For some bizarre reason, men assume that women who enjoy “trash” TV and the occasional chick-flick aren’t intelligent.
And it drives me mad.
As women, we have all be in the situation where you suggest turning the channel to catch the latest Hollyoaks, only for every guy in close proximity to groan about how it’s “rubbish”, whilst muttering, “how can you enjoy watching this crap?” Usually, to avoid an argument, you continue watching the One Show. Who even likes the One Show?
It doesn’t even make sense. How does a programme or film reflect my intelligence? The short answer is, it doesn’t. Assuming intelligence based on a person’s preference for TV shows or films is like assuming their personality based on the media they consume. Just because someone doesn’t particularly rate a certain genre of TV and film, does not make it worthless or the “girly” option.
I studied Film in college. I loved films and on the first day, I was super excited to talk about cinema and really delve into analysing films academically. The class was asked to partake in a few ice-breaker type exercises, with one of the questions being “name one of your favourite films.” I cannot even remember what some of the responses were but as me and my friends revealed how much we loved certain chick-flicks, the boys in the class immediately thought less of us.
During quizzes, each team would come up with a question and the boys would always pick a “more valued and respected” film than a chick-flick just to prove a point. Then they would get mad about how “nobody knew the answers to our questions” because they were “only films that girls watch.”
Yet, liking chick-flicks did not reflect the intelligence of me and any other girl in the class. This was proven when time and time again, we would beat most of the boys in film production, presentations, exams and essays.
It seems the same is being applied to TV shows nowadays, especially constructed reality programmes like TOWIE or Made in Chelsea. Just because I would rather sit down and devour the latest Made in Chelsea episode than watch Antiques Roadshow or University Challenge, does not make me less intelligent than the man sat beside me. Nor does it insinuate that I do not enjoy watching documentaries, complex films, foreign films or classics.
Liking “trash” TV and chick-flicks also does not lessen the value of my opinion. “I can’t take you seriously because you like Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging but didn’t enjoy American Hustle.” You see, the thing to remember is that people can appreciate films without liking them. Personally, I appreciate Dallas Buyer’s Club. It’s a well made film, with a fantastic plot and is aesthetically pleasing. That does not mean that I would enjoy watching it.
I actually fell asleep during it. Twice.
It’s key to remember that when stuck in the situation where a guy is telling you your opinion is less valid because you prefer Wild Child to Shawshank Redemption, that he is not more intelligent than you are. He probably has never sat through an episode of University Challenge so who is he to judge?