There is exactly one circumstance in which I will watch Tim Allen’s new TV show, Last Man Standing. That circumstance is if I managed to recruit my cool gender egalitarian friends to have a drinking game where we would take a shot every time there was a joke that was sexist, racist, classist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist or otherwise kyriarchal.
My plan has the additional advantage that by minute five you’d be wasted out of your mind, which is probably the only situation in which Last Man Standing is even remotely funny.
However, since people keep sending me articles about this show, I feel like there’s some kind of great hivemind consensus that really wants to know Ozy’s position on this damn show, other than “it is the best argument I have ever heard for the extinction of the human race.”
— Snarls in response to his wife’s request that he drive their daughter to soccer that soccer is “Europe’s covert war for the hearts and minds of America’s kids.”
Americanocentrism. Take a shot.
— Tells a kid named Kyle that he has a good “man’s name,” only to be crushed when he learns it’s the kid’s mother’s maiden name.
— Says he likes where he works because it “smells like balls in here.”
…I’m going to call this “sexism.” Shot.
— Laments boys who play soccer and use hair gel.
— Doubles over in agony about his daughter’s boyfriend going to a tanning salon.
— Laughs hysterically at the idea that his wife could drive his truck for a day and he could drive the minivan.
Gender-role enforcement. Shot.
— Encounters a weak, “unmanly” day care provider who doesn’t let him call his grandson “champ” because it “implies victory over another person.” Said unmanly man invites Mike to meet another kid’s “two dads” who are inside making flax and pumpkin muffins. (“Please tell me that’s not [the dads'] names,” says Mike derisively of “Flax” and “Pumpkin.”)
Homophobia, femmephobia, gender-role enforcement and… whatever you call “thinks ‘can’t call your grandson champ because it implies victory over another person’ is a reasonable parody of actual liberal opinions”. Four shots.
— Directly after hearing about the “two dads,” is asked to take his shoes off because they’re “building a mosque out of pillows.” When he hears this, he grabs his grandson and removes him from the daycare and takes him to the ball-smelling workplace for the day.
— Tells his daughter that her son can’t go to that daycare anymore, because he’ll wind up “dancing on a float,” which Allen follows with an imitation of, I guess, a gay man dancing.
Homophobia, femmephobia, gender role enforcement. Three shots.
So that makes, by my count, fourteen shots over the course of a thirty-minute show, which adds up to “in a coma and probably dead.” Damn, we might have to make teams. Team Femmephobia, Team Non-Femmephobic Sexism, and Team Miscellaneous Kyriarchal Shit. Then you’ll just end up destroying your liver forever.
I also have serious objections to the articles that get written about this show. For instance, the New York Times appears to be under the mistaken impression that ”mancession” is a word that should be used ever. They also declared that the gender wage gap narrowing is a sign of male inferiority. No, that is a sign of equality. One gender not having their traditional privileges =/= that gender being discriminated against. Look it up. Also, it cites some really awful book called Man Down that’s about how women are better at everything. Honestly? “Men are better at everything” is sexist. “Women are better at everything” is still sexist. It is not magically un-sexist because you directed it at a different group.
However, their worst point is the apparent belief that Last Man Standing is a fight against male extinction.
It’s about shaming men who take an interest in their appearance, play non-football sports, drive unmanly cars, have unmanly names, make muffins or in any way violate Tim Allen’s limited view of what a man can be, because if they do violate this notion, then they are clearly fags. The other shows mentioned in the article have their own proposals for what counts as unmanly: ”Man Up” classifies hazelnut nondairy creamer, pomegranate body wash, not fighting in wars, and video games (?!) as such, while “How To Be A Gentleman” suggests that wanting more than a one-night-stand should be placed on the list.
And God help you if you’re actually gay, because that would clearly be the worst. This position, however, is not homophobic, because Tim Allen says so.
No one is saying that Tim Allen can’t run about playing football, being apathetic about his appearance, driving manly cars, not making muffins, etc. to his heart’s content. However, it is moronic in the extreme to argue that other kinds of men shouldn’t exist.
Video games are fun! Hazelnut nondairy creamer tastes good! Smelling nice is wonderful! Having fuckbuddy relationships is far more efficient than having one-night-stands, casual-sex-wise, since instead of having to seduce a whole new person you can just text them “hey, wanna fuck?” and that is way simpler! This new crop of “masculine” comedies appear to want to leave men a tiny percentage of human behavior as the stuff they’re supposed to do, and eliminate everything else.
If anything, Tim Allen seems to be arguing for the extinction of men, as he apparently believes that all the men who are not like him (i.e. most of them) should not exist.