Part 1 - Flying, Television, and Forced Attentiveness
Women Expected to Please Men (Part 1):
Flying, Television, and Forced Attentiveness
"But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
~Shakespeare's Sonnets - XCIII
There is a healthy segment of TV shows in the world that are obsessed with flying. And by "flying", I really mean crashing. Dateline loves plane crashes, and so do the "educational" channels (the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, the History Channel, and other such oxymorons), and of course the 24-hour news fire hoses. When they're not covering the latest "CRISIS in the AIR" (which usually turns out to be some numbnut with a pair of nail clippers who either smoked in the lavatory or refused to wear their seat belt) they're airing a gory docudrama on the hideous flaming demise of Flight Somethingorother from ten years ago. The shows feature firefighters in HAZMAT suits picking guts off of burning wreckage while some grey-streaked, square-jawed news anchor looks sternly into the camera and ponders what the last few hellish minutes of that doomed flight might have been like, before cutting to a 3D computer-animated rendition of the crash in glorious High Definition.
And now, in a weird reciprocation, Jet Blue has put a seat back TV on every one of their flights. This is apparently a Big Deal, but I turn mine off since you're more than likely to run into one of those graphic 3D docudramas on the flaming demise of Flight Somethingorother. Besides, if you are in a window seat, and have a choice between looking at this:
What would you pick?
(By the way, thank you so much, TV, for keeping my best interests at heart.)
Then again, maybe I feel this way because I don't fly much and haven't gotten bored of clouds yet. Or maybe it's because I'm the only person on my flight who has figured out how to turn the TVs off. For you see, there is no OFF button for the seat back TVs. You can only change the volume and flip channels (Telescreens anyone?). If you want to turn the damn thing off, you have to tone down the Brightness until the screen goes blank, real intuitive.) Even if you do manage to turn your TV off, I DARE you to try and ignore the horrific-yet-strangely-compelling TV viewing habits of your seatmate! 
But my latest Jet Blue flight was even more enlightening than seat back TV. I was on a red-eye flight, and so I decided to tone down the brightness on my TV and get some rest. Sleep would not come, however, due to the stomach-dropping turbulence and my overactive imagination sprinting through every computer-enhanced investigative report on plane crashes that I had seen for the last twelve years.
Thank you, TV. Thank you again for caring.
And sitting next to me at 30,000 (+/- 2,000) feet, at this ungodly hour, was a 30-something man and woman. Neither of the 30-somethings knew each other. They were both obviously part of the business jet set. He was unshaven, and had obviously slept in his tan suit the night before. She was wearing the mandatory uniform for women in the business world: low-cut blouse, high-cut skirt, and dyed-blond hair. Of course, within 15 seconds of sitting down, the dude had started a flirtatious conversation with the woman.
And by "flirtatious" I mean that he asked her three questions about herself with a goofy grin on his face, asked whether she had kids, and then proceeded to launch himself into his personal life story for the next four hours. And I have to say, he had an incredible lung capacity! He talked nonstop. He only took two breaths during the entire flight (and one of those was to down a Diet Coke). The only replies from the woman for the entire four hours were, "Yes. Uh-huh. Huh. Absolutely. Indeed. Oh, really!" I feared that she might give herself a repetitive strain injury from such prolonged and vigorous head nodding.
After enduring this for about 10 minutes (and I had it easy compared to the business woman!), I had learned quite a lot from this exclusive screening of the Dude's oral memoir:
It just so happens that, I kind you not, this guy produced television shows for women! He had apparently worked on several shows for multiple networks, including WE and the E! Style network. If you haven't heard of WE or E! Style before, you're doing something right with your life. They're basically moving picture versions of Cosmo, only with more marriages and self-loathing.
Well, Mr. Producer Dude went on for quite some time about his industry  before proceeding to talk about his cubicle. He said that his office had, "such a great atmosphere," which meant that his cubicle farm was decorated like a college frat house. They had tons of movie posters up, "classic" pin-ups, and even a Transformers movie poster! "You know, from the 80s cartoon show?" he said. From her vigorous head-nodding, I can only guess that she was familiar with the TV habits of of 80's cartoon fanboys.
He then went on to talk about the time that he and a bunch of his coworkers went cruising around Las Vegas in a stretched hummer with the CEO of his company. He made vague references to "Vegas women" and the "crazy" time he had there; I shudder to think what he meant.
For those of you who thought that TV networks for women were less dude-centric than the rest of Hollywood, I'm afraid there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. And worse, it seems that a number of these networks are chock-full of honkin' frat boys who have never left that misogynistic paddles-n-pussy world. It's no wonder why most of programming geared towards women center around making women look good for men. If the most memorable experiences that women's TV show producers have with women are of the heavily-altered bodies that they purchased through traditional slave agreements [see #2 - Ownership of Women's Bodies and #3- Prostitution], then they will have more sympathy for the plastic surgeons than the lives of the people whom their shows are supposedly about. These guys are more likely to have gotten a lap dance than to have gotten a clue about real women, and considering how they go on (and on, and on, and on) about themselves when talking to women, they won't learn anything in the foreseeable future.
All this was going through my head (along with turbulence, and visions of aged white men nodding grimly over footage of smoking hunks of fuselage) when a beautiful insight came to me like a bolt from the blue: If anything horrible ever happened to my flight, then in the last few moments of my life, I would get an exclusive, all-access pass to witness the painful demise of one of the men responsible for bringing to the world, Bulging Brides: The Perfect Day is Still Pounds Away!
With that wonderful thought on my mind, and in a state of near-enlightenment to the totality of my life at that moment, I leaned my head to one side, and had the most peaceful sleep that I have ever had on an aircraft.
And yes, unfortunately, the Dude lived. He was still going strong when we landed on the west coast.
The woman was obviously made of iron.
 According to Tyra Banks, there is a group of obese women who are paid $300/hour to sit on fat-horny men! Who knew the Patriarchy would be so accommodating to every last sexual fantasy of men? But that's another post entirely. [Thanks to the person sitting in seat 13A for that one!]
 Quote of the flight from Mr. Producer Dude: "It was quite a relief for us when the writers from Americas Next Top Model weren't able to unionize."
Copyright June 2008 by F*ck M*sculinity