October 12, 2010
It's Okay on Nickelodeon for Girls to Beat Up BoysBy Larrey Anderson
My almost seven-year-old granddaughter spent the weekend at our home. I had the grandfatherly privilege of watching what, when I was a kid, were the Saturday morning cartoons with her. I had not seen a weekend kids' cartoon for years. I relented -- Jude is my only granddaughter. It is my job to spoil her.
...Except the programs weren't cartoons, and they weren't funny. We saw two different shows before I shut off the TV. Both of the programs contained feminist fantasies of sadism directed at young boys. And both programs were on the Nickelodeon Channel.
"Nick," as Nickelodeon is called, is owned by MTV, which is a subsidiary of Viacom. Before we get to the content of the two "kids' shows" on Nick, a little background is in order. Viacom also owns the Comedy Central cable network.
Jon Stewart hosts "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. In a controversial segment of "The Daily Show," Stewart, imitating Glenn Beck, criticized FOX for corporate contributions to the GOP. Stewart failed to mention that his parent company, Viacom, gives a lot of money to Democrats. So progressives run Viacom (yawn) -- back to Viacom's kids' shows on Nick.
The first program I watched with my granddaughter was "iCarly." The basic premise of the show is this: Carly, the young female teenage star, has a popular YouTube type of site on the internet that depicts typical moments in her life. Carly's costar is Sam, another teenage girl, who acts as a kind of "enforcer" for Carly. "iCarly" has been nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Children's Programming." It is recommended for children aged six to fourteen.
This particular episode was called "iSpeed Date." Carly asks Sam to invite a chubby little teenage boy (the character's name is "Gibby") to the upcoming Girls' Choice Dance. When Gibby refuses Sam's offer, she grabs the boy and repeatedly slams him against a locker in the school's hallway.
Another male co-star (Freddie) tries to intervene to stop Sam's abuse. Sam threatens Freddie with physical violence and he immediately submits -- placing his hands in front of his face in a defensive and surrendering posture to the teenage girl.
Guffaws galore. Now picture an episode where a teenage boy who is refused a date to a dance slams the girl, over and over, against a locker. Oh, wait -- that would be on some episode of "Law and Order," and the assailant would be arrested and brought to swift justice.
To make matters worse, a few minutes before (female) Sam pummels (male) Gibby, another teenage girl "magically" makes the fat little Gibby's clothes disappear from his waist up. (The clip of this part of the show is here at 1:00. Sam's assault on Gibby at the locker is not available on the website.) Gibby stands, humiliated and half-naked, in the school's hallway. Such things happen to young teenage girls only in (illegal) porno films. But it's all fun and giggles when it happens to obese teenage boys on Nickelodeon's kids' shows.
I was upset with the program's content -- but my granddaughter was insistent. I relented -- but no more "iCarly."
Up next was a series called "Big Time Rush." The episode was titled "Big Time Break." (Click on this link to view the "Big Time Break" episode. Nickelodeon does not release full-length "iCarly" episodes on its website.)
"Big Time Rush" follows the (make-believe) attempt of four older teenage boys from Minnesota to break into the LA music scene with their band "Big Time Rush." This was the first and only episode I have seen of this so-called children's sitcom. The theme for this particular show was the boys taking the day off and going their separate ways to pursue some particular interest.
One character, Kendall, decides to see if he can get a teenage girl to go on a date with him. The girl claims to already have a boyfriend but, in lieu of a date, invites Kendall to work out with her at the gym. The girl is an expert in judo and repeatedly throws Kendall to the mat. Just a little slapstick humor. (The judo session starts at about 4:00 into the episode.) Imagine, however, the reaction to the series if Kendall were hammering a girl onto the floor, again and again, to prove his manhood.
Another band member, named Logan, goes off in search of his favorite writer. The writer is a feminist and a mathematician. Logan acquires a ticket for her lecture. Unfortunately for Logan, the lecture is being given at an all-girl school. A female security guard physically assaults Logan at 5:30 into the video, repeatedly beating him with a life-size cardboard cutout of the author Logan wants to see.
The main event starts at about 18:30 into the episode. Logan dresses in female attire and sneaks into the school. The writer addresses the all-female audience and states, "It's a known fact, boys are not as smart as girls." The writer claims that men are not smart enough to understand her book. Logan objects, takes off his wig, and says he understood the book.
The entire audience of teenage girls immediately assaults Logan. Watch the video carefully. One of the girls smashes a chair down on Logan.
Loads of laughs. But it would be absolutely verboten for the roles of the sexes to be reversed in the scene. (Picture a gang of teenage boys beating a young girl senseless -- not so humorous.)
The point is driven home at the very end of the episode. Logan literally crawls back into the boys' apartment with his clothes torn apart. He gets to relate his "funny" adventure first.
That was all the feminist and politically correct sadism I could stand. Over the objections of my granddaughter, I turned off the TV. We did the right thing and took my dogs for a walk.