Every week, popular CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory goes too far by making fun of geek culture, provoking well-deserved outrage, but this time, by making fun of geek culture, they've gone too far, and we are outraged, deservedly so! On the latest episode of the show, characters Raj, Howard, and Claire have a conversation about the acclaimed comic Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Check out the brief exchange below, as bravely recorded and placed after a less brief logo sequence by Bleeding Cool:
"I see you're reading Saga," says Raj to Claire, who is reading a trade paperback of the comic.
"Yeah, I hear it's pretty good," she replies.
"It is," Raj agrees, noting, "Not a lot of comics have a woman with wings breastfeeding a baby right on the cover."
"I'll take your word for it," says Claire.
"You should," quips Howard. "He's really looked."
If you're not clenching your fists in righteous anger, we'll wait here while you read that over several more times. Are you mad now? Try again. How about now? Yeah? Good. Let's continue.
Despite what the sweetened combination of laugh track and studio audience would have you believe, this is no laughing matter. You might think this is because a cover designed to defy censorship and show that a woman breastfeeding is not a matter of male titillation is being used as a prop for a boob joke, and if that were the case, you might have a point. But that isn't the real issue here. No, the real problem is the implication that nerds would want to masturbate to it.
At iO9, Rob Bricken writes:
Nerds—we sure do like to masturbate, huh? That's all our interests are! Star Wars, cartoons, Lord of the Rings, video games—we're all just looking for things to jerk it to! Thanks, Big Bang Theory, for reminding us that nerds are only nerds because we're too socially awkward to have sex with other people!
God fucking dammit.
God fucking dammit indeed.
How is it possible that, in 2016, a television show whose entire premise is based on making fun of (male) nerds as socially awkward, sex-starved losers be so insensitive as to imply that (male) nerds are socially awkward, sex-starved losers who would masturbate to the cover of Saga?! Not only is The Big Bang Theory demeaning the image of (male) nerds with cheap jokes for ratings, but the joke isn't even accurate, ignoring all of the other seminal comics works that have, as far as we know, probably also featured women with wings breastfeeding babies right on the cover, such as Robert Crumb's Fritz the Cat, Will Eisner's The Spirit, and Chris Claremont's X-Men Forever. Clearly, the writers of The Big Bang Theory know nothing about comic books, and even less about (male) nerds.
As (male) comic book nerds, we've allowed ourselves to be the butt of jokes for far too long. One need only look back a few decades, to the shocking 1984 propaganda film "Revenge of the Nerds" to see that it wasn't too long ago that (male) nerds were one of the most feared and persecuted groups in the country. Are we going to allow ourselves to slide back into that dark time by letting television networks imply that we do not frequently engage in legendary sexual acts with satisfied partners? My fellow nerds, I say to you, we must say to them: "No more."
Oh, and, yeah, breastfeeding is natural and we should stop treating it like porn. We guess. But seriously, MALE NERDS HAVE SEX!
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8PM on CBS. Be sure to tune in so that you can be reminded why you should never watch it, unless you're totally banging someone at that time, in which case, way to go, bro. High five!
*misses high five due to lack of physical coordination*