May 10, 2011 at 8:35 am (Pop Blitz, Writing/Language, feminism, Book Review) (The Daily Show, Olivia Munn, TDS, feminism. Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Suck It, Wonder Woman, geeks, comic con, zombie apocalypse, Hollywood, making it in Hollywood, paying for dates, sex appeal, sexiness, G4, Attack of the Show, pie, memoir, book, book review)
I do my best to not judge on looks, age, sex, sexual orientation, or any other superficial qualities, so when Olivia Munn started working at The Daily Show,
I was excited to give her a chance as a correspondent– not despite the fact that she’s the hot Asian chick from G4 with the amazing hair and sweet gams, but BECAUSE of it. Why should I dislike her even though I’m certain everyone I’ve ever been naked with would have preferred to have been naked with her? And some of her pieces on TDS have been downright inspired. I mean, she’s no Sam Bee or Wyatt Cenac, but there’s some definite potential there. I’ve been standing up for her to friends and family.
And then she let me down: over the weekend, I read Suck It, Wonder Woman! The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek. Some reviewers complained about her stories about being a misfit in elementary school. An Amazon reviewer hated her story about her grandmother’s death and her inability to perform CPR, saying that she is self-centered because she turned something terrible that happened to her grandmother into something that happened to her. Okay, fair enough. But it is her memoir (well, a memoir of sorts), so shouldn’t we get her perspective on the events that affected her family? The personal stuff was much more engaging than other parts of the book, such as the pointless dating tips (more on those soon) and the crap chapter on the zombie apocalypse.
But most of my problems with the book come in the form of superfluous comma use (I don’t mind the typos; my own book has a few and I know they’re not my fault. But we’re talking consistent errors, such as commas after nouns and before verbs. Who edited this thing?) and the fact that she doesn’t know the term “geek” from “nerd.” If her whole schtick is that she is loved by geeks and is a geek herself, then how could she possibly use them interchangeably? Any geek will tell you, they’re not the same.
“I wouldn’t call myself a feminist, but still.”
But mostly it’s this sentence: “I wouldn’t call myself a feminist, but still.” (See page 135, Chapter 17: Dating Tips to Totally Help You Score.”) This is from a dating tip in which she argues that men don’t have to pay on dates. Alright, so she’s assuming her audience is made completely of straight males, alienating me a bit. And yes, the cover photo and the back flap author photo should have warned me, but REALLY? A Daily Show correspondent, who, in the same book, defends the right to eat pie, be curvy, and wear superhero costumes, is proud of herself for skydiving and not going nude for Playboy, and argues that the press and television have a narrow definition of sexy (see page 216) doesn’t consider herself a feminist? WTF?
How does she not get that without feminism, there’d be no Daily Show and no one would pay her for her pithy observations on life or want her to star in a short-lived, very bad sitcom? (Although yes, people would still pay her to dive into pie while wearing a French maid outfit. I would pay her to dive into pie in a French maid outfit). Or did she just add that sentence in the middle of a feminist rant so her geeky male audience wouldn’t feel intimidated by her feminism because, as she says herself, she’s not a feminist? Oh, how I wish she’d added the word “radical” or “militant” before the word “feminist.”
I got news: if you hold feminist ideals, you are a feminist. Even if you jump into pie in a French maid outfit on a regular basis.
I fear that Munn will either fall off the face of the earth when she’s no longer hot, a minor blip forgotten from the radar, or, if she does continue to be on television, etc., this book will embarrass the poop out of her for years to come when she realizes how inane much of this book is and how she has no idea of what a goddamn feminist is.
Having said that, I’m still rooting for her. Come on, Olivia. Grow a clue. Show that hot women can be feminist, funny, and smart. And get someone else to proofread any future manuscripts. I would be happy to do it for fifty bucks.
My grade: D+