Max: [after hearing a group of hipster girls using the word “vagina”] Well, it’s over. I can’t say it anymore. The vagina’s gone mainstream. What’s next? A clothing line at Target?
Caroline: Aw, Max, I’m sorry. It’s your favorite word.
Max: And my favorite body part. But now everyone’s saying it.
Caroline: Well, we can pick another word for it. Something cute, like cookie.
Max: Yeah, it sounds like a good idea until you walk past a bunch of Girl Scouts selling their cookies on the street.
(2 Broke Girls: “And the Pearl Necklace” 2.02)
It’s no secret women have become more comfortable expressing themselves not just emotionally but sexually as well. Females are witty, crude-humored sexual beings and they have a lot to say!
Television shows like CBS’ 2 Broke Girls (2011-) and MTV’s Girl Code (2013-), are giving young women a voice. To think that there was once a time when women were shamed for speaking about sex, men, and even their own bodies in a frank and realistic manner is insane to me. In comedy, it’s been the norm for men to make crude sexual jokes at women’s expense. Male stand-up comedians like Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock have space for their dark sexual humor on stage. However, comedians like Chelsea Handler, Lisa Lampanelli, Sarah Silverman and Whitney Cummings have been penalized for their frankness about the same taboo topics. Another example of this is CBS’ Two And A Half Men (2003-) and How I Met Your Mother (2005). In these comedies, women are often scammed into sleeping with men. These are depicted as stupid and gullible, while the men are seen as conquerors, praised for their high number of conquests. When am I going to see a woman talk openly and honestly about her conquests? And talk as openly as men about sex?
Yes, I have seen Sex And The City (1998-2004) Girls (2012-) and the characters are very expressive when it comes to this topic. However, I’m glad to see shows like Girl Code and 2 Broke Girls that push the envelope on cable television. These programs provide a balance to the male-oriented series with traditional female depictions.
2 Broke Girls tells the story of two 20 something-year-old waitresses trying to make it into the cupcake business in New York City. Max Black is a tough, fast-talking, brutally honest, hilarious baker. Caroline Channing is a former wealthy socialite, strait-laced, celebrity gossip aficionado, and financial expert. Writer and creator Whitney Cummings have allowed these characters to be as crude and realistic as possible. They make jokes about their own breasts and other body parts. But, what I like about it is that it’s not at women’s expense. They own the joke and are in control of the sexual and feminist message, unlike their male counterparts. The language of the show has been considered rough or vulgar. However, I believe this is because people delivering these sexual jokes are young, beautiful women on cable!
I’m obsessed with Girl Code because I wanted to see this show years earlier when Guy Code (2011-2013) was on. This half-hour comedic guide to the modern women not only makes me laugh but believe it or not…it educates me as well. Young female comedians and television personalities gather to answer questions and talk frankly about sex, men, the female body, female –to-female relationships and everything in between. The tips provided are realistic and filled with humor and very accurate for modern women. They also use supplementary videos, pictures, animations and illustration to enhance their self-expression.
Besides being a great arena to express themselves, two other essential things I love about these programs is the variety of body shapes and personalities the female characters have and the realistic depiction of female friendship and camaraderie.
It’s liberating for me to hear words like “boobs” “masturbate” “penis” and “vagina,” coming from a female on television than another man who uses them as jokes to belittle women. The fact that these topics and language are being used on cable television, by women, demonstrates small steps into society’s acceptance of the female sexuality.