Not all stereotypes are Universal

First of all, I want to say that it was a GREAT vacation. I don’t mean to focus on the negative in my blog posts. We had a lot of laughs, took some great family photos and just had the best time. Clooney says he wants to move to California some day. It was just that great.

But I would like to tell you about the backlot studio tour that we took at Universal Studios. It was fun, but I was struck by the blatant sexism of the tour guide. I don’t know why this surprises me, especially since our whole objectifying culture comes from Hollywood, but I don’t know. I just figured on a personal level, in California, sexism wouldn’t be so out in the open.

First of all, the tram took us through a make-believe version of a NY City street, and there was the famous front of Macy’s there. The tour guide said something to the effect that the “ladies” on the tram should control themselves, as there was no actual shopping to be had through the doors. What now?

Then, we took a trip down “the famous” Wisteria Lane, home of those housewives who are supposed to be so desperate. Yawn…until the tour guide showed us a video that just “happened” to jam during a scene where Nicolette Sheridan is bent over her soapy sports car in a skimpy bathing suit. It stayed “stuck” for a few minutes. He “appologized” of course, claiming he didn’t know why it kept getting stuck on that scene, even joked that some guy in the third row was going to get in trouble with his wife for staring at the video too long, which got him a few chuckles from the crowd.

I’m sure Nicollette doesn’t care. She knows what she’s got going on, and she’s used it to “empower” herself, so whatever. Overall, the tour was fine, but those two moments kind of clouded the whole picture for me. I am not what I would call a big-time feminist, but I am kind of sensitive about the objectification of women, and I wish Universal would take those aspects out of their tour so that those of us who don’t want to be “amused” or titillated don’t have to be.

The best parts of Universal Studios, I have to say, were the Simpsons virtual roller coaster ride and the Curious George area. The Simpsons coaster was funny and fast, worth the wait even a second time. The Curious George area had a huge indoor ball area that we had the hard time getting the kids out of. In addition, there was also a water play area outside that strayed and splashed the kids at various intervals. We spent a good part of our day there. If you go, be sure to bring bathing suits and water shoes for the kids.




Hangin' with Homer and Marge