February 16, 2008

Choke on this, cultural sexism!

I'm not a big coffee drinker - I'll have a latte every now and then, but usually I don't have coffee daily. So, in my efforts to actually get something done today, I thought I'd have some coffee. I made more than I thought I would, drank all of it (to the tune of 3 cups), and now I'm all caffeinated up and can't concentrate on my reading. It figures. I'm not as jittery as I was an hour ago, so hopefully I can sit still long enough to finish reading the 10 pages left in the chapter I started two hours ago.

My friend lent me Six Feet Under last week and I started watching it last night. The show starts off by showing someone's death and then they have the funeral by the end of the episode. One of the episodes is about a woman who chokes to death by herself in her apartment and she lies there for a week before someone finds her. As someone living by themselves, that kind of thing scares the hell out of me. Erich said it's like I've hit my single-woman-midlife crisis early (according to the various depictions on tv shows like 30 Rock and Sex and the City), so he told me to text him every day telling him I was still alive. Somewhat reassuring, but it's not like the daily text is going to pop the chunk of food out of my throat.

Now that I'm thinking about it, tv only tends to show women who choke to death by themselves. A little sexist? Yes. Subtly reaffirming the concept that single women need to find themselves a partner (most often a man) to save them from the day they'll inevitably choke? Yes, I think so. 30 Rock and Sex and the City focused on this theme moreso than Six Feet Under, which circled around the concept of being so alone that no one notices you're dead or comes to your funeral. But 30 Rock and Sex and the City seemed to say that no matter how successful you are career-wise (head writer of a comedy show, partner at a law firm), it's worse to be alone and choke to death. Sure, go ahead and be on the path of becoming a crazy, single cat lady, but one day you're going to pay for it with a chunk of meat lodged in your throat.

I can't decide if I'm going to consciously chew my food a little more thoroughly so I don't die, or throw off the yoke of cultural single woman-fear mongering and chew however I please.


Katie said...

By the end of both of those episodes, both of the involved women acknowledge the fear and mock it, and then get over it. In fact the Sex in the City episode discusses the sexism of it quite thoroughly, among other things (i.e. when Miranda buys an apartment, she has to keep checking the 'single woman' box and is asked whether her dad is providing the down payment, ignoring the fact that she's a very successful lawyer). So there's quite a bit of cultural critique, too.

Patti said...

Linz -
This is not a very comforting thought for me these days either...thanks.

Perhaps, like you, I should text Erich daily to let him know I'm still alive.

This could be a whole new business venture. Women could pay money to Erich for checking up on them daily to see if they've choked to death or not. I am at a loss however for a good name for the business at this point in time.
Oh well.

Katie said...

Erich just pokes me in the face in the morning to see if I'm awake. You guys are getting star treatment.

LMB said...

Hey, I haven't texted in a few days and I haven't even gotten a courtesy phone call or text. I want my money back.