Apparently the buzz on the internet, the most trustworthy of news sources, is that “The League,” a half hour comedy about a fantasy football league is sexist — worthy of a boycott, even, depending on the source. I think that’s a bit extreme. For starters, if we’re going to talk about women’s rights and sexism and gender inequality let’s kindly remember last year’s election year and maybe we should be discussing these topics as they relate to our elected officials, and then deal with a TV show.
I’m a woman and I approve this article — because I wrote it. I’m here to tell you I watch “The League” and I don’t care if it’s sexist. I don’t even consider it a guilty pleasure like those MTV train-wrecks they call reality shows. Most women I know don’t care that the show is (allegedly) sexist and I’ll give you my top reasons why. Right here, right now.
It Might Not Even Really Be Sexist
I’m not sure the show is inherently sexist. Sure there are lots of jokes about women and wives, but they also tend to get turned back around on the male characters. I’m not saying this show is a paragon of political correctness, I’m just not sure there’s a consistent point of view that degrades women. Sure, female characters may not get equal representation, but Jenny (the only principal female cast member) is one of the most clever and capable characters on the show in both league play and everyday life.
It’s Not Real
This show doesn’t present itself as a a realistic reflection on our socio-political climate. In fact, the Mademan manual on fantasy football doesn’t say a thing about pranks, smack talking, or vaginal hubris. I think we can rest assured that the show is not an accurate reflection of the common man’s fantasy football experience.
I could stop there, but I won’t. The show is really, truly funny. And it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I have laughed until I cried on several occasions watching this show. When something is legitimately hilarious (without being hateful or too dark) you can get away with some pretty daring material. The people working on this show walk that line brilliantly.
There’s No Call to Action
No one finishes an episode of this show and thinks, “Wow, we should really take the vote away from women.” There’s no propaganda advocating for a roll-back on women’s rights or asserting that women are inherently worse at anything (or everything) than men are.
Equal Opportunity Comedy
Much like the far more controversial “South Park” everyone is a fair target, and that’s what makes the show so incredibly funny. This program doesn’t limit itself to jokes or digs at the expense of women. In my own experience, I’ve probably laughed more at the expense of Andre than any other character. If anything, this show is Andre-ist and since that’s not a thing, I’m not too worried about it.
At this point, my best advice to you is to check out the show for yourself before you jump on a bandwagon either way. If you like it, great, and if not, well this is America so that’s okay too.
About the author, Megan Xiao
Megan is a film fanatic. She loves to curl up with a bowl of Jiffy Pop and watch TMC or stream indy films on Hulu. She can go for a chick flic just as easily as an action-packed movie with Vince Vaughn. Currently, her fantasy husband is Ben Affleck and her favorite movie is “Argo,” but that will likely change tomorrow.