TV Bites With
The Jiggle Factor
by Neena Louise
There's been a lot of ballyhoo about the First Network for Men
(formerly known as the New TNN, formerly known as The Nashville
Network, wanting to be Spike TV) and the demographic it's pursuing.
Specifically: heterosexual men.
Personally, I think it's a great idea. There are several
"women" networks, so why not one for men?
"Women's" networks only seem to have cooking, decorating,
weight loss, and "men are dogs" programming, so why not a
network with sex, action, cars and sports on the
Whatever-It-will-be-Called-Tomorrow Network? Stereotypical, yes (as
are the "chick channels"), but if that's what draws male
viewers, I think it's great that there's a network to cater to them.
My problem is that, as a heterosexual female, I am sick and tired of
seeing half-naked women on every network on every
show. I rarely see half-naked men. When I do, all they show are
rippling abs, which I don't find particularly appealing ('round the
back and lower, thank you). I'm so tired of cameras zooming in on
women's breasts. I'm tired of leering camera work ogling women's
butts and crotches. I'm tired of it. I'm no prude (far from it), nor
am I homophobic (even farther from it) and I'm about as far from a
feminist as you can get. It's that I simply have no interest in
looking at semi-naked women all the time.
Tune into any reality show today and you'll understand what I mean:
On Big Brother 4, the camera crawls up women's shorts and
down their tops; the men flex their biceps. On most of the dating
shows, the women strut around in their bikinis; the men sit in their
baggy swim trunks. And don't even get me started on Dog Eat Dog...
Even on dramas, the stereotypical "hot naked woman"
usually makes an appearance. Case in point: On Crossing Jordan,
there was a completely irrelevant scene of one of Jordan's male
co-workers walking in on her while she showered (there was never a
scene of her walking in on a naked man). Forget The First Network
for Men - every network seems to be catering to men. Or at
least what television thinks it means to cater to men.
I have no desire to tune into the chick channels to watch cooking
and cleaning, and I don't have to watch Man TV (or whatever they
will eventually call it) if I don't like their programming, but
shouldn't there be a network that can be watched by both men and
women? As it stands now, there really aren't any. There are, of
course, a few good shows on network television that are geared to
neither men nor women. By and large, these shows are also
intelligent enough not to have to resort to jiggle at all.
Unfortunately, there are far too few of them. Generally speaking,
the sexes are definitely not equal when it comes to the jiggle
factor on television today.
Why is that? I like to ogle hot men (as do most of my friends) just
as much as men like to ogle hot women. It doesn't hurt anyone and,
well, isn't escapist fantasy what television is for? Why is the
jiggle factor so unbalanced? Don't The Powers That Be understand
that women appreciate looking at well-constructed men? (I used to
watch Lois and Clark for only one reason - and it was neither
Lois nor the storyline.)
The argument about whether nice bodies should be displayed the way
they are today is irrelevant here, since most shows are so crappy
that they need to resort to nudity/sex, or risk dying an early
death. If you're going to flounce beautiful bodies, however, flounce
'em both ways.
would love to know what you think, sound off on the
boards and let us know what you think!