Why I won’t watch How I Met Your Mother anymore

How I Met Your Mother is a brilliant show. It’s well-written, the acting’s great, and the comedy is exactly my kind of humor. Except for one teensy problem: Barney is a rapist.

Much is made of Barney’s “conquests.” His friends are always mildly disgusted, but never so much that they aren’t friends with him. The entire attitude is “Haha, silly Barney, getting a girl drunk so you can have sex with her is frowned upon. Oh well, boys will be boys!” It’s the exact bullshit that keeps rape culture alive and well. And I won’t watch a show that pushes that rape apologia.

“But it’s not rape!” you say. Bullshit. I’ve gone into this before, and I’m not going to write it again, ¬†because frankly, that post says it well enough. If you read it and you still think I’m completely wrong, congrats. You contribute to a world where rape is normal, where people are blamed for the crimes committed against them, where a football player who organized dog fights draws more ire from the public than a football player who rapes someone. You contribute to a world where 1 in 5 women are raped. You make that possible. And you make me sick.

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Posted on January 19, 2012, in activism, feminism, Privilege, Social Justice, WTF. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. These sorts of “conquests” and characterisations on TV make me really mad, even madder when I point it out to someone and they tell me (predictably) to get over it and just enjoy the show. What was it the other day… Oh, it was DiNozzo on NCIS and his completely sexually-harassing self, laughed off, as you say, as “boys will be boys”.

    I haven’t seen HIMYM but have only heard good things about it – probably won’t watch it now.

  2. Barney is a rapist. In one episode he admits to “selling a woman” and everyone looks uncomfortable because that’s so funny! What’s thoroughly frustrating though is that Barney is the only character in the show that has a sexual history that is not compulsively monogamous (or hetero-normative) and has some actual radical ideas about relationships — which gets framed as acceptable misogyny — like the whole he is a rapist thing. I dislike that L-something woman too; what is wrong with her?

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