Lee Aronsohn co-created Two and a Half Men. Lee Aronsohn executive-produced The Big Bang Theory. Last week, Lee Aronsohn pissed off the feminist community.
Taking the third point into consideration—not that it’s a difficult mission to accomplish—I can forgive him for the first two choices.
Aronsohn recently joked about the many new female-centric comedies on television and contrasted them with his own male-centric sitcom:
Enough, ladies. I get it. You have periods…But we’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation.
We’re centering the show on two very damaged men. What makes men damaged? Sorry, it’s women. I never got my heart broken by a man.
At first the statement disappointed me, too, but only because it was 8:30 in the morning and I didn’t want to hear the word “labia” while I was eating eggs and bacon. I laughed a little and went on with my day.
But then Martha Plimpton, star of the comedy series Raising Hope, blew a gasket. She Tweeted to Aronsohn:
Um, are you f#*king kidding me?
Others followed suit, asking Aronsohn to issue an official apology for his “offhand” and “misogynistic” remarks.
Aronsohn acknowledged their petty shaming attempts with a quick apology:
Yes, yes - it was a stupid joke. I’m sorry.
Clearly these people had never seen episodes from Aronsohn’s show before. It’s about a drunken jingle-writer whose interest in women starts and ends in their pants—how much can you expect from the minds behind it? Asking the creator of Two and a Half Men to stop being sexist is like asking The Real Housewives to stop being retarded.
The main question I had afterward was why people are getting so pissed off about what one individual said. John Derbyshire’s piece for Taki’s Magazine produced similar effects this week (though Derbyshire’s words are much more extreme than Aronsohn’s).
It’s like these critics had never before heard such things. I agree that Derbyshire sounds insane, but I took everything as an impulsive and unserious rant—specifically the hyperlink which directed us to the video of a black man calling for all whites to be exterminated.
Many writers who mentioned the incident in their own columns went no further than calling it irrelevant. The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote:
Let’s not overthink this: John Derbyshire is a racist. Declaring such does not require an act of mind-reading, it requires an act of Derbyshire-reading.
The Huffington Post’s Radley Balko wrote along similar lines:
The Internet has apparently discovered that John Derbyshire doesn’t like black people. Up next: Shock that Stormfront isn’t a weather site.
These quick commentaries were refreshing breaks from panicked warnings that Derbyshire’s words single-handedly doomed America to a future worse than the Jim Crow South.
Has our country reached the point where any blotch of impurity found in the lake of free speech will drive the population into national outrage? The left wing so strongly glorifies political correctness that it has become the new virgin bridelike ideal.
I enjoy getting on a website that has the nerve to offend someone, somewhere. Here I can read about how Gavin McInnes thought marriage would be “like having a live-in sex slave” and how he increases the chance of achieving this dream with well-timed foot massages and false acts of sincerity. Few websites would print these words for fear of being labeled misogynistic (or, in Derbyshire’s case, racist).
For this reason, Taki’s Magazine is such a nice contrast from today’s polished and squeaky-clean newspapers. Maybe being brought up by an Old Right family left a permanent imprint in my heart that makes me attracted to these kinds of websites, the ones still talking about things which only used to be discussed in yesterday’s barbershop.
Anton LaVey wrote about the importance of these old traditions in such an increasingly sterile and timid world:
As he grows older and styles change more, he will cling to the substance of his joy by retreating into social circles where he might reminisce of what once made him happy. In this way he maintains his vitality, albeit vicariously. With his cronies he will talk of the “good old days”—days replete with the sights so dear to him, now so sadly changed. His pals and the elderly girls who abound in the old compound share his nostalgia, and their clothing is out of style. Out of style! How fortunate for the inmates of senior citizens’ centers that they can maintain at least some semblance of the “good old days,” if only on their backs. Little do they realize that this very out-datedness is keeping them alive.
People outside of the Taki’s Magazine circle may continue to think everyone who visits the site is a bigot waiting for the day when the government stops enforcing discrimination laws, but readers here already understand that words belong to the individuals who speak them.
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