Nickelodeon’s “The Legend of Korra” Makes Light of Abusive Women, and That’s Not Okay

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[Spoiler Alert: This post discusses some minor plot details of The Legend of Korra, season 2, particularly of relationship dynamics and statuses]

Friends, I have a confession: I am a nerd. One of my nerddoms of choice is anime, which has recently come to center stage as Nickelodeon has finally delivered on its promise for a second season of The Legend of Korra, a follow-up to its immensely popular (and immensely awesome) Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Fellow nerd friends, don’t argue with me right now about whether or not Korra should be considered anime. That’s not why we’re here. We’re here to discuss the disturbing trend developing in the series: abusive relationships, particularly abusive women, and how Nickelodeon is perpetuating the sick double standard that says men cannot be abused.

Take Bolin’s tumultuous relationship with the “ice princess” Eska. From the very beginning of their relationship, Eska not just dominates but domineers Bolin. “You will be mine,” she says upon meeting him, to which Bolin inquires whether she means as a boyfriend or a slave. Her response? “Yes.” Cue laughter.

Eska makes outrageous demands of Bolin’s time and energy. She is immediately jealous when he expresses affection for his closest friend—Korra, another woman—which she reacts to with physical force (encasing Bolin in ice to separate the two friends). After Bolin unsuccessfully tries to leave the relationship, he tells his brother Mako that Eska scares him and threatens to hurt him. At one point, when he attempts to end things bluntly, she manipulates him into a forced marriage. When he finally makes a physical escape on another character’s speedboat, Eska pursues using water bending. The camera zooms in on her face—enraged and violent—then pans back to Bolin, who is clearly frightened. “Is this thing fast enough to get away from my crazy, water-bending ex-girlfriend?” he asks, to which another character replies jovially, “Why do you think I built this boat?”

The gag is, admittedly, well executed, but it seems that Bolin has been put through this multiple-episode trauma for the sake of one continuous joke: Men who are abused are hilarious.

At no point does any character react to Bolin’s clearly abusive partner with anything but a blank stare while the audience is meant to laugh at his goofy, yet increasingly desperate, cries for help. After he is safely away from Eska, an incident in Republic City triggers a PTSD-like flashback to when Eska chased after him—and again, this moment is treated as an opportunity for us to laugh at his discomfort.

At no point is Eska really treated as a danger to anyone but Korra, and we are meant to laugh at Bolin’s misfortune. And, of course, the “spurned lover” is now apparently solely motivated in her actions for the other episodes by the loss of Bolin. Naturally.

Perhaps Bolin is susceptible to abusive partners because of his brother Mako, who has also thus far dominated his life. After all, Mako did scald his brother with boiling water in “The Sting” when Bolin refused to help him. Because that’s totally healthy. Again, we are meant to laugh at his expense and not consider the despicable way with how these characters are treating each other.

Mako doesn’t get off easy on most things, and many have speculated that he might have been (at the very least) manipulative and abusive towards his partners in the previous season. However, it seems that he is on the receiving end of that abuse this go-around.

The first two episodes of the season seemed to be showing Korra and Mako dealing with a very common hurdle that young couples face—”when you’re stressed, do you want advice or sympathy?”—these problems escalate beyond what should be reasonable. While Korra does not express the possessiveness that Eska does, she has Mako on edge in every episode so far this season. When she doesn’t like something he says, she starts yelling, accusing him of being out to get her, of “choosing sides” and even choosing other people over her.

This manipulation seems to come to a head when Korra discovers that Mako let someone know about her plans to get an army to go south to defend her home. She kicks in the door to his office and approaches him aggressively, hits his desk, and eventually kicks it across the room in her temper. Thankfully, she does not escalate this violence and leaves when he ends the relationship, but what we have witnessed here is disturbing. There is a very short step between hitting objects and hitting people, and Korra has been known to get physical with defenseless people before.

Nickelodeon makes this worse when the whole thing is turned into, yet again, a joke. Chief Bei Fong, Mako’s boss, comes into the room, sees the disheveled desk, and demands to know what happened. Mako tells her, and she smirks. “You got off easy. You should have seen Air Temple Island when Tenzin broke up with me.”

Okay, so you are also a psychotic bitch. Thanks for the help, Lin.

This is not okay, Nickelodeon. You cannot portray partner abuse with this kind of levity. If Mako or Bolin had acted this way to the women here, it would be a serious matter. It should be equally serious when women abuse men. End of story.

It is downright disturbing that you are having women (including heroines like Bei Fong and Korra—who I have loved and admired) get away with this egregious behavior both in the story and with the audience. The people in their world are not holding them accountable, and we are made to laugh at these men’s expense.

This is unacceptable. I hope that in the next few episodes, as Korra regains her memory, we see a fair and accurate treatment of the trauma of abusive relationships and that the women in this series get a hard, much-needed lesson about how to treat their partners.  And that Mako learns not to be a dick to his brother.

If not, The Legend of Korra may end for me.

  • thewinnipegger

    Its sad that it takes a cartoon to show women can be abusive to men. Society still coddles women like innocent toddlers and it won’t stop. This female privilege needs to end.

    • Gaby

      Wow, way to miss the point of the article. The abusive relationship in question is played for laughs in the show and is basically portraying an abusive woman as something that is funny. This cartoon isn’t making anyone realize that women can be abusive and that such behavior isn’t okay.

      Also, the belief that women can’t be abusive is based on the sexist belief that women are weak/fragile and therefore can’t possibly be abusive, let along towards a man. It’s not any kind of “female privilege”.

      • flom

        I see your point about it being due to women being seen as fragile, but its at least equally as much about the sexist belief that all man have to be strong and emotionally unfragile all the time, and that if they show weakness of are visibly upset then its a character defect.
        Which is equally sexist.
        So, I agree thats its not to do with Female privelidge, but its not to do with Male privelidge either.
        Not that im saying you were saying that, just thought I’d expand upon your point :)

      • Madfoot713

        So is it an example of male privilege, or is it not any kind of privilege at all?

        • Anthony

          Seems like a convergence of sexist oppression coming from the gender bi itself…

          I agree that women’s oppression is worse than males, but that being told to ‘be a man’ is also definitely oppressive too. I also feel like if we can offer understanding and acceptance to those who are less oppressed, (but are also respectful and open minded), as well as the usual recipients, (the most oppressed), then we might be able to have a muuch larger dialogue about oppression, as a society… And the people generating the problems might be more interested in helping to shut the whole ‘thing’ off, for good. After all, looking closely at people’s lives, no one benefits as much from being oppressive as they could be benefitting from the fruits of all out cooperation. How to accomplish that, we’ve needed lightspeed technology to begin addressing on the level of personal connectedness that we’ve achieved today. It’s already making itself visible in the statistics… So, as part of cofounding all out cooperation, respecting men’s plights as well as women and trans, I find to be quite invaluable as strategies go and I tip my hat to everyone who’s cool that is here. [tips hat]

      • Nathair /|

        I’ve always understood that the reason women can’t be abusive toward men is that men are scum who deserve whatever pain we get just for being men.

      • Ricardo Aguilera

        The freedom to attack someone without consequences is a privledge…no mental gymnastics apply.

  • lina_rose

    okay i see your point…but i think they use the comedy relief in the abusive situations because it is in Bolin’s personality to be goofy, and Eska’s dry, deadpan attitude creates humorous exchanges..i don’t think the abuse is funny…i find the exchanges humorous. Asami and Mako even told Bolin to end things with her, and that her behaviour was unhealthy.They acknowledge that the relationship was unhealthy.I watched this show with my little cousins, and they picked up on the fact that Korra and Eska were being mean to their boyfriends…so i think the comedy relief is there to make it more lighthearted, so they could understand it better..since they got scared when Korra kicked the desk.

    • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

      I think A and M told Bolin to end things with Eska because he didn’t like her. I feel like if they really had a handle on how bad of a situation he was in, they would have offered to help or something. There is no acknowledgement in the show that Bolin is *in danger*. In fact, the times when he is in danger are not meant to scare us, IMO, or make us think, but rather to make us laugh.

      • Ricardo Aguilera

        Agreed.

        If the male characters treated the female characters this way we would get feminist demanding the show be rewritten. Most people I know feel strongly that korra has been extremely abusive towards mako and that bolin is essentially dealing with a female version of a red neck over possessive wife beater. I get people don’t care if men get abused but what are we teaching boys…it’s ok to be a punching bag for you’re gf and hey maybe you even deserve it

  • Cameron Purdie

    The only thing Bolin needs to do to fix his situation is to stand up to Eska. Mako made that very clear to him, and is also no stranger to these things himself. You might remember that when Korra stepped over the line, Mako ended things with her right then and there. To assume that the Bolin thing isn’t building up into a larger scale look at Bolin growing into his own and standing up for himself would be ignoring every literary convention associated with these kinds of stories. You think he’s just going to be pathetic forever? I don’t think you have much faith in the writers.

    • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

      “The only thing Bolin needs to do to fix his situation is to stand up to Eska. Mako made that very clear to him, and is also no stranger to these things himself. ”

      I can’t tell you how many times abuse victims hear that sort of thing. “Just stand up to her!” How can you expect someone to stand up to someone else when they have threatened violence against them and can very well hurt them?

      I have a LOT of faith in the writers, but if they’re gonna do something, they need to do it fast. I’m not going to assume the best, knowing what I do of our culture and the tendency to minimize violence against men, until I see evidence of change. So far, I haven’t.

      Looking forward to Friday, though.

  • Ikkin

    As far as Bolin and Eska are concerned, the point seems to be less “abused men are hilarious” and more “Bolin and Eska are hilariously out of touch with reality.” Eska’s treatment of Bolin is firmly rooted in her utter cluelessness about how social interactions are supposed to work (which is why the betrothal necklace would mean something completely different if the genders were reversed); the list of things Bolin has turned into a joke includes starvation, nearly getting crushed by a snake, his friend starting a civil war, and Amon threatening him. He also apparently failed to mention to Eska that he doesn’t like being treated like a servant, and, after escaping her, immediately moved on to getting so lost in his role as “Nuktuk, Hero of the South” that he went off-script to kiss his (obviously unreceptive) co-star.

    In other words, the show created a situation that was so bizarre that it assumed the normal rules didn’t apply. The Bolin/Eska relationship was clearly intended to be toxic (and the show’s staff treat it as such in interviews), but it has little in common with the situations in which one might find oneself in real life because both of the characters involved have such extreme and unusual issues.

    As for Mako and Korra, I don’t think Lin’s comment was meant to retroactively brush off Korra’s behavior so much as relieve the tension after a seriously intense scene. Lin definitely doesn’t know what Korra did, in any case — she comes in late and Mako implies that the mess was the result of the breakup rather than the cause, so she might have just assumed it was a case of emotion-based Power Incontinence rather than an intentional act of violence on Korra’s part.

    The show’s pretty consistent with Korra being terrifyingly unstable, in any case, what with her mocking and blasting fire at Tarrlok when he was helpless, threatening a judge’s life in open court, interrogating that same judge by sticking his head in Naga’s mouth and warning him he’d be dog food if he didn’t talk, and plotting an international incident to force a military into a conflict because its commander-in-chief didn’t want to get involved. She’s never really been confronted by anyone about it in-universe, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that the show thinks her behavior is justified — it seems like they’re working up to her having her eyes opened, even if it hasn’t happened yet. I’d be pretty surprised if “No, Korra, you don’t take out your aggression on your boyfriend’s property” didn’t come up at some point.

    • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

      “He also apparently failed to mention to Eska that he doesn’t like being treated like a servant, and, after escaping her, immediately moved on to getting so lost in his role as “Nuktuk, Hero of the South” that he went off-script to kiss his (obviously unreceptive) co-star.”

      I forgot to mention that! That was also really, really fucking disturbing.

      But I’ve heard the “Bolin makes everything a joke” line and I’m just not buying it as an excuse for Nick here. People often make light of abuse and other traumatic episodes to cope, but I don’t think that’s what’s being done here. Bolin is being treated as a non-human/character, both by the other people on screen and, thus, by extension, the writers. The interviews I’ve seen include one of them (and the name escapes me) saying “Never get into a relationship with someone who thinks they own you.” Well, yes, but how quickly does a “theme” like that turn into blaming the victim? And what kind of message do kids pick up when thy see an abused man who is meant to be laughed at?

      ” she comes in late and Mako implies that the mess was the result of the breakup rather than the cause, so she might have just assumed it was a case of emotion-based Power Incontinence rather than an intentional act of violence on Korra’s part.”

      ehhhhhh. I think that’s a bit of a stretch of a reading.

      I hope that the creators DO bring it up at some point for Korra’s development, but I am skeptical that they will revisit Mako’s treatment of Bolin or really show him recovering from that abuse, and that is what scares me. :(

  • Gaby

    This show is really frustrating. You know, I would probably have been okay with the Bolin/Eska relationship if they weren’t playing it for cheap laughs and if Eska’s behavior was portrayed as not okay. That’s just because abuse happens in real life and portraying it seriously in a show like this could have been a good thing.

    But, this show has a huge problem with sexism. They keep using the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend/Hysterical Woman trope and it’s just so annoying. Not to mention, even though Eska’s a powerful waterbender and has threatened to kill Bolin, it’s supposed to be funny. Because, don’t you know, women are delicate, fragile people who couldn’t possibly harm a big, strong man. (That last line was sarcasm, BTW.)

    And now, the last episode has given Bolin character derailment by having him sexually assault his co-worker Ginger and play it for laughs. Because, it’s just soooo hilarious that Bolin can’t take no for an answer (even though last season he could) and it’s soooo hilarious that Bolin thinks that he and Ginger are a couple just because they play characters in a propaganda film.

    I’m really sick of the way relationships are portrayed in this show.

    • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

      “And now, the last episode has given Bolin character derailment by having him sexually assault his co-worker Ginger and play it for laughs. Because, it’s just soooo hilarious that Bolin can’t take no for an answer (even though last season he could) and it’s soooo hilarious that Bolin thinks that he and Ginger are a couple just because they play characters in a propaganda film.”

      Yeah. I definitely overlooked that in this post. It is also disturbing. I really hope they grow these characters and make it clear that they all have been having DEPLORABLY.

    • Ikkin

      Eska’s a weird example to use if you want to say the show’s saying anything about women, because every bit of her characterization comes down to Decidedly Not Normal and her treatment of Bolin is part of that. I’m also not convinced at all that the show thinks Eska couldn’t hurt Bolin — she’s treated as a threat to Korra instead not because Korra would have more trouble fighting her off (in all honesty, either of the girls could take Bolin out without even trying, which is probably why Eska can’t be allowed to go after Bolin), but because she’s so out of touch with reality that she doesn’t get that Bolin’s decisions are his own.

      Korra herself is neither a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend nor a Hysterical Woman — she’s basically early Book 3 Zuko (who, might I remind everyone, had an episode in which he attacked a guy at a party for coming too close to his girlfriend, so relationship dysfunction is nothing new to this franchise).

      And the Bolin/Ginger stuff definitely isn’t played for laughs — Bolin’s behavior is portrayed as bizarre, but the show takes Ginger’s reaction seriously instead of just playing it off with the expected slapstick slap in the face.

    • Madfoot713

      It’s not sexual assault. They were actors in a movie, and the director said he liked the kiss and added it to the movie. Moreover, Bolin’s just a teenage boy. You didn’t say that Korra and Asami are guilty of sexual assault for kissing Mako without explicit consent in season 1 and season 2, respectively. I’m assuming you don’t believe that, and I don’t believe that either, because the characters in this show are sexually frustrated teens and that’s how sexually frustrated teens act. Whether all the romance drama makes for good writing or not is of course a separate matter.

      • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

        I have to disagree with you here. Ginger was tied up. There was no way she could back away or push him off, or end the kiss. She had to endure it from beginning to end. Mako had all of those options. Bolin took advantage of her compromised position to kiss her. The fact that he’s a teenager doesn’t excuse him, nor the writers for letting it pass.

        • Madfoot713

          She wasn’t actually tied up. It just appeared that way. When Varrick yells cut you can see she gets up without anyone needing to assist her.

          • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

            Will have to watch that again, but she’s still in an incredibly compromising position (what would have happened if she had broken character? Probably ruined the scene and gotten a ton of shit.

          • Tim

            I think you are reaching a bit too much to defend Ginger. Movie’s need retake after retake, if an actor or actress breaks a scene because they feel uncomfortable or want to change something, then that’s okay. We haven’t seen Bolin or Ginger screw up in their acting careers in the show and ruin a scene, but I guarantee you it has happened for both of them multiple times. The only amount of shit Ginger would have gotten for breaking up the scene would be the usual for any actor, and then for them to go after another take.

      • Margaret

        It is sexual assault.
        They were actors in a movie, but the kiss what NOT scripted, and Bolin was not *performing Nuktuk kissing Ginger’s character.* It was Bolin (as himself) kissing Ginger (as herself) because *he felt attracted to her.*
        This is fundamentally different from two actors performing a professional romance scene because Ginger was not expecting to be kissed, and Bolin did not consider the kiss to be performance.
        (He has said that he doesn’t understand the difference between his character’s relationship to Ginger’s and his personal relationship to her.)

        Bolin being a teenage boy who doesn’t understand why what he did was wrong doesn’t mean that it wasn’t wrong or we shouldn’t criticize him for it. In fact, him not realizing it was wrong is EVEN MORE of a reason to talk about it.

        Those kisses aren’t being talked about as much because there was an immediate negative response in the TV show, and the assailants immediately apologized.
        The problem with the Bolin/Ginger situation is that Ginger has said repeatedly that she has no interest in Bolin, and he continues making advances on her (including shouting at her that “she’s sending mixed signals” as she walks offset after he kisses her).

        Bolin doesn’t see anything wrong with his behavior, which sets him apart from Korra, Asami, and Aang (because he ALSO forced a kiss on Katara once, but when she flipped out he WAS apologetic and took responsibility for what he did. He was 12. So don’t tell me Bolin at 16? 17? can’t understand that.)

        • Madfoot713

          It wasn’t scripted, but the director liked it and added it to the script anyway. Improv is something actors do. I’m not really comfortable with calling a fictional, 17 year old kid a rapist for kissing someone.

          >Bolin doesn’t see anything wrong with his behavior, which sets him apart from Korra, Asami, and Aang (because he ALSO forced a kiss on Katara once, but when she flipped out he WAS apologetic and took responsibility for what he did. He was 12. So don’t tell me Bolin at 16?17? can’t understand that.)

          So “sexual assault” is acceptable according to you if you say sorry after? Are you accusing all three of those characters of being rapists too or is it “not rape” because they said sorry after? What it comes down to is this is a cartoon and it’s stupid to insert your political agenda into cartoons.

  • Andrea Castillo

    Very nice article, Gina. I haven’t really seen the Legend of Korra, but I always did enjoy watching Avatar with my siblings back in the day.

    You bring up an issue that I think is underappreciated; I think that many people are so primed to expect the reversed trope that female partner abuse goes undetected.

    This is one thing that I really like about “Girls”; as the characters mature in their relationships and personalities, we can see them learning that they, too, are capable of doling the forms of abuse that they are so vigilant to detect against themselves.

    I’m thinking of one particular scene with Hannah and Adam where she pressures him to have sex (they don’t) despite the fact that he clearly communicates his lack of consent to her. In the few seconds of silence between them, you can see in her expression that she realizes the hypocrisy of her solipsism. These moments pepper the series and are a welcome breath of fresh air.

    Detecting this kind of abuse takes a little more effort, but it is all the more imperative because of its relative uncriticized ubiquity,

  • Madfoot713

    I really hate this new trend of overanalyzing games/anime/cartoons/etc. to figure out how things are offensive. I mean, if a cartoon outright supports violence or racism or something, then yeah that deserves to be criticized, but for the most point it’s just a downer.

    I’m a pretty strict antifeminist, but I didn’t pick up on anything particularly offensive about how Eska is being written. I think the key is, Bryke aren’t intended for her actions to be shown in a *good* light, they’re just over the top for the sake of humor. As far as we know Desna and Eska are antagonists right now since they’re chasing the avatar. Same goes for when tumblr freaked out about the Bolin/Ginger kiss scene over the weekend/

    If I was going to criticize the writing, w/r/t Bolin, I’d start with asking why he has to be the comedy relief all of the time. It’d be nice to see Bolin and Asami do something useful.

  • Whateverguy

    Clearly you don’t understand Eska’s character. She’s been raised to treat everyone who isn’t royalty as beneath her. No one has probably showed any interest in her other than Bolin (because he didn’t know what he was getting into), so she must shower what she thinks is affection on him, while at the same time treating him as a peasant who is beneath her, as a princess should. It’s why she’s in tears and wants to kill Korra for taking Bolin from her on their wedding day.

    It’s an animated show, for pete’s sake. Who cares what message it sends? If a kid is watching it, then their parents should be able to teach them the correct way to act in a certain situation beyond what they’re seeing on an evening show. If they’re an adult, they should already know that’s not how one should act.

  • Anthony

    First off, I acknowledge women and trans people’s oppression is worse than males. That said, even with the ‘typical male’ who definitely sees themselves going through
    a bunch of unfair and senseless gender based bullshit, every time
    they try to discuss it, most of their friends call it “bitching” while
    women and other more oppressed folks will tell them it isn’t shit
    compared to them or someone else, or they’ll just look down on them
    without saying anything. The oppressive straight white male doesn’t know how to hear us because they
    don’t have role models to learn from. Not really. Now I’m not bending
    backwards for the assholes but if I sense a genuinely positive intention
    in someone, privileged or not, I will try to be the change I seek if at all possible. Even
    if/when I’m imperfect I’ll at least do my best and I’m really hoping
    everyone else does too, even if that person has no idea what other’s go
    through, that’s not going to change until they start their process of
    personally grasping human suffering, which often starts with one’s own,
    even if that’s ‘not shit’ to you. When someone listens to you, really
    listens, then something deep down in all of us feels more open to truly
    hearing them. Again, don’t bother with the asshats who won’t listen, or
    anyone else who’s just not interested, but if someone is trying then
    it’s about time we learn to see through their ineptitude and offer then
    at least an idea to meditate on, something to work with, ya know?

  • Miguel Caron

    For the love of god Gina if you can’t be an adult about watching kid shows then stop watching them.

    • http://thoughtsonliberty.com/ Gina Luttrell

      Are you being serious?

      • Miguel Caron

        You’re taking a cartoon meant for young adults way too seriously and projecting your views onto it. It’s like you’ve never watched South Park or Family Guy where spousal abuse is made funny. Haven’t you ever watched a sitcom like Everybody Loves Raymond where the males are constantly defecated upon by their intellectually superior housewives?

        Sure, spousal abuse in real life is bad, but Korra treating men badly won’t cause girls to mistreat their boyfriends any more than Grand Theft Auto causes carjackings.

        Stop being mad or stop watching cartoons – either way grow up.

        • Feigenbaum

          None of those things are amusing; the idea that they should be received that way is imposed by peer pressure and malefactors in the media who want to impose a cultural shift towards tolerance for that kind of mentally diseased behavior on the American people for self-serving ends.

          • Miguel Caron

            I think Social Justice Warriors that push their own individuals agendas on the public by attacking cartoons are mentally diseased. You HAVE to be mentally unsound to believe that cartoon shows are imposing a “cultural shift” for tolerance of spousal abuse because there’s some sort of cognitive dissonance going on with this line of thinking. There has never been a period or time on Earth with LESS domestic violence occurring and yet SJWs act like it’s somehow more prolific.

            I’m not even American and I don’t even like shows like Avatar, but I can still see through thinly veiled cries for attention like this article.

          • Feigenbaum

            It’s not just cartoon shows. Since the early 80s at least the media has been trying to renormalize our behavior and foster infighting and division. It is happening. Men have become the targets for every kind of diminution and humiliation; especially from the women in their lives; and that pattern of behavior is internalized by younger audiences more and more as the media dominates our lives and destroys all other cultural sources.

            This is basic Frankfurt School methodology and it is prolific everywhere in our media due to its ownership by an insidious tribe of parasites.

  • Feigenbaum

    I’m glad to see someone with actual credenials picking up on this instead on mindlessly spewing press release information. The producers of this series explicitly endorse physical and emotional torture being practiced upon everyone. I’m very disturbed that children are allowed to be exposed to this sociopathy.

    • Madfoot713

      At least it’s not moeshit.

      • Feigenbaum

        Eh, moe is for men ages 18-60, that’s why it gets late-night timeslots.

  • Erin

    I remember thinking the same thing about the (awful) movie, “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”. Had Uma Thurman’s character been a man, it would’ve been a Lifetime movie, but because she was a woman, who therefor was, of course, incapable of controlling “female” emotions like jealousy and insecurity, it was hilarious when she became crazy and even more so when her bumbling ex didn’t know what to do about it. The sad truth is, many men are confused about if and how to exit that sort of relationship–just like women–and making that struggle a “haha” moment is grossly insensitive.

    Male or female privilege is not the issue. The issue is a sexist double standard that hurts both genders and, in this case, trivializes the suffering men can and do face at the hands of abusive girlfriends and wives.

  • ako
  • dumb

    yeah. let’s just make everything take place in perfect land where everything is “how it should be”. that state of purgatory should make for some brilliant grey matter television. here’s some truth for you – life isn’t by the books politically correct. reality is harsh and people make mistakes. if you can’t handle that obvious fact watch a different show (The Voice?). and if you don’t think it is okay for children to watch: have a child, then don’t allow “it” to watch this particular show.
    also, this show takes place in an alternate universe, so our thoughts and ideals are completely irrelevant – and so is this article – as is this comment about the article. maybe next time you can write an article about how ren & stimpy is a show that glorifies the abuse of animals….