Monday, March 14, 2011

"A Humorous Anecdote to Connect with the Audience" Some Serious Feminist Analysis.

It was a humorous anecdote to connect with the audience! That is how Bernardo Hees, the Burger King boss, apologized for this:
Bernardo Hees, 40, told a group of students in Chicago that “here the food is good and you are known for your good-looking women”.
Comparing the city to his student days at the University of Warwick, where he studied for an MBA, he recalled of his time in England: “The food is terrible and the women are not very attractive."
His gaffe came only six months after taking the helm at the chain, which has 11,500 outlets worldwide, and unsurprisingly were not welcomed in Coventry, where Warwick University is based.
I love to write on these issues, just love it, and not for the reason that I'm a prig of a feminazi with no sense of humor (though that is true, too) or that I would really fear Hees would now go all out to discriminate against female Burger King workers.

No, the reason why these are such fun to write about is that they prove my thesis about The Planet of the Guys. One connects with the audience by making a joke about "your women and food!"

This is deep and subtle, my smart readers, deep and subtle. It's about WHOM one sees as a member of the audience and WHOM one does not. Like the professor I once had who gave an example based on the idea of a cheating girlfriend. What with being a heterosexual goddess-type, I got tremendously confused for a few minutes trying to relate the topic of the lecture to how my girlfriends might cheat me. Until I realized that he was lecturing to the heterosexual men in the room only.

His internal audience was different from the actual audience in the room, and so was the internal audience of Mr. Hees. This is so common that most of the time we don't even bother pointing it out, we feminists. It's such a trivial matter that lots of people walk around with a view of the world which consists of guyz. But it matters greatly. To see just how much it matters, reverse these examples I gave you and have a woman comment on good-looking men and cheating boyfriends.

The answer is not for Mr. Hees to go all "politically correct" (as the wingnuts still like to call anything demanding fair treatment of the previously oppressed groups). The answer is for him to start seeing the world as it is, which is roughly fifty percent female.

And while these examples may still be trivial ones, what is happening in Egypt, say, is not. Once we don't see women as human beings unless someone tugs at our sleeves and demands it, women as a class are going to be in some trouble.