This is not entertainment

The Parents Television Council has released a report, “Women in Peril,” that says that since 2004, our television shows have included more incidents of graphic violence against women on television — and sometimes a lot more.

Among other things, the report said:

  • Televised violence against women and teen girls is increasing at far greater rates than the overall depictions of violence on television.
  • The most frequent type of violence against women was beating (29 percent), credible threats of violence (18 percent), shooting (11 percent), rape (8 percent), stabbing (6 percent), and torture (2 percent.) Violence against women resulted in death 19 percent of the time.
  • Except for ABC, every network demonstrated a dramatic increase in storylines that included violence against women.
  • Fox was the most egregious for using violence against women as a punchline in its comedies. Check out, particularly, “Family Guy” and “American Dad.”
  • In the last five years, there has been a 400 percent increase in the depiction of teen girls as victims.
  • In the same time period, there was an 81 percent increase in the depiction of intimate partner violence on television.

These are scary numbers. No one’s asking for censorship, but when violence against women is used as a punchline, or so frequently as a storyline, it trivializes the awful effect of violence on women, their families, and their communities.

And thanks, Jezebel, for the link.

11 responses to “This is not entertainment

  1. Why is the violent act so appealing? You said it, dj, “it trivializes the awful effect of violence on women, their families, and their communities”. Why aren’t there many shows and movies about that? There’s a loss of accountability and compassion. The shows are all about the violence and then getting the bad guy as if that’s the end. The victims disappear and become irrelevant.

    I would be nice if Hollywood would do a better job of self-censoring.

  2. This reminds me of the brouhaha about Berlusconi — there was a report on NPR yesterday which included several of his comments, and the reaction-comments. Some men / cultures / whatever still think that females truly are just there at mens’ service (in all the ways that word can be used). It’s stunning.

  3. Rape culture. And if you start saying its not funny, then you are a humorless feminist. (Semi related, the boy we give a ride to school with was telling us about a kid who played football without a cup. You all know where this is going. And then he said “It was really funny!” My sons and I said it didn’t sound funny to us, it sounds painful.)

    • Tangentially, there are LOTS of videos of “the funniest things” wherein someone does something maybe not so smart and really gets hurt. It’s an odd form of …. “humor,” that’s for sure.

      • The Jackass series, for one. I could not get into that, though that Manbat running into the police car was pretty funny to me…

    • Speaking as a humorless feminist, I would like to share my favorite humorless feminist joke:

      How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?


      Thank you. That particular joke was in “Dating Jesus: The Director’s Cut.”

  4. Family Guy also likes to make fun of self-injury. There’s this episode that makes some comment about Meg going back and cutting herself. And it’s not funny. Then, there’s this other one where the dog goes back to college and he has a roommate and the roommate is supposed to be emo and he says he likes to cut himself and bleed a lot. Also not funny.

    • I never got into the show because the little kid is such an ass. I don’t say that with love. I don’t understand why he keeps trying to kill his mother. Or he used to.

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