Hello dear reader(s)!
My wife and I finished watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt last night and we both thought it was pretty great. Possibly a little heavy-handed (although in times like these I can’t blame Ms. Fey), but so funny and true in so many ways that it didn’t get to me much in the preachy sense.
Because I rated the series as 5 stars on the flix of the net, now Netflix has decided that my interests must lie purely in the realm of feminist cinema. Like serious dramatic feminist cinema. Nowhere does their little algorithm take into account that I also rated Hot Rod as 5 stars or Top Gear (UK version only) or any of the other non-feminist message shows that I like. Nowhere in their algorithm could they maybe have decided I liked the humor regardless of the message (though again, no issues with the message).
Even their assumptions about the message could be off. Maybe what I enjoyed the most was about how easy it is for someone to manipulate a person who does not think for themselves. (It is actually all of it, but that isn’t the point.) The point, is that Netflix has decided that because I can watch an extremely funny show with a great cast, that happens to have a central theme that women can be and are strong, that I must be a woman who only wants to watch things with a feminist message. And, judging by the recommendations, likely a lesbian too.
What sexist crap!
To be fair, I do like thoughtful programming and I am not the macho man (Not THE Macho Man, RIP Randy) that a lot of men I know claim to be. I like 60’s muscle cars, and some modern super cars, I like a Guinness from time to time, I love to play my drums, and I do other stuff traditionally assigned to the male gender role. However, I am also just fine with the fact that I have a feminine side to me as well. I don’t bottle in my emotions, I go to the doctor when sick, I will do housework (when I am feeling well enough, but that goes for anything), I like intellectual and artistic pursuits…plenty of things traditionally assigned to the female gender role. But really Netflix? One comedy show and suddenly I am interested in every documentary and drama about female inequality or lesbian rights (& again, all for it, just don’t see the leap there or care to watch those titles) ever produced (and available on Netflix)?
But blaming Netflix may not be fair. Netflix comes up with their algorithms based on reality. And the reality is, society is pretty stuck on traditional gender rolls. (I like my gender rolls with melted butter and honey, fresh from the oven.) No, society is stuck on traditional gender roles.
Now I’m not saying some of these roles don’t exist for a reason. It isn’t like men and women are exactly the same. If they were, we wouldn’t have men and women. But for people to think that because I am a man, married to a woman, that I can’t cry or admit weakness or listen to a song by Enya or Pink is fucking ridiculous. For people to think that because I am a man I have to go around talking about plowing chicks (if you plow the chicks, they’ll never grow to become chickens) all day is beyond stupid. And it is the same thing in the other direction. According to society, women aren’t supposed to pump gas or do yard work or work on cars, etc, etc…
I do housework, I can be sensitive, I love animals and use the word “cute”. I like the way a Kamikaze and a Lemon Drop tastes more than most beers (Guinness being the exception). This does not make me gay (no offense to my gay friends), to be gay, you need to be attracted to the same sex. Kind of a deal-breaker if not. It does not make me a woman. (No offense to my women friends), to be a woman, well, I guess you would need to identify as one which I do not. Kind of a deal-breaker if not. It makes me a man, who happens to be comfortable with me.
To my male friends, don’t hide your feminine side. Cast off these roles chosen for you by society and be who you are. If you are a macho type guy, that’s cool, be you. But if you’re not, quit hiding. If you don’t, my Netflix recommendations will continue to suck.