A MaIn Idea In Eat, Pray, Queef Episode Of South Park Essay

“Eat, Pray, Queef” is the fourth episode of the thirteenth season of “South Park”, which exploits how women are subordinates to men, even in the 21st century. This episode does an excellent job of portraying gender differences, inequality and oppression through a feminist perspective.

The episode begins with the protagonists preparing to watch the much anticipated sequel to “Terrence and Phillip”, where “they reveal who Phillip farted on to get out of jail” (Parker, 2009). Emphasizing the male obsession with passing gas and its cultural humor, all of the boys at the school rush to Eric’s house to watch the program. They are shocked to find that the sequel will not be shown, to instead broadcast a new program called “The Queef Sisters”. The program features two female protagonists mirroring behavior to the “Terrence and Phillip” broadcasting, with queefing in lieu of farting. The boys are disgusted and fail to see the humor; feeling irritated and isolated from the culture shock.

This illustrates gender differences and how men and women interpret social situations differently. For males, flatulence is considered funny, where queefing considered revolting. The males are ethnocentric, and fail to see the obvious similarity between programs. The female culture is completely different, disgusting even, when compared to that of the superior male culture.

The airing diffuses feelings of empowerment for the women of South Park and cultures of the world. Growing exponentially with interviews of the “Queef Sisters” on shows such as “Live! With Kelly and Michael”. When Michael questions their maturity, one of the sisters replies “Men enjoy farts, so why shouldn’t women enjoy their queefs?” Kelly reveals “I think that what you gals are doing for the feminist movement is amazing. And that’s why women all over America stand behind you” (Parker, 2009).

This furthers the double standard; queefing and farting; although similar in nature, have absolutely nothing in common. The women are portrayed as juvenile subordinates to the men, as they do not adhere to dominant culture. They are tired of constantly being compared to the male culture, forming a counterculture that seeks equality, leaving the men feeling threatened.

Sharon and Shelley Marsh, feeling empowered, jokingly exchange queefs at the dinner table; provoking both Randy and Stan to leave the table resulting from a lack of appetite. This prompts a discussion on where the core of the humor lay. Sharon mentioned having a pregnant friend, where the fetal boy passed gas within her, and the air vacated her vagina. Randy countered “It stopped being funny the second that air came out her vagina, Sharon” (Parker, 2009).

In this scenario, the gender roles have been flipped; it should be the men engaged in the toilet humor, while the women repel in disgust. The women are painted to be everything males are no, leaving Sharon and Shelley objectified. Flatulence can only considered humorous when it was at the fault of the male, but as soon as it entered the female domain, it was to be frowned upon.

Throughout the episode, the male and female models are sustained by norms, not laws. This is no longer the case, as the men of South Park go to the Colorado senate to have queefing banned. The reaction of Stan’s Mother to the norm being transformed into law, best sums up the feminist themes presented in the episode:

“You really think women cared that much about queefing? Is that really what you think this has all been about? This has been about women having a little bit of fun for once at your expense. For just this one time we could be the immature ones to make you feel uncomfortable. But no, you just couldn’t let us have that one little thing, could you? Because even though things are getting better for women, you still think of us as lesser people sometimes, and we always have to prove ourselves twice as hard. Congratulations, guys. For getting your way… again” (Parker, 2009).

In summary, the plight of the women was to be equal to the men, even dominant in a small sense. Even with the recent popularity and strong counterculture movement, they are still subordinate to the men and regulated by norms. They have to observe passively from under the glass ceiling.

The episode concludes with a fairytale ending. Terrence and Phillip marry the Queef Sisters, the law is repealed, and the men of South Park seek equality for the women by producing a song stressing cultural relativism:

There’s a time in our lives when we must listen to the oppressed. And realize we’ve been keeping women down. And we must all stand by the belief, that a woman is strong, and she has the right to queef. You are woman now, and you are free to queef. It’s time for equality. We must give them the respect they deserve. They’re just the same as you and me. Their rights must be preserrrr-r-r-rrrved (Parker, 2009).

“Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield” is the fourteenth episode of the seventh season of “The Simpsons”, which illustrates the power struggle between the elite and lower classes of Springfield. This episode does an excellent job of portraying the conflicting interests, constant competition and influence the elite has over Springfield.

The episode starts with Grandpa Simpson breaking the television, resulting in a trip to the Ogdenville outlet mall, as Marge states “We can’t afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy” (Crittenden, 1996). While the family looks for a cheap, off brand television, Marge locates a Chanel suit marked down from two thousand eight hundred dollars to ninety dollars and reluctantly decides to purchase it after some persuasion from Lisa. She rapidly becomes infatuated with the suit and lifestyle associated with it, rarely taking it off as she pleads for Homer to take her to “the symphony or the theater.” She eventually meets up with an acquaintance from high school named Evelyn Peters. Assuming she is a member of the upper class, she is invited to bring the family to the country club. As a member of the lower class, she doesn’t understand the argot and norms of the Springfield elite, but they are enveloped by her ability to prepare her own meals.

This is the start of a conflicting interests between the club and Marge. She was allowed access solely because she appeared to have the money to afford the wardrobe of the elite. She wants to indulge in the activities that she thinks are synonymous with high culture, such as attending “the symphony or the theater”, even though the family lacks the money to do so. After infiltrating the country club, she acquires a taste for more and will sacrifice to meet the needs of the club.

Through attending more events at the club in the same suit, she is subjected to sneers questioning if she owns another suit. Evelyn reinforces that she must, forcing Marge to return to Ogdenville to look for another. To her dismay, they lack anything similar. Due to her budget, she is forced to alter her suit every time she attends the club.

Marge is forced to stay relevant in a mass culture, with no agency in what she consumes. She mirrors Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, by changing her appearance, how she interacts and her perceptions based on her social setting to appease the elite.

The influence of the club has reached its peak when after destroys the suit trying to alter it for the families induction into the club, is forced to buy a genuine Chanel dress for three thousand three hundred dollars. On this occasion, Marge won’t allow Homer to drive all the way up to the club, as the sight of their car might taint her image. As they proceed on foot, Marge hastily criticizes the family and how they should behave within the country club. Homer reacts by saying “You kids should thank your mother. Now that she’s a better person we can see how awful we really are” (Crittenden, 1996). Marge has an epiphany and realizes she has been brainwashed by mass culture, and opts to have a family dinner at Krusty Burger in lieu of attending the country club.

In the end Marge totally succumbed to capitalism amongst the economic and cultural elite of Springfield, almost separating her from her family as a result. Marge had a revelation that she was exploiting her family, based on what she thought was synonymous with high culture; “No vulgarity, no mischief and no politics” (Crittenden, 1996). Ultimately, she found that she was more happy living life comfortably as a lower caste citizen, than struggling to impress the elite.

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