And no, I don’t mean that in the way you may think. The problem proved to be with what came out of their mouths, not that they opened them.
Channing Tatum, whom we all love dearly, kicked it off, saying, “We’re living in some seriously scary times, aren’t we? ‘Cause women are taking over.”
I’m sorry, say what? It was hard not to cringe at the deadpan delivery of that misguided joke.
For the record, I don’t think Tatum is sexist. I’ve seen enough interviews of him to know that he truly does believe in empowering women. What I do believe is that he and his castmates were reading lines from a teleprompter likely written by some man who thought at the time he was being quite clever.
And perhaps said joke writer even thought he was helping to empower women. Unfortunately, the entire bit came off as condescending.
“Can I just say, ladies, my eyes are up here?” said Adam Rodriguez. “And I don’t feel comfortable walking by construction sites in my miniskirt anymore,” added Joe Manganiello. Matt Bomer contributed something, too, joking, “I wax my legs for me, not for y’all.”
Tatum wrapped up the skit with the same ill-advised sentiment: “Men, we’ve seen what the current revolution is, so don’t bother running. It’s a join or die thing.”
I mean, seriously? Guys, you’re better than this. While you may have believed this bit was empowering and even feminist, it actually had the opposite effect. It came across as offensive. And, well, sexist.
By using stereotypical arguments women make against social inequality, the men seemed to make fun of our plight instead of emphasize with it. They weren’t laughing with us — they were laughing at us. In fact, we weren’t laughing at all.
Is it really “scary” that women have finally gained enough ground to take our rightful place in society as equals? We think not. After all, despite Tatum’s joke that women in power is a “join or die” revolution, we don’t mind if men hold onto some of that power they’re so afraid of losing.
We know how to share.