Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Televisions Most Misogynistic Shows

Pretty girls are literally and figuratively transformed into playthings and sent out into the world to pleasure wealthy men. Sure, there’s Victor, but even he was used by the writers as a way to threaten the position of woman-in-power Adelle!

Let’s face it, people tune into this mess for one reason and one reason only: To see girls with low self-esteem behave in the worst ways possible.

A show ostensibly aimed at a female audience which might easily be renamed THE WOMEN IN JEOPARDY HOUR. The end of its much-ballyhooed Franco story saw not one, not two, but three different women (Carly, Lulu and Sam) being held hostage by the madman.

While the animated laugher is an equal-opportunity offender, poor Meg may be the most tread-upon character in the history of television. As Peter once said after his daughter left the room, “Who was that guy?”

As polygamy is, in essence, institutionalized misogny, it’s impossible not to put this compelling show on the list despite the fact that it’s female characters are some of the strongest to grace the small screen.

  • bws

    Prepare for Team Whedon to come out…

    I think that’s part of what hurt Dollhouse in its first 5 episodes. It just wasn’t set up very well. It was quite literally, girl-for-hire, at the start. I have even heard the show called “Assassination Brothel” on the internets.

  • Beth

    Oh honey….you barely scratched the surface when it comes to General Hospital…..the writers seem to find a new way to “slut”, “whore” or a variation of the b word every single day. The most popular way to confront a woman on this show…no matter what she’s done is to lob the phrase “lying whore” at her. One of the main characters shot his wife in the head while she was giving birth to his son….and it was later explained away as an act of love.

  • Karen

    I actually stopped watching General Hospital after 20 years (started when I was 12) and this was one of the very reasons. Their leading ladies are often morally reprehensible and their sole purpose is to get themselves in some kind of trouble that the leading man then has to rescue them from. That is usually followed by a miracle pregnancy in which baby or mother may die. When the child is born within 2-5 years it will be shot, kidnapped, or killed. It is a never ending cyclical pattern that seems to spawn itself from a high school boys imagination.

  • bws

    Wow, Beth. I had no idea. Sounds like General Hospital should be on HBO or something.

  • Huh?? hmm.. I don’t know what to saying.. I still watching General Hospital all of my life. It is something not right.. sound like a movie or something like that. I didn’t saying that I don’t like General Hospital. I just hope its all the best asap or whatever it is..

  • seriously?

    Well, blkmiss… that was, um… hmmm. “Insightful” isn’t the word I’m looking for, nor is “concise.” I’m thinking perhaps “gibberish.” Yes, yes, that’s the word I was looking for. Gibberish.

  • I was able to turn away from Dollhouse after the first 30 minutes. Course, I don’t like to get projectile vomit on my television screen. As a science fiction fan, I never felt the need to defend that piece of crap as others have. Thank you for putting it at number 1!

  • Miranda

    I have to agree., GH most definitely belongs on this list. Between a former rape victim suddenly becoming a slut to help white wash another character who had verbally and you could say physically abused her to the way they portray being a former rapist as the male hero (aka Luke of Luke and Laura fame)

    The two women with the most air time both slept with their stepfathers, and one, well, I won’t go into that. Suffice to say, GH is in the trash heap and needs the total executive staff replaced considering it is supposed to be a show for women.

    The head of network has a famous quote where he says he can train the viewers to watch what he wants them to watch, not this one, I tuned out a couple of years ago. I have a couple hundred other channels I can watch.

  • JessieBrewer

    “One of the main characters shot his wife in the head while she was giving birth to his son….and it was later explained away as an act of love.”

    Why don’t you tell the whole story. The “main character” you mention was being “gas lighted” when one of his rivals on the show had a woman have plastic surgery and made to look exactly like the “main character’s” deceased wife. The “main character” panicked when he saw his rival bending over his wife and thought he was hurting her. He did not shoot her on purpose and he was aiming for the rival he believed to be harming his wife.

    I’ll grant you that was peas poor writing–but that just proves that actressess aren’t the only victims or peas poor writing on GH.

  • TVFan

    I would argue that while Dollhouse started off as painting women in a horrible light, this season’s shown them take their own destiny into their own hands. In a word… it’s been awesome.

  • bws

    Agree TVFan. It’s been a really good second season with only a couple of exceptions. However, given the necessity of pacing, you knew it was going to be good. The immediacy of cancellation and moving towards the finale is a guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing.

  • BeforeandAfter

    GH definitely belongs on this list. For a show aimed for women, the writing is terrible. All the women are written as slutty and pathetic while the men are written as heroes and always having a point of view. There are no strong female characters on that show because of the writing. Even the popular female characters like Carly, Sam and Elizabeth are written slutty and pathetic. GH is a disgrace to watch.

  • stephanie

    has been going downhill for awhille
    the 2 male leads are mob bosses we are to belive the women she fall at there feet and turn an blind eye to all the killing thay do and good cops like mac and lucky are to be the bad guys back in 08 the head witer had an 12 year shot his father’s girlfrieand and get shot in the head

  • HoosierSchoolmaster

    I grew up watching GH with my mom (35 yrs), it was just something we did together lol. I sat and did my homework, she ironed. I can’t bear to watch it anymore. I stopped watching a year ago. It has become a joke.

    The female characters are either victimized or vilified. It’s the whole Whore/Madonna, except the show really has no madonna’s. If the women aren’t always the villains, and the poor males always wronged by their evil ways, then you aren’t watching General Hospital.

    Oh and it’s not only women who are completely trashed, any person who is normally typified as a hero, soldiers, cops, doctor’s and nurses is either an idiot or inept or corrupt. I can’t believe it’s on the air, especially on ABC which espouses family values.

  • SC

    Disney should be ashamed that they have allowed their product, ABC Daytime, to continue with their misguided vision for so long without stepping in. Soap viewers wish to be entertained and expect some good old fashioned treachery, adultery, love triangles, and corporate takeovers. However, all General Hospital offers is the mob, violence, misogyny and sleaze. Some executive, and writing changes need to be done in order to set General Hospital back to rights and get back to telling the character driven stories that respect history, character integrity and the audiences investment…and eliminate the over abundance of misogyny, etc. I stopped watching GH all together in December 2008 and ought to have done so sooner. Being a viewer for over fourteen years though and hoping things would turn around made me stick around as long as I did.

  • Tracy

    I agree about GH – but I do love Ms. Miller the attorney! Strong, smart, wealthy, definitely has her own mind, funny as heck and (as if if matters) impeccable dressed!

  • Jen

    I almost wish General Hospital was number one on the list, simply because it’s a five day a week show, and the misogyny just keeps on week after week, month after month. It’s sleazy and violent. I actually stopped watching that show full time in December 2008 (I see someone else said the same thing above), and have only seen six or seven full episodes in the past year. It really is dismaying that a soap like this, that is primarily targeted toward women, is so utterly misogynistic. It’s insane how women are called really vile names on the show, by both men and other women. My favorite heroines have had their personalities shifted by the show and they have been written out of character in order to serve plot lines, and this problem increased a great deal in the past year. This soap was once a great show with wonderful heroines. Now it’s just depressing to watch.

  • Digger

    You *Just* now discovered General Hospital to be a Misogynistic TV show when it has been that way for about a DECADE? Wow! This once great show has been in the Trash Pile for many years thanks to the *brilliant* Headwriter/Producer Robert Guza, Jr. who writes this plot-driven violent drivel. Lets give him another Emmy.

  • Darcy

    I didn’t watch the other shows only GH which has been a “highly” misogynistic mess for nearly a solid decade for me.

    I find it insulting on so many levels I can’t begin to explain it would be a dissertation. Its virtually unwatchable. My latest pet peeve is a mother whose son was shot in the head because of mob violence is all giddy-poo to have the local hitman be godfather to her daughter. I mean they portray women as dumb as dirt on this show with some of the silliest dialog on all of television. Who ever writes show this clearly has women issues…

    You would never know their boss is a woman, maybe she doesn’t watch the show. What grabs me most is there is no woman like her on GH. Their peril of Pauline storylines are just repetitive storyline after storyline there is some rescue of some damsel in distress …Hello this is 2010 people…

  • Lorrie

    GH has been one of the most misogynistic shows on television for at least a decade. It is a hateful, violent program. The “heroes” are murdering criminals, and female characters have little value beyond being their bed-bunnies.

  • Michael

    As others have said, GH has been a violent, misogynistic show portraying good guys as inept and weak, and women as (pick a derogatory word – no, per the show, pick three or four derogatory words) since approxmately 1998. It’s all been done under the guidance of Robert Guza, with an able assist from Jill Phelps. What’s astonishing is that, while other soaps respond to viewer discontent by changing producers or writers, ABC seem to turn a willing blind eye to the huge drop in quality and ratings seen by GH. Year after year, it slips a little farther down the ratings, entertainment and taste poll – and Guza and Phelps remain in their position to turn out even tackier, distasteful stories. It’s quite odd.

  • Trish

    I would argue that Dollhouse isn’t misogynistic. It shows another side to prostitution that we’re not often given. We saw the reasons that people choose to hire prostitutes, and how that can be done in safe or dangerous ways for the prostitutes and it showed the humanity behind why people become prostitutes.
    It also had women in power (Adele, Echo, Cindy Perrin), and everyone easily follows Echo in the end to save them. Plus, the men who sexually assault women face consequences.

  • Michelle

    So in other words you didn’t get Dollhouse, or Family Guy for that matter. Can’t speak for the other three. There’s a lot worse out there that actually deserves this list, this just seems like grasping at straws.