Feminism is about being strong, and that means both mentally and physically. That being said, it was a treat to see Ellen DeGeneres and Michelle Obama in a pushup battle right on television, and here’s why: these two women are extremely successful and both are very outspoken about being healthy. Michelle Obama is seen as a fashion icon and Ellen models for Cover Girl. The latter qualities are very girl-girly qualities … models of fashion and makeup. So naturally, to see these two women get down on the ground in their expensive clothes and carefully-applied makeup just to have a push-up battle, was amazing.
When you think of “push-up battle” you think of big guys, glistening with sweat, grimacing as they pump up and down trying to prove their manhood. However, Ellen and Michelle flipped that on its head – these two were talking smack, taking off their jackets, and on national TV battled it out. Their makeup never budged, and every hair remained perfectly in place. It reminds me of that saying “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in heels.”
It is said that women who exude “manly behaviors are less likely to be promoted in the work place,” and there was even a recent episode of the hit FOX show “The New Girl” in which a character’s ball-busting lawyer girlfriend tells lead character Jess “if I talked the way you do at work, no one would take me seriously.” She was implying that Jess is far too sweet and girly to be thought of as anything other than “a cute chick.”
This push-up battle and that episode of “The New Girl” both show that girls can be tough and strong and pretty and delicate all at the same time. Michelle Obama and Ellen can run their own shows, start charities, keep their spouses and maintain their families, all while looking great and kicking ass while doing so. What an example, right?
Portia DeRossi, (Ellen DeGeneres’ wife) has gone and written a book. While I am a little tired of every single celebrity and their mom out there writing a book, I do think that this one might be quite good. Portia is really articulate and it does help that she was the star of my all-time favorite TV show, Arrested Development. So I’m intrigued.
Incidentally, I actually attended the Ellen taping when Portia discussed her memoir titled Unbearable Lightness. My friends and I managed to sit in the front row, close enough to see Ellen’s pores. It was pretty awesome, plus we got free stuff which is always a good thing! However, this …
Christian journalist Gary McCullough claims that the reason American Idol has seen such low ratings is because Ellen DeGeneres’ lesbianism turns off many viewers. McCullough believes the show’s choice of DeGeneres is part of a larger push to have more gay people on TV, or what he calls a “pro-homosexuality bender.” His theory is that the networks will stay on this “bender” as part of a politically correct agenda, even if it means declining ratings and advertising dollars. He believes this is why American Idol and many other television shows are performing so poorly, but I think there are two real reasons for why TV is becoming irrelevant.
1. Current TV shows are just really awful. People from the baby boomer generation often talk about how good television was when they were younger and judging from some of the classic shows I have seen, this seems to be true. Even I recall be extremely interested in 1990s television shows (Seinfeld, The Simpsons, etc.), yet now the only show I feel compelled to even attempt to follow is South Park, which is itself a pale imitation of what it once was. I believe that shows tend to “jump the shark” around the middle of season two. Bonethefish.com, the successor to the original Jumptheshark website, lists Ellen’s arrival as only the eighth biggest reason the show jumped, and makes no mention of her sexual orientation. Indeed, the major reason the site lists for the show tanking is that it “sucked from the start” and was never worth watching.
2. People don’t watch TV as often as they used to. This is not only because people seem to work longer hours than they used to, but also because there are simply many more visual entertainment mediums to indulge in. From the internet, to 3D movies, to video games, to porn, the available options make traditional television look less and less appealing everyday. So far this year, 18-34 year olds, Idol’s core constituency and the group most likely to support gay rights, have been watching 5.8 percent less television. People of all ages are watching 2.3 percent less. Even my grandfather, one of the die-hard viewers who has been mesmerized by TV since its inception, now spends a large amount of time on the computer.
Conclusion: The gays are not killing TV, TV is killing TV. Maybe Gary McCullough and his “Christian” buddies watch Pat Robertson all day, but everybody else is finding better things to do.