YouTube Video: Ali G on Feminism!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Borat 101- Adrian

"There’s been some talk in the cab of late about Borat the movie. For me, the character Borat is simply the consummate idiot, a crasser Jerry Lewis. I can’t wait to see the movie and from the trailers it appears his character repeats the style of his TV routines, albeit with a flimsy premise.

However whilst many regard Borat as the most ‘wrong’ movie ever, i.e. totally non-politically correct, strangely, many vocal adherents of political correctness are willingly subjecting themselves to the movie and loving it.

Last night an inner city passenger around forty years of age revealed she had just seen Borat. When I asked her what she thought of the movie she expressed an opinion prevalent amongst various reviewers. ‘Well, it has a huge cringe factor’, she explained, ‘but it’s an important satire on deep-seated American racism and sexism’.

This is what puzzles me about acceptance of Borat’s humour from otherwise hyper-sensitive viewers. Previously I hadn’t seen social commentary in Borat’s TV skits, on the Ali G show. He was basically having a bit of fun by foisting his ridiculous character upon unwitting subjects, a la Norman Gunston. That he could be so audacious in public is what I found hilarious."

-Excerpt from Borat 101

I agree with Adrian's analysis in that Borat’s movie is not a film produced with the intention to inform and expose society to the perils of gender, racial and religious stereotypes. It simply is a film that thrives on the controversy it creates over its scandalous, yet entertaining content. In a society obsessed over political correctness, Americans are attracted to the risqué jokes and stereotyping that are generally considered taboo to talk or joke about. However, like Adrian mentioned in his blog, people feel guilty about finding racist, religious, and sexist jokes entertaining. By society, particularly the media, altering the purpose of the film, stating that the movie’s purpose is to expose the ridiculous stereotypes that Americans accept and believe to be true, guilty Americans have a legitimate excuse to laugh out loud at the movie. I suppose I am guilty of this as well; when I watch the Ali G Show, I laugh at the controversial jokes, but I know they’re wrong and hurtful toward the groups of people they make fun of.

When jokes are directed towards women, I feel uncomfortable and sometimes even disturbed by the messages these jokes send to other viewers, especially those who do believe in the female stereotypes. For example, in the movie, Borat is surprised to learn that women have freedom America; a man needs consent to have sex with a woman. The American man finds it amusing when Borat is surprised and disappointed by his response, as if he too finds it disappointing. Also, the wedding sack scene degrades women in that Borat believes that it is perfectly humane to trap your prospective spouse in a burlap sack and go get married. Yes, these two scenes are extreme and exaggerated, and Americans can probably recognize the absurdity in Borat’s beliefs. But what about the scene where Borat suggests that women aren’t as smart as men because their brains are smaller during his interview with feminists? First of all, this statement is sadly accepted to be true by many Americans. Second, this scene mocks feminists and the rights to their beliefs. Society frequently associates the term feminist with extreme, psychotic, men-loathing, women already; Borat’s ridiculing of these female scholars is a slap in the face to females and feminists alike.

-Miss Nooch

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Nice Job Ms. Nooch :o)

I still have a hard time thinking of anything by Sacha Baron Cohen as anything other than satire...which would then inform based on the depiction of hegemonic ideals...perhaps I had this perception of his work incorrect or perhaps the film (which I haven't seen as of yet) is geared toward the shock-value of topics that typically are satirized...I'm basing my understanding of his work on "Da Ali G Show"
Interesting comment!