Saturday, July 26, 2008

I spoke too soon - Nutrisystems really does hate women, except Tame Women

The first time I blogged about Nutrisystems and its hatred of women was over a year ago when they ran a commercial implying that while women had all the time in the world to do boring tedious chores connected to losing weight, men's time was more valuable: "what guy has time for that?" This question was asked by a man - some former sports hero, I think.

So just this past month, I changed my tune because they had a spokeswoman ask "WHO has time for that" - making the time thing no longer an issue of male privilege. I really should have held off on praising Nutrisystems, since the spokeswoman is some Malibu Barbie bimbo wearing a hot pink silk lingerie top along with jeans. This woman, apparently some kind of personality, seems to feel she is an honorary guy. This should have been a red (or hot pink) flag: someone off-camera gently tosses her a football. She catches it and asks "how many women could do that?"

Uh - women who aren't paralyzed in both arms?

So really I gave Nutrisystems too much credit for changing the gender in the "time" line.

And it was confirmed for me today. They have a commercial out now which features the schlubby old guy from the first commercial I mentioned AND the Malibu Barbie bimbo. And Malibu Barbie, like any tame woman, does the dirty work FOR the men this time. This time SHE asks "what guy has time for that?"

Malibu Barbie is the spokesmodel for male privilege because they pay her well, but also because she thinks she's an honorary male because she can catch a football and doesn't have time to do things slowly and laboriously the way those stupid women do.

Nutrisystems is not a pioneer in the Tame Woman movement though. This has been going on forever, among right-wing women. But it's no longer considered a backlash, right-wing tactic, now that women are seeping into bastions of liberal male privilege like the NYTimes. The Times used to have only one woman, Maureen Dowd, among its eight regular editorial columnists. Dowd is an outstandingly tame woman. She totally buys into the men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus dichotomy, and she despises Venusians. The worst possible insult she can dream up for a man is to call him a woman. This is absolute standard operating practice of the Patriarchy, both to keep women in line, and to keep men from being openly gay. She is a loathsome piece of work. Bob Somerby explains why at great length here.

So when the Times finally got another female columnist (not exactly parity, since females compose at least half of all human beings on THIS planet) that could only be good, right? Except it was Gail Collins, who had already displayed her Tame Woman cred by claiming that the reason females aren't given opinion columns as often as males is because women just don't have what it takes, and aren't interested anyway, in batting out opinions on a regular basis. It certainly is NOT because old men are making all the hiring decisions - what a distasteful, un-Tame way to think!

So she was the perfect choice for the Times - a Tame Woman who could be relied on to support the Patriarchy every step of the way - and to blame any problems women might have in getting ahead on women themselves. Gail Collins wishes to be considered an honorary male, just like Dowd and Malibu Barbie bimbo.

Nutrisystems is just borrowing a strategy from the "liberal" New York Times.

Sweet! I just discovered a blog by the supercool Pessimistic Redhead who has the same gripe! Awesome. And I found her post by googling "Nutrisystems Barbie."

"Why yes, I am another Tame Woman, shilling for the masters of the Patriarchy"