jokes about an overweight dude — if she wasn't on a stage, she'd get called to the principal's office or get a detention for bullying. Also, the woman once said to Hugh Hefner on his 75th birthday: "Look at your girlfriends, so beautiful. When are you gonna get serious? You know one day you might want one of them changing diapers, I mean if it gets too hard to do it yourself." I think she kind of had it coming, don't you?
      Although Ellin's article didn't touch upon that, it did bring up an interesting fact, though: Where are all the father-in-law jokes? There's a sea of mother-in-law jokes which helped solidify the mother-in-law stereotype, while fathers-in-law are totally amicable and utterly gregarious so they can't be made fun of, right? Yeah, right. Now this does in fact reek of sexism in the language of comedy.
      Another thing that's been sprayed with eau de sexism is the term 'old maid' and its synonym 'spinster'. Do you know that 'spinster' doesn't have an antonym, a pair? There are: woman — man, cow — bull, actress — actor, lioness — lion, queen — king, spinster — . . . Spinster — ??? What do you call all those 30, 40, 50-yearl old bald/overweight/overly hairy/overly body-odoury single men still living with their parents? Alcoholics? At least the old maid got her own apartment and is capable of taking care of a bunch of cats. But what does the Book of Stereotypes say about 30+ single built-in mama's boys? Because they do exist, don't tell me that they don't, I personally know a few.
      As it turns out, maybe the mother-in-law, the old maid nor the spinster isn't the one who needs feminism defending her and her rights, I guess the 35-yearold Dick still sleeping under his dad's roof and eating at Mama's Kitchen every day is the one who needs a good hearty portion of emancipation. I guess he's the one who needs our support and love and sympathy. I guess he's the one who has to wait and pray and hope that one day maybe, just maybe, he'll meet a set of two lovely ladies like Groucho's successful man above, because apparently that's what a man needs to get ahead in life — women. I just hope that all three of them are self-assured enough to be able to laugh at their own expense from time to time because otherwise that would make for a pretty boring ménage à trois.



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