How Tina Fey and Amy Poehler let me down

After watching too much NFL this weekend, I skipped watching the Golden Globes. But I like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, so I watched their opening monologue (dualogue?) on Monday morning.  You can watch it here.golden_globes_amy_tina_2015_-_Google_Search

I found parts of it funny, but a few parts of nagged at me as not funny – not only not funny, but offensive.  Then I read this commentary on how they made this the first feminist film awards ceremony.

And I thought, “wow – that’s exactly NOT how I felt about it.”

The two items I was most uncomfortable about were mentioned in this article: one was the “game” they played of which of two actors they preferred physically, and one was their set of jokes about Bill Cosby.

If we look at their “game” my immediate thought was – wow – if two guys were hosting the Globes, and started comparing which of two actresses they found more attractive, we’d probably be disgusted.  Where is our disgust for the converse?

And regarding Bill Cosby, I was deeply offended that women would make jokes around someone accused of a lifetime of sexual assault and abuse.  Is there any way that his alleged victims would have found that funny?

This all reminded me of a discussion that my professional networking group had last week. We were talking about the things we do as women to fit into men’s cultural dominance in our industries.  I gave the example of becoming an NFL fan because if I didn’t follow football I couldn’t talk to my sales guys or customers for 7 months a year.

We didn’t come to a great conclusion.  I mean, we all kind of agreed that if it didn’t offend your “self” (watching football vs going to a strip club) that it was probably good and maybe even necessary.  But I’m not sure any of us walked away satisfied or comfortable with that answer.

In this excellent post about women in Silicon Valley, Nancy Householder Hauge takes Sheryl’s Sandberg’s style of assimilating into the Temple of Male Behavior to task directly.  She writes, “Until people who have created their success by worshipping at the temple of male behavior, like Sheryl Sandberg, learn to value alternate behaviors, the working world will remain a foreign and hostile culture to women.”

As will, likely, Hollywood.  Brava to Charlize Theron for going after the $10M Sony should have offered her, but she had to go get it.

Anyway, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have done a lot for women in entertainment.  Along with other leaders in women’s comedy like Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Rosanne Barr, Ellen Degeneres, and Rhea Perlman, they have demonstrated that women can be funny on the big screen and the small, as actors and producers, and succeed at the highest levels.

So isn’t it time Tina and Amy do it on terms that are comfortable for women?

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