SHAME ON #METOO – Marilyn Armstrong

The Daily Post: GENIE!

Of all the genies in all the world, why is my brain totally stuck on “I Dream of Jeannie?” I could be obsessing on “the Djinn of the Desert” or the many Djinn of the worlds of poetry and mythology. Instead, I’m stuck on a 1960 TV series which I rarely watched. The problem was, I found it insulting.

I was a pre-menstrual girl child. No breasts. I just intensely hated the concept, it made me want to spit.

My father once commented that he didn’t really like children because he found them dull. I pointed out that he never found me dull (when he wasn’t being crazy, he was interesting) and he said “Yes, but you weren’t a child. You were a person.” That is probably the only compliment he ever gave me and I think I was 50 at the time.

I felt belittled by it the show. Embarrassed. Humiliated. The idea of wanting a beautiful personal female slave — never mind that the show often didn’t go in that direction regardless. As a note, I think Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman were offended by it too. Larry’s mom was a strong woman in her own right, so they intentionally took it off the rails.

Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden

I was a child, but I already knew it was a bad idea whose time would never come. Besides — I wasn’t blond.

My mother didn’t act like that. She was so very far from that place you could not even mention the concept without a gigantic blast of angry energy. I did not have a penis of my own and thus the concept of having a “beautiful slave girl” wasn’t rattling around my genitalia as it does for so many male persons of the penile persuasion.

I’m probably too much #metoo to be the right genie gal writer. I was #metoo before #metoo was #metoo. I’m betting so were millions and millions of women throughout the world.

We didn’t have a hashtag because “hash” was ground up potatoes and corned beef so you didn’t tag it on anything except your scrambled eggs, but we were pissed off with men long, long decades (possibly centuries) before the “official” movement drifted into view. And we fought back within the limits of physical abilities and the realism of needing to have a professional job in a world dominated by men, many of whom didn’t like women.

So you may have dreamed of Jeannie, but I didn’t.

Still, that little nose wiggle Elizabeth Montgomery did — I could have lived with that. Anything to not have to ever clean — or repair — the house.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

16 thoughts on “SHAME ON #METOO – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I think I get “your” take on “I Dream of Jeanne”. I felt that way about shows like “Amos And Andy”.
    Barbara Eden was charming and Larry Hagman played it dunce like which, I think, gave the show its flavor. The male characters were, for the most part, pretty stupid.

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  2. Haha! Loved this post.
    ‘We didn’t have a hashtag because “hash” was ground up potatoes and corned beef so you didn’t tag it on anything except your scrambled eggs’. That made me lol

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  3. I’m still trying to stifle uncontrolled laughter at “many male persons of the penile persuasion”…Um?? Don’t ALL males have penile persuasion? Hee hee hee. Oh lord. This was a great post. I was too young to be offended by Jeannie and the adults in charge of the TV didn’t let us watch that stuff anyway. Maybe THEY were offended? Women’s lib as such didn’t really ‘hit’ Utah until the 1980s and perhaps we were too indoctrinated to be offended…after all men ruled everything in Utah and still do to a large degree. That’s why I don’t fit in very well I suppose. But I will admit I did want to live in her “house”…although it always puzzled me where they kept the toilet in that thing..

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    1. I hated stupid shows. I found humor where the subject got humiliated deeply offensive and had to leave the room. I have never understood why anyone finds someone else’s humiliation funny. I suppose I’m over-sensitive. Despite the grasp men have on Utah, I have a feeling that you’ve also got some very tough women there, too. They may not rule the professional roost, but I bet their husband’s quake with fear when they roar 😀

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  4. Exactly! I was always sad that despite her slavish attempts to please him, he didn’t actually seem to appreciate or love her very much, as if she were more of an annoyance than a gift. Desi actually seemed fond of Lucy, although it also bothered me that the humor in most of those shows seemed based on essentially powerless (enslaved) women manipulating to get what they wanted. Hopefully with more women writing and directing, we’ve given young women better models.

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    1. I won’t watch Lucy. I never liked the show and oddly, neither does Garry. Probably for the same reason. Too much like the old “Amos & Andy” make fun of Black people shows. I hope we never see that stuff again.

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