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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Let the battle begin

By RuthAnne Frost, Matt Patton, Matthew Piper, Lindsey Sine

RuthAnne Frost

Lindsey Sine


Matthew Patton

Matthew Piper

Piper: For the initial battle of the sexes, we have chosen to discuss differences in men and women in various social institutions.

First off, I’d like to include a disclaimer for all the women reading: Both Sine and Frost are former sorority girls. I know that’s not fair. Just pretend what they say is actually 40 percent more intelligent and you’ll get a good feel for what the average woman thinks.

Now, introducing the representatives of “mankind:”

Matthew Piper was an outstanding hockey player before he hung up his skates. He might have one day become the best in the world, but he quit to do manly things like drink beer, skip classes, gamble and sleep. Nonetheless, his myriad future male offspring are sure to shock the world with their athleticism.

Matthew Patton is a learned scholar in the ways of the female mind whose work has been published (“Shamed by the dating game,” Oct. 18). Like Piper, he is one of the most freakishly talented sportsmen in the history of our species, and he’s sick of telling chicks to move on so he can get his groove on. After all, Patton played high-school football for three years.

Patton: Four years, actually.

Sine: Well, Piper and Patton are both sportswriters, which just means they couldn’t hack it as actual athletes. Sorry, men.

Now, introducing the representatives of the female gender:

RuthAnne Frost is the most intelligent person in the world, according to Wikipedia. To earn her status, she has spent the last 22 years of her life consumed by scholarly pursuits. Not even two minutes out of the womb, her baby nose was buried in an advanced economics book. She finished her first night as a newborn by taking a practice LSAT.

Lindsey Sine is a humanitarian of the first order, spending her time rescuing mammals from oil spills and lovingly washing them clean with Dawn liquid soap. She tutors inmates at the Salt Lake County Jail, donates her eggs to infertile couples and her fondest dream is to act as a human shield for school children who unwittingly become involved in a bank robbery on a third-grade field trip to learn about money.


Frost: There are three gripes I have with how men and women are portrayed in television (cue groans and eye-rolls from the male readers). One: In general, male television characters get better and funnier lines than their female counterparts. Dr. House has his one-liners and Dr. Cameron gets to roll her eyes at him.

Two: Television families are generally portrayed with a hot wife and mother married to a fat, balding, somewhat simpleminded husband. Take “According to Jim,” “The King of Queens” and yes, even “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons” as prime examples.

Three: I hate to admit this, but my beloved “Grey’s Anatomy” is singlehandedly destroying feminism every Thursday night. Over the course of three seasons, the story arc has culminated in four intelligent, talented women committing career and social suicide over-you guessed it-the men in their lives. What else is to be concluded than no matter how smart or talented a woman is, she’ll always be led around by those with more testosterone than her?

Sine: “Desperate Housewives.” C’mon, the name says it all. The show is about five women whose lives revolve around men: finding men, marrying men, cheating on men, having sex with men, keeping men and stealing men from other women-all the while being complete idiots about anything and everything they do.

The men are cool, though, because they’ve got jobs and/or dignity, and they seem to know how to uncover the show’s mysteries even better than the housewives.

They may as well just stick Teri Hatcher in a thong bikini and have her fall off a rooftop and get rescued by a hunky man in every episode. Oh wait, they already do.

Patton: It’s funny because all these shows base everything on stereotypes that develop from real-life situations, and that’s what makes people laugh while watching these shows. They display half-truths. Women will marry fat, balding men if they have status, but you won’t see a man marry a fat, balding woman just because of her status. That wouldn’t work in a show. Plus, men are usually funnier, so they get the better lines. For that matter, they probably come up with some of those funny lines. How many funny women can you think of?

Piper: I can’t believe that women have the gall to complain about the roles women play on TV. Those shows are created FOR WOMEN! What are the primetime ads for? Beauty products and shopping sales, right? If women stopped salivating over the rebel doctor with the perpetual five o’clock shadow who can magically solve the most unique medical cases in the world on a daily basis, those roles would go away. Most women don’t want that, though. They like the hot doctor, and they like to demean the needy women who swoon over him.

According to shows like “Two and a Half Men,” men acting like bumbling idiots who can barely manage to talk without crapping at the same time is what women find funny. Serious drama = powerful, ruthless men, needy women. Outrageous comedy = silly, worthless men, strong women.


Patton: The sporting world has taken a wise leap forward by replacing greasy men with attractive female sideline reporters for the NFL and NBA. This makes sense in several ways.

First, it makes the athletes happy. Do you think Donovan McNabb would like to speak with Tony Siragusa at the end of a game, or the loveable Erin Andrews? Easy answer. Second, it makes viewers at home-mostly men-happy because they get to see a pretty face telling them about their favorite team. Finally, it makes women happy because it shows “equality” in broadcasting. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Sine: I disagree. The “sideline babes” aren’t put there to give women equality in sports broadcasting. The women reporting on the sideline are there for the very same reason that they have women wearing next to nothing in Budweiser ads during the halftime show: to give men what they like-sports, beer, jugs and a booty.

It basically comes down to objectifying women.

Piper: I concur with Patton. Sideline reporters are just fine-so long as they’re fine. Nobody needs an ugly woman to tell us, “Coach told me he’s going to try to score more points in the second half.” Also, it would be so much better if they did segments on what happens before and after they interview these players. How many times has Erin Andrews been asked what she was doing before her flight out? Or if that tube top is getting itchy? This is the type of investigative reporting I want to see.

Frost: You two sure seem content to ogle Erin Andrews’ goodies, but we’re ignoring the real issue. Forget the sideline reporters-I want to talk about the commentators. Why are there no female commentators?

As long as we’re going to listen to voiceovers making brilliant sports commentary like, “Oooh, No. 6 hasn’t got a lot of hustle left, does he? That looks like it hurt!” and “At this stage of the game, you really don’t want to be taking chances like that” or “This is sheer determination right here!,” we really ought to opt for some real equality in sports broadcasting by letting the ladies have more airtime behind the camera as well as in front of it.


Frost: Having kids makes male politicians “relatable.” Why else would Barack Obama go on “Oprah” to declare-gasp!-that he and his wife love their kids? When male politicians like Sam Brownback surround themselves with kids-sometimes not even their own, in the case of the “Snowflake Children” photo op-they’re seen as better people.

On the flip side, in order for voters to view a woman as politically viable she can’t have any kids at home distracting her from her duties. Therefore, successful women in politics generally fall into one of two categories: childless or empt
y nester. Take Hillary Clinton, with college-graduate daughter Chelsea, and kiddie-free Condolezza Rice as prime examples.

Piper: Men don’t get a fair shake in politics. OK, no, I’m not seriously defending that standpoint. But I will contend that-without a shadow of a doubt-RuthAnne or Lindsey could have eight kids with Charles Manson and put out a cigarette on one of their foreheads in a nationally televised interview, while I ran an orphanage, and I still wouldn’t have a chance in hell of beating them in any election.


Sine: Music is another one of those “win-win” situations for men. Female musicians are usually anorexic and wearing some sort of outfit that would be really convenient in a gynecological exam.

This applies to every female artist at one point or another in her career. Even the one-time angelic Jessica Simpson traded in her choir robes for a pink string bikini that she could soap up a car in.

What’s even better for men? Male musicians. Every hip-hop star has an entourage of women who, at any given moment, will bend over and shake their “assets” so fiercely that it shows up on a Richter scale.

Patton: Was it a man’s choice for Jessica Simpson to ditch her clothes to sell more records? If you answered yes, you may be half-right, but it came down to Jessica herself deciding to do it. I highly doubt anyone forced her to. Also, music seems to be a win-win situation for women, as well. Guys are starting to do those same things to sell records-it just doesn’t look quite as?normal.

Piper: I think music’s a pretty equal image industry. Justin Timberlake brought sexy back (even though I did that years ago), and Ricky Martin danced his sweet Puerto Rican ass into the limelight for a couple years. The same formula applies to both men and women in music: You can be smoking hot, or you can be really talented. Either way, they can digitally take care of the rest.


Sine: I heard the most disgusting thing the other day. A girl, who had just graduated from high school, sat around a table with her friends and was asked what she wanted to study in college. She replied, “I’m going to major in ‘Mrs.'” What she meant by that was that she planned to go to college to meet a guy.

It is a necessity in today’s world for women to graduate from college because, let’s face it, you never know when the hubby’s going to jump ship for the Budweiser girl.

Patton: That conversation is interesting. Sure, you could look at that and say, “Oh, that’s so sad! How could she dare say what most girls-and guys-dream about in their college experience?” Or, you may say-“No! The only reason I came to college was for an education, and I have no interest in seeking relationships.” But we all know it’s not true. Women still graduate from college more often than guys, and if getting married is an extra perk, congratulations to them.

Piper: What’s sad is not the group of women who choose to deprive themselves of a chance at education; it’s the group of men who don’t want to get married anytime soon (at least until all the troops are back from Iraq) and has to wince and cringe as these primetime storefront properties strut their pre-marital stuff around campus (What? Women find “primetime storefront property” flattering, right?).

Frost: I hate to say it, but I’m with Patton (though not so much Piper) on this one. So it’s a little pathetic to look at college like an extended man-hunting safari, but no more pathetic than viewing college as an excuse to party for four years or moving into the dorms because the high-speed Internet will be more conducive to playing “World of Warcraft.” Feminism is supposed to be about choice, and if a gal wants to hang all her hopes on wedded bliss, more power to her. That being said, all people-men and women-would do well to try and lead more well-rounded lives while in college.

Lindsey Sine

Matt Patton

RuthAnne Frost

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