In a Season 5 episode of 30 Rock, The Girlie Show with Tracy Jordan is accused of misogyny— the title of the episode is "TGS Hates Women." As a countermeasure, showrunner Liz Lemon (the incomparable Tina Fey) hires a new female writer. Abby wears revealing clothes, flirts with the other writers, and talks in a "sexy baby voice," in an effort to conceal her real identity from a stalker. Liz, unaware of Abby's plight, feels she is an affront to feminism.
"You can't be that desperate for male attention," Liz says.
"You know what, Liz? I don't have to explain myself to you. My life is none of your business," Abby replies.
"Except it is," Liz says, "because you represent my show, and you represent my gender in this business and you embarrass me."
Whoa. I have seen every episode of 30 Rock an embarrassing number of times (seriously, I could call it At Least 30 Times Rock), and that bit of dialogue always makes me cringe. While Abby's crude jokes and provocative behavior are unsettling, Liz's dismissal bothers me more, although I think that's the point of the exchange: Liz is forced to face her own sexist feelings. Having been confronted with some remarkably unsubtle sexism since becoming the editor of Boise Weekly, I have had to come to terms with some feelings of my own, partially because I was naive enough to think I might be immune—but no one is.
In this week's edition, we have a letter to the editor on Page 5 from a man who takes umbrage with how he feels his view of women was portrayed in Bill Cope's July 5 column titled "The Curse of Being Hillary."
On a brighter note, inserted in this week's edition, you'll find our beautiful, glossy city guide, Annual Manual, which we packed with lists of places to go and things to do in Boise and beyond.
To be clear, I love Liz Lemon. Love. Her. I can relate to her awkwardness, her diligence and her struggle to accept the opinions of others even when she knows she's right. I can relate to the times when she throws in the towel because no matter how hard she tries, there are people around her who will always assume she's delicate or easy because she's a woman. And I can relate to the times when she doesn't give up, when she forges ahead in spite of lowered expectations and comes out the other side victorious. I can relate.