Seth Michaels in Role Reboot writes about the “We Saw Your Boobs” song at the Oscars this year.
The song, the reaction shots, and MacFarlane’s general attitude are all based on a commonplace and awful trope: that sex is a contest, and that men win and women lose when sex or nudity happens. It’s an archaic, prudish, creepy concept that derives from twisted notions about female purity and women-as-property. MacFarlane thinks if he has seen a woman’s breasts, he has won and she has lost, and he is now entitled to gloat about it…
This blog post has two things I love: 1) feminist hagstering by a man and 2) the use of the word “trope.” Gotta put up the “agree to disagree” flag though— I thought MacFarlane’s Boob Song was the funniest thing all night. The trope being exploited there wasn’t that of male-female win-lose sex-purity dichotomy. It was more about the idea of the raunchy little boy/girl in all of us that MacFarlan represents. The movie viewer that, even in the context of the kind of serious artistic cinema that these actresses are all getting awards for that night, still derives a perverse little thrill at seeing a pair of naked mammaries on the silver screen.
It was a way of poking fun at the high and mighty of the Academy and revealing some of the much denied, but still very true and human reasons we watch films. Even if it is Jodie Foster in Accursed. Because we aren’t being gang raped on a pinball machine— we’re watching some woman who looks like Clarice Starling dance around on Netflix in our living room. And by confusing the two, in some ways Seth Michaels plays into the very stereotype he’s trying to condemn.
So kudos to MacFarlane for cataloguing the “Best Of” list of titty shots; I’ll slowly be streaming those in the coming weeks. Maybe after I watch the new Game of Thrones trailer.