For Our Consideration: “You should smile”: TV comedy takes on everyday harassment

Walking alone at night can be terrifying if you’re a woman. You can slip your keys through your fingers like a makeshift Wolverine claw or grip a can of pepper spray, ready to pull the trigger, but you’re never safe, not really. You can be physically overpowered at any moment. Any unsolicited advances or suggestions that “you should smile” are only an extension of that. Sexual harassment masquerading as “compliments” are a nagging reminder that you exist for male consumption, and there’s little preventing you from being consumed.

The possibility of sexual assault is an automatic extension of being a woman, and yet we see little of that female experience reflected back to us on screen. Perhaps counter-intuitively, it’s in comedy that rape culture is best understood.

Aziz Ansari and Noël Wells in Master Of None

One of the strongest examples comes in the “Ladies And …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *