30 Rock vs Jezebel: “TGS Hates Women”

Remember all the brouhaha about women and The Daily Show? Well Tina Fey took Jezebel to task in her latest episode of 30 Rock.

After discovering a story on Joan of Snark (a feminist website that celebrates how far women have come and posts pictures of celebrities with the worst beach bodies) that claims TGS hates women, Liz Lemon is instantly offended:   “With Tracy gone, our last episode was all Jenna.” Cut to Jenna dressed as Amelia Earhart: “This is Amelia Earhart, I’m almost across the Pacific. Oh no. My period!”


Horrified by the implications, Liz decides to hire a female comic, Sarah Silverman Abby Flynn–a baby-speak sexpot with enormous boobs–as a guest writer. Hoping to teach Abby that she can be her ‘true self,’ Liz is disappointed by Abby’s obvious gimmicks and the way the other writers fawn over her.

What was interesting to me (and frankly disappointing) SPOILER ALERT was how the episode ends. It turns out that yes, Abby’s ‘baby hooker’ thing is an act, but it’s because she’s being chased by her crazy husband who got electrocuted while watching Sleeping With the Enemy.

So what is Fey ultimately trying to say? That Liz’s (justified) annoyance at Abby’s antics aren’t condemnable? That seems quite bizarre, given the fact, that Fey was recently very frank about the double standards of female comedians who want a second child in a recent New Yorker article. Why cop out like that at the end? According to Rebecca Traister, of Salon:

“This final twist was ridiculous but made a final needle-sharp point: Different strands of feminism — or any kind of social activism — can work in contradiction to each other. Just because there’s no one correct answer doesn’t mean that the questions are useless or boring; they’re interesting enough to plot a sitcom around.” (Read original article here)

But I don’t know, Rebecca. Thursday’s episode didn’t read like ambiguity to me. It ultimately seemed to be saying, well this is what happens when you meddle in the affairs of another woman.  So the next time you see a woman obviously sexing it up for a guy, don’t say anything.

What do you think?


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