Wallace & Gromit – Sex and Death at Christmas

Beware the Fat Lady

Beware the Fat Lady

Posted by Irresponsibility

I feel evil taking Wallace & Gromit to task but why, oh lord, has the nation’s favourite cheese-munching, Oscar scooping claymation double act turned into poster boys for misogyny? More importantly, why did the BBC decide to use its Christmas Day bullypulpit to funnel woman-hating claptrap into the sitting rooms of Great Britain?

Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death starts off as a harmless romp. Well, not for the bakers who keep dying mysterious, floury deaths, but nothing intrepid Gromit and his gormless human buddy Wallace can’t handle. A romance develops between the latter and a buxom woman called Piella – erstwhile model for the Bake-o-Lite bread company – and then it gets weird.

The upshot: Piella is the serial (or as the show styles it, ‘cereal’) killer, seducing and snuffing innocent bakers because bread made her fat. Because, like, putting on weight is enough to turn a woman into a homicidal maniac.

As much as I would love to read A Matter of Loaf and Death as a radical feminist morality tale (a woman takes revenge on men for helping to ruin the only thing that gave her any worth) I doubt that’s what its creators intended.

The much blunter point seems to be that fat women are insatiable, greedy, gluttonous, vile-tempered monsters. Cross the fat bitch and she’ll kill you! The only possible solution is a final one – Piella gets eaten alive after her hot air balloon (sagging beneath her weight, of course) drifts into a crocodile pit. We know she’s dead when the balloon springs back into the sky ‘light as a feather.’

It boggles my mind that NO ONE – not the animators, or the writers, or the producers, or the BBC – thought to question the mean-spirited, misogynistic story line. Already, as I write, I can hear the robust voices of protest: lighten up! For godssake, it’s a kids show. You feminists take everything so seriously.

Damn straight. I’m sick of every unfunny joke being at women’s expense. Especially luxuriant, tax-payer supported ones that are watched by millions of kids.


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8 thoughts on “Wallace & Gromit – Sex and Death at Christmas

  1. Of course, it’s part of the subtle anti-female subtext of current television. Can you not see it as a bit of innocent seasonal entertainment rather than reading so much into it. Yes, the theme’s hardly constructive, but I’m sure Nick Park isn’t a mysoginistic women-hater.

  2. Pingback: links for 2008-12-29 « Shut Up, Sit Down

  3. i tend to agree – if you looked hard enough i’m sure you could find some issue with 95% of telly – that doesnt mean 95% of telly is mysoginistic or insert name of “ism”

    just because it may look “insert ism” doesnt mean it is 🙂

  4. The much blunter point seems to be that fat women are insatiable, greedy, gluttonous, vile-tempered monsters. Cross the fat bitch and she’ll kill you!

    to be fair I do know women like this, but the slim ones often are just as nasty.

  5. it’s not just me…

    Wallace and Gromit was not only sexist it was also blatantly misogynstic. Ah but misogyny is so ‘hip’ now it is no longer about women-hating stereotypical representations – it is all about ‘irony.’ Odd because on the oh so rare occasions men as a group are criticised immediately we read/hear cries of man-hating feminists etc. etc.

    cheers to Jennifer for the comment and for the link at The F-Word

  6. TBH I saw it more as a nod to classic horror / B movies rather than misogynist. After all the counterpoint to the ‘cereal’ killer was her Poodle: industrious, as smart as Gromit and lovable. I’ve never seen any hint of misogyny in W&G before and I don’t see it now.

    After all in Wererabbit the bad guy was male, and in Wrong Trousers/Close Shave/Grand Day Out the ‘baddies’ were a penguin, robot and old cooker respectively, none of which were obviously gendered.

    Just because a woman is the ‘baddie’ that does not automatically make the programme/book/film/whatever sexist or misogynist. We’re equal to all genders – thus equally able to be good or bad.

  7. Pingback: Wallace & Gromit Rise Again «

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