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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

what she said: Jezebel’s Anna Holmes at ‘The New York Times’…

on how the cultural embrace of violent misogynist celebrity Charlie Sheen and his ongoing meltdown is little different from other reality television:

[M]isogyny is embedded within the DNA of the reality genre. One of the very first millennial shows, in fact, “Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire,” was notable in that it auctioned off what producers called the “biggest prize of all”: a supposedly wealthy B-movie writer named Rick Rockwell — who was later revealed to have had a restraining order filed against him by a woman he’d threatened to kill. According to Ms. Pozner, the reaction of one of the producers of “Multimillionaire” was, “Great! More publicity!”

On reality television, gratuitous violence and explicit sexuality are not only entertainment but a means to an end. These enthusiastically documented humiliations are positioned as necessities in the service of some final prize or larger benefit — a marriage proposal, a modeling contract, $1 million. But they also make assault and abasement seem commonplace, acceptable behavior, tolerated by women and encouraged in men.

Which explains why no one much cared when Sheen was beating up women, but the moment he badmouths his (male) bosses, he’s kicked off his TV show.


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