• Worst Cable TV Show of the Week: Girl Code on MTV

    by  • May 30, 2013 • Other • 37 Comments

    “The dirty little secret at MTV is that their demo is not 22-year-old college students. Their demo is 12, 13-year-old kids, 14-year-old boys and girls who are often home alone and unsupervised.” — Rachel Campos-Duffy, a cast member on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco (CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, January 21,2011) 

    The crass, disgusting, and downright dangerous “advice” MTV gave to 14-year-old girls on the May 21st episode of Girl Code (Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. ET) explains why the program is the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week. 

    The first subject examined on this episode was ex-boyfriends. Starting the episode off with a burst of misandry, Playboy contributor Jessimae Peluso tells girl viewers there are only three kinds of ex-boyfriends: “the lying slob, the lazy slob, and worst of all, the slobby slob. You can’t even look at him without vomiting a little in your mouth.”

    But what about the embarrassment of running into a former boyfriend? In the shallow, vapid world of MTV, the MOST important thing is how women LOOK, not their feelings (unless those feelings can be used to manipulate others). Here are Girl Code‘s women contributors telling teenage girls that it is incumbent upon them to be concerned about nothing than their looks, and to be beautiful every second:

    Maxim “Hometown Hottie” Champion Melanie Iglesias: “Once you’ve broken up with somebody, there’s always the chance you’ll run into them…God forbid they see you without your makeup on.”

    Carly Aquilino: “That’s why you have to always make sure you look your best all the time. Make it look like you’re going to a party. That way, if you bump into him, you’ll look great.”

    Nessa: “Hell yeah. Get extra ready. Put the fake lashes on. Wear a water bra to pump it up. Just act like nothing is wrong.”

    “Charlamagne tha God”: If you’re doin’ it right – if you’re lookin’ the way you’re supposed ta look – your ex is gonna highlight you whether he’s in a committed relationship or married.”

    Naturally, there is nothing inadvisable whatsoever in having meaningless sex with someone with whom you broke up, and whom you no longer love. In fact, having sex with an ex you no longer plan to see is a GREAT idea as Girl Code tells its 14-year-old audience:

    Melanie Iglesias: “I know that I like keeping my number really low. So I’ll hook up with an ex…until I have a next boyfriend.” (Because it’s not how much sex you have with people you don’t love that matters – it’s how many DIFFERENT people you have sex with that counts against your “number.” It’s much better to exploit someone you no longer care about, if it keeps your “number” low!)

    “Charlamagne tha God”: “Yes, it’s ALWAYS okay to hook up with an ex! Why not? First of all, man, especially a guy like me, I’ma creature of habit. So if I have a habit of (bleeped f***ing) your vagina, then guess what? I’m gonna always have that habit.” (And women exist only to service men’s sex “habits” — even those of their former boyfriends.)

    Nicole Byer: “Don’t (bleeped f***) if you still have feelings! ‘Cuz then you’ll just get caught up in it and hurt yourself.” (But if you don’t have feelings, why NOT have random sex with someone you broke up with?)

     

    “[MTV] has plenty of sex. And weird sex, at that…The idea is to reach out to the 12-34-year-old demo.” – former MTV Executive Vice President David Janollari

     

    Naturally, rather than drawing from this the lesson that perhaps it’s not the best idea to have sex with people you don’t care about and may never see again, instead MTV tells girls the REAL lesson: have all the meaningless, promiscuous sex you want, so long as you use a condom.

    Jessimae Peluso: “It’s important to talk about STDs, because you don’t want the clap to ruin your vacation.”

    Nessa (who doesn’t use her last name – and no wonder): “If you’re makin’ out with a guy and you feel something bumpy, STOP! I mean, pay close attention. Lift it up, check side to side. He might think you’re getting ready to do some creative trick. Just have a sex face.”

    Nicole Byers: “You should get tested as soon as a (bleeped dick) touches you. Your (bleeped p**sy). Not your face. That’s fine.”

    And proving there is no subject surrounding sex so serious that it can’t be turned into a joke, Carly Aquilino opines, “The best way to avoid getting an STD is to always use protection. And also, probably drink a lot of orange juice.  I’m not a doctor, but I think that can’t hurt.” Accompanying this is a graphic of a condom filled with orange juice and the caption, “Brought to you by the Citrus Farmers of America.”

    While there is some brief, unconvincing waffling about girls “making” their boyfriend(s) get tested, the message of Girl Code is clear: it is the GIRL’s responsibility to make certain neither partner contracts an STD (after making themselves available for promiscuous sex, of course).

    Nowhere does the program mention the possibility that it might be a good idea not to have promiscuous sex to begin with. Because on MTV – a network entirely dedicated to glorifying teenage sex – refraining from promiscuity is not only impossible, it is undesirable.

    We sell 12-34, but our real core demo is really 12-24; that’s who lives and breathes all of our shows.” – former MTV Executive Vice President David Janollari (Hollywood Reporter, June 1, 2011)

    MTV is staging a sustained and deliberate assault on the minds of young people – particularly girls. It is endeavoring to indoctrinate them with the notion that their appearance is all that matters about them, and that having meaningless, promiscuous sex is desirable. One has to wonder whether the middle-aged males who own and run MTV are trying to engineer a generation of girls who, rather than respecting themselves, instead view their purpose in life as living down to sexist stereotypes and satisfying men’s sexual desires.

    Also notable is the hypocrisy of one of the show’s major sponsors. Unilever, which owns the Dove brand of beauty care products, operates a “self-esteem fund” for girls. What lessons in “self-esteem” are girls learning from watching Girl Code?

    Unbelievably, in addition to rating this program TV-14 (appropriate for 14-year-olds), MTV aired this episode at 6:30 p.m. Eastern. Clearly, MTV wants as many girls as possible exposed to its misogynistic, girls-as-sex-objects propaganda. That alone is sufficient reason for naming MTV’s Girl Code the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.

    _______________________

    Unilever – which owns Dove and it’s “self-esteem fund” for girls — sponsored this program. To contact them with your concerns, click here.

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    About

    The PTC’s Senior Writer/Editor since 2007, Christopher Gildemeister is responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to its members and the wider public through a wide variety of vehicles: a monthly newsletter, the PTC Insider; a weekly e-mail newsletter, the Weekly Wrap; the PTC’s blog; and the weekly columns Best TV Show of the Week, Worst TV Show of the Week, Worst Cable TV Show of the Week, and Misrated TV Show. He has also written the TV Trends and Culture Watch columns; Faith in a Box, a study of the portrayal of religion on television 2005-2006; and Habitat for Profanity, a study of the increase of foul language on TV from 2005 to 2010. From 2005 to 2007, he was an entertainment analyst, responsible for documenting sex, violence, and profanity on the former UPN network; ABC; and cable television, including the FX, MTV, ABC Family, Comedy Central and Spike networks. Mr. Gildemeister is currently finishing his Ph.D. dissertation in American history at the Catholic University of America.

    37 Responses to Worst Cable TV Show of the Week: Girl Code on MTV

    1. al harlow
      June 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Very well written that show is an insult and they keep playing it over and over i was trying to find a site were I can tell mtv how awful it is thank you keep up the good work.

    2. Kristin
      August 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      If this show was on nickelodeon, which actually DOES target your age group, I would be concerned. However this show is meant for MTV, premieres late at night, and has a specific target group. If parents are not there to monitor their childrens viewing habits and are dumb enough to complain about a show’s influence on their child yet careless enough not to set a lock on that channel, the problem is not with MTV it is with the parenting. However, no matter what age this show is actually reaching, it is meant for college students. It is a hilarious and carefree show. If you are so concerned about children/preteens getting the wrong notion from this show, lock the channel and talk to them about the values that you would like to instill instead of waiting for television to do it for them.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        August 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

        “This show premieres late at night…”

        Upcoming Airings
        http://www.mtv.com/shows/girl_code/series.jhtml

        Friday, August 09
        12:04 PM ET/PT on MTV
        12:37 PM ET/PT on MTV
        1:09 PM ET/PT on MTV
        1:41 PM ET/PT on MTV
        2:13 PM ET/PT on MTV
        2:46 PM ET/PT on MTV
        3:18 PM ET/PT on MTV

        Saturday, August 10
        8:00 AM ET/PT on MTV
        8:30 AM ET/PT on MTV
        9:00 AM ET/PT on MTV
        9:30 AM ET/PT on MTV

        Sunday, August 11
        6:00 AM ET/PT on MTV
        6:30 AM ET/PT on MTV
        7:00 AM ET/PT on MTV
        7:00 PM ET/PT on MTV
        7:30 PM ET/PT on MTV

        …”and has a specific target group.”

        “I can tell you that the dirty little secret at MTV is that their demo is not 22 year old college students. Their demo is 12, 13-year-old kids, 14-year-old boys and girls who are often home alone and unsupervised.” — Rachel Campos-Duffy, a cast member on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco (CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, January 21, 2011)

        “We sell 12-34, but our real core demo is really 12-24; that’s who lives and breathes all of our shows.” — MTV Executive Vice President David Janollari (Hollywood Reporter, June 1, 2011)

        “What [MTV’s show] Skins delivers is kids. That’s what it delivers to advertisers.” – Skins executive producer David Eisley (Adweek, January 2011)

        “If parents are not there to monitor their childrens viewing habits and are dumb enough to complain about a show’s influence on their child yet careless enough not to set a lock on that channel, the problem is not with MTV it is with the parenting.”

        In today’s world – where most children have smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and so forth, which can access the Internet and MTV’s website, where full episodes are accessible at all times – as well as a multi-billion dollar entertainment and advertising industry which does nothing but devise ways of luring children into watching these shows — saying “It’s entirely the parent’s responsibility” is nothing but a dodge. Parents cannot be with their children every second of every minute of every day, monitoring every single thing they see and do.

        In fact, means trying to improve the world that our children will have to live in, and taking positive action against those trying to corrupt your children, is the very definition of “being a good parent.”

        “No matter what age this show is actually reaching, it is meant for college students. It is a hilarious and carefree show.”

        “I like it. I don’t care if it’s harmful to OTHER people. That’s THEIR problem. All that matters is ME getting to watch whatever *I* want!”

        • Leah
          December 28, 2013 at 10:17 am

          What exactly are parents concerned about? That their child watches something and it “makes them become distasteful and act like these women?” Well, then I don’t really think that the problem is this show on MTV. Maybe it has to do with your parenting. Don’t let your kid watch the show. It’s as simple as that. It’s not MTV’s fault you’re not monitoring what your kids are watching. I know quite a few people in the targeted age group who watch it and are still ideal kids on the honor roll and are very responsible. If your kid watches it and starts acting questionable, then maybe you should sit them down for once and talk it out. When it all boils down to it, it’s not the show. Sometimes parents like to look for everything else to blame.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            January 13, 2014 at 8:33 am

            Leah,

            your “argument” is like saying, “if you don’t want your kids to smoke/drink/use drugs, don’t let them.” It’s obvious you’re not a parent; if you were, you’d be aware that kids do manage to do stupid and dangerous things even if parents “don’t let them.”

            In the cases I mentioned, there are laws against minors purchasing such products, because it is in society’s (and the minors’) best interests not to. There are similar laws regulating TV content when children are in the audience; the government simply fails to enforce them.

            The PTC is holding the companies that deliberately show harmful content to children responsible for their actions. You claim “it’s not the show,” apparently believing that what people see on TV has no influence on them. If that’s true, then answer me this: why do companies show commercials on TV, if the ads have absolutely no influence on anybody?

      • Ellie
        November 2, 2013 at 5:46 am

        The show is clearly meant as a joke and for 20 something’s up.( Note bars are often mentioned, pretty sure that is a 21 plus type of deal, its not like they are talking about high school) It is funny and relatable. I actually think that this is one of the more empowering shows for the female demographic on MTV and the only one I watch ( not saying its empowering in general bit for MTV it is). It’s shows that it is okay to be quirky and weird, and the things you talk about with friends ate more universal than you think. The joke is that some of the codes different women can relate to on one level. It is adult comedy. In fact I think the main joke is that women can relate to it to some extent. It’s like putting a mirror up to the culture of today, I personally view it as satire, to an extent. I am 23 and clearly I am not sitting there watching and taking notes for future use. I think the show is very funny and laugh a lot.
        Also, the leaving the house looking nice if you think you are going to run into an ex after a recent break up is something most females do, when people feel that they look good ( whatever their definition of the word is) the confidence goes up, and it is to save face, males and females both care about their image and how people see them, since the dawn of time. No one wants to go out run into their ex and appear to be a complete mess, that is embarassing. Besides who is going to have a better and more productive day the person who prepared themselves or the one who went to class in there pajamas?
        They, in the show take that to the extreme and exaggerated because that’s the joke in it. People actually have thoughts like that. I understand that there are stereotypes, clearly, but there are stereotypes for a reason. I feel like more than anything the show is a reflection of our culture and for a sociological stand point is very interesting, along with being funny. Also, some one mentioned I love Lucy, I would say that that show is more demeaning and sexist towards women than girlcode ( as much as I love that show too) I mean the era is clearly relevant. Lucy is afraid of he husbands anger, never goes a day with with out make up or heels, is just a silly naive women, sexually is so prohibited that the have separate beds. ( just a few examples) Whats worse about that is it chronicles daily life, that’s how life is supposed to be. Women are ignorant and their husbands know better, women are delicate and naive and need men to fix the problems they created for themselves. Again that show put a mirror up to the society and cultural values of the time. Just like girlcode does.
        I know parents can not always hold they’re children’s hand, but other people enjoy the show. Censorship is not the answer. Sit down at talk to your children about the world instead of hiding it from them. Explain that the things they see on tv are not the values they should hold. Explain to them that our society is messed up and that there is more to life then sexuality but that sexuality is a part of it and that is natural and okay, for adults. Explain to the what acceptable behavior is. Teach them that they don’t have to be the hottest, or smartest or the most athletic to be happy and successful, that no one is perfect, but don’t discourage them from trying if that’s what they want. One of the biggest things about our culture in the US is to be competitive, I have to be the best. It’s not healthy and puts so much stress on all members of society. Tell them that there are other qualities other than beauty that are more important and more fulfilling, but if that want to feel beautiful that’s ok too. Explain the social distortion of what we feel is beautiful. Don’t hide the world from your children use it as a means to teach them.

      • JJ
        February 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm

        Your response is lazy, uninformed and behind the times. Ever heard of corporate responsibility? Also the MTV executive made it quite clear that the target group is young teens. Corruption of minors is still a crime that can be made against individuals, business entities and non-profits.

    3. Mint
      August 14, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      You do realize that’s comedy right? Of course they are not being serious for [expletive deleted] sake! They are trying to make it funny! So un knot your panties if you please and listen. If they where giving advise to a sister or a friend it would be diffrent. But this is TELEVISION. People watch to be entertained. Funny aka comedy aka girl code take topics and making fun and jokes and laughes. What I’m getting at is font take it seriously sheesh.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        August 15, 2013 at 8:27 am

        Mint,

        The message of MTV’s Girl Code is that you, and millions of other women and teenage girls, are objects who exist only to service men’s sexual desires — and that being treated like a sex object is funny. It’s not funnier or more appropriate just because they’ve hired “Maxim hotties” and female Playboy writers to push their agenda.

        Once, women’s equality meant women being treated with respect. Today, thanks to MTV and the rest of the media, it means “women get to treat other women like sex toys — just like men do!”

        I wonder: would you also say that television shows portraying Jews as hook-nosed misers, or African-Americans as shuffling, lazy cotton-pickers are just “comedy making fun and jokes and laughs” that we “shouldn’t take seriously”?

        • Mint
          August 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

          Question. Have you seen modern day tv? People do that to be funny. It has happened but we the people are smart enough to know not to take it seriously.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            August 28, 2013 at 10:09 am

            I hope all the 12 year olds MTV is trying to attract — and their 8 year old sisters who watch with them — know that as well as you do.

            But I doubt it.

    4. August 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Hey Chris, Go get a phucking life, seriously. The very first step is being the responsible parent. PERIOD. Second, go immediately to the nearest bar and get drunk. You’ve obviously have forgotten how to laugh. Last, go get laid. Man, women, animal, whatever you prefer. You pretentious, conservative, hypocritical schmuck.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        August 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

        1. Use profanity.

        2. Blame parents for MTV’s actions.

        3. Tell people to get drunk.

        4. Tell people to have sex (with “man, women, animals, whatever you prefer”).

        5. Mock/trash anyone who warns people of the pitfalls of 1-4.

        Who says MTV doesn’t influence the way its viewers think?

        • B. Fowler
          January 8, 2014 at 4:08 am

          Jeeze Chris chill out. I agree that its not right to market this kind of show to a demographic of preteen kids. Exposing kids at that age to that kind of show before they’re educated about sex or before they’re emotionally prepared for it can be harmful to them, but watching it as an adult is a completely different story. Obviously that post was sarcastic (for the most part), and I think its ignorant of you to assume that just because some of these people don’t agree with you, you think that those people are brainwashed or at least influenced by MTV. I’m 22 and I hate MTV because its a show that glorifies ignorance along with a dash of sexism here and there. But that’s just my opinion, I’m not making any assumptions about people that happen to like MTV because I don’t know them.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            January 9, 2014 at 9:10 am

            Thanks for your comment, Fowler.

            I agree that and adult watching Girl Code is fine. But the correspondent was (or claimed to be) 15. At age 15, one is still legally a minor. It’s illegal for her to buy cigarettes or alcohol, or even to drive. Why? Because the law recognizes that it is in society’s best interest for minors to be protected from certain influences. Yet MTV — which openly states that it is targeting viewers as young as age 12 — deliberately exposes them to adult material.

            Beyond that, it is obvious that TV influences behavior. (I didn’t say “dictates,” I said “influences.”) Why else do they show commercials on TV, if not to influence viewer behavior? When a teenager spews f-bombs at somebody simply for pointing out that the programming she may be watching is harmful, then yes, I do assume the program had an influence on her speech and attitudes — in fact, she admitted it does. That’s preferable to assuming she’s habitually foul-mouthed, isn’t it?

            It’s a pity that kids assume they should “question authority” like their parents, but never stop to question the “authority” of what MTV is telling them.

    5. Ann Marie
      August 26, 2013 at 9:56 am

      MTV people, u really are sick minded individuals & those who participate!

    6. Josie
      August 26, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Any1 who thinks the corrupt show Girl Code is funny has a unhealthy twisted mind. “Most” of your MOMMA’s, or whoever, didn’t raise u right. Comedy is shows like I Love Lucy. MTV show are designrd to RUIN the MORALITY of our CHILDREN! Now that’s a FACT…Take that to the bank U UNBELIEVERS!!!!!! GOD judges all of us & GOD help ya!

      • Josie
        August 26, 2013 at 10:09 am

        Moderation to WHAT, the TRUTH

      • Dani
        October 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        I completely agree with you, Josie.
        I’m glad you’re teaching your children about God, and I honestly have to say, my children won’t be allowed on the computer, or television, until they get a good talking to about all the stuff ON television.
        God will judge us one day. Every single one of us. But don’t bash on the unbelievers. We can’t change them, only God can for now.
        It’s best not to start a fight, however I do hope they come to God some time in the future. And these girls on this show too…
        This show disappoints me.

      • Ellie
        November 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

        No, just because someone enjoys something that you don’t doesnt make them sick or twisted. ( unless the enjoy things like raping children , and muder and stuff, that’s sick and twisted) Also not everyone believes in God. And your statements don’t sound like something that Jesus would say at all. I really dislike how religion has become a cloak for ignorance. I am not saying that’s everyone. Just because you throw around the word God doesn’t mean that you are correct. And if only God can judge, please leave that to him/her/it/idk what pronoun is correct. I mean your opinions are valid, but you really don’t really need to imply that people who enjoy a television show that you don’t appreciate are going to hell.

      • Maddy
        December 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

        Well, I guess my mind is unhealthy and twisted. Read the DAMN times it plays at. They are at the times when kids are at school. If your so worried about your children watching it block the damn show. Its a comedy. I love it. It teaches you shit your kids should know about. Maybe your daughter is fucking someone and needs to get checked? Just shut the fuck up. And you know what, Im watching the show right now :) And im 15. My teachers dont have a problem with it either. Mind your own damn business

        • Christopher Gildemeister
          January 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

          Yes, it’s obvious from your attitude and use of language that watching MTV has had absolutely no influence on you whatsoever.

          Thanks for proving my point for me.

    7. Ann Marie
      August 26, 2013 at 10:12 am

      Chris Gildemeister YOU’RE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8. mike aquilino
      September 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      maybe if you did some parenting instead of expecting your television to do it for you, your kids would be smart enough not to listen to what people say on tv, and would understand that its supposed to be entertaining and shouldn’t be taken literally. but your probably too busy on your computer complaining about whats on tv to spend any time with your kids

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        September 9, 2013 at 5:25 am

        Maybe if you took the time to read comments rather than just spouting off, you’d see that I’ve already addressed that. Several times.

        • Ellie
          November 2, 2013 at 10:19 am

          You may have addressed that, but I don’t think all too many agree. It is not the medias job to filter. Parents really need to parent, the world shouldn’t have to change because you want to shelter your children instead of addressing these issues and discussing it with them. If you don’t want them to watch MTV block the channel, you can block one channel, it’s not difficult. Your children are not society’s responsibility.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            November 4, 2013 at 10:07 am

            So, would a program about how wonderful it is to sexually molest children be okay? After all, “it’s not the media’s job to filter.” Anything goes, right?

            Our laws do not allow alcohol or tobacco products to be sold to minors. Why not? Because we understand that allowing children access to harmful influences IS harmful to the children’s welfare, and therefore to society as a whole. For that matter, why do we require children to attend school? Again, for the good of the children and for that of society. We could overturn all this, of course, saying “your children are not society’s responsibility.” But would anyone really want to live in the society that would result?

            The bottom line is this: the networks ARE responsible for what they choose to show. They make programming choices hundreds of times every day; and various activist groups urge them to act more responsibly, depending on the issue. GLAAD wants better representation of homosexuals. The NAACP wants better representation of African-Americans. Why is what they do okay, but calling for girls not to be treated like sex objects and reduced to their looks and their sexual behavior is somehow objectionable?

        • Dan
          December 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

          I like how those of you that like this show defend it as if you’re the one on trial, but its just a tv show right not an example you are striving for. I personally don’t think women are being objectified here as much as they are being taught to objectify men. I guess the left wings idea of equality is to always bring one group down to the others level and get revenge rather than empowering both. The one thing no one here is addressing at you don’t need to be “taking notes” and making a conscious decision to be influenced by television. When you sit in front of the tv and put your mental guard down you are soaking all that content up into your subconscious which will later feed that back to your conscious mind without you realizing where it came from. But most people can’t admit that to themselves because they think it makes them week but really its a proven fact that advertising has been taking advantage of for about a century. You can see the rise of television and the decline of America are directly linked. I personally find this show disgusting as it encourages both men and women to have meaningless shallow relationships and mocks others who don’t want to conform to mtvs soulless messages. Chances are it reinforces some of your desires to act irresponsibly so you must defend it and say its progressive and just a reflection of our super advanced society. Look around, just cause we have cell phones and computers to spy on us doesn’t mean this is progress. There’s more suffering today than ever and if this is progress than call me old fashioned. MTV has also convinced so many that ideas that have stood the test of time for centuries should be thrown away for any new latest and greatest thing that’s been around for a week or so. Defenders of girl code, good luck trying to fill that bottomless pit inside of you where your heart should be.

          • Leah
            December 28, 2013 at 10:39 am

            I’m assuming that the people posting negatively about a show on MTV are pretty old and archaic. I’m also assuming that, since you’ve decided to open up a whole public discussion, you should know a considerable amount about this show, meaning that you watch it. And if you watch it regularly, you would know that more than half the time, they’re encouraging women to be what they are and to never change for a man and they are very adamant about that. The other half of the time, THEY’RE NOT BEING SERIOUS. That is why this show is enlisted under “comedy” to make people laugh. I’m 17 years old and I’ve watched this religiously since it’s come out. I’m an honor roll student and am going to college and have a great life. I laugh when they say stupid things (that ARE in fact meant to be taken with a grain of salt). I’m guessing that if you’re really worried about this influencing kids this significantly, then maybe there was already a problem with the kids if they think “wow, maybe I should listen to these grown women who make no sense at all”. If you want your kids to be shielded, block MTV, make them some hot chocolate and let them watch Dora the Explorer until they’re 18 and can do what they want.

    9. Anonymous
      October 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      I came across this while searching for some commentary on the show Girl Code, because I too was disturbed by some of the content! While perhaps not for the same reasons, I understand your sentiments for wanting to protect your children and feeling that the media, and MTV in particular, has a responsibility to be more aware of the sort of messages they send, particularly to the younger audience they cater to.

      It seems that many here have decided to criticize parenting abilities. To me, that is not a productive or critical way to approach this subject. Parents do all they can, but even before the proliferation of and mass access to media, kids were kids and always will be kids, and will always manage to gain access to information their parents hoped they wouldn’t. So while you can password-protect your TV, find a new cable package, et cetera…, there’s only so much a parent can do, especially when young people are now so easily bombarded with this stuff through so many avenues. Your point is valid and your criticism, warranted.

      I myself approach this show from the lens of a college-age female, who perhaps this show is more appropriate for. And while I can often relate to the humour and experiences portrayed in this show, there are definitely aspects about this show, among many others on MTV, that I find disturbing. Though it operates under the guise of open-mindedness and free and non-judgemental discussion issues facing women, the fact is that the perpetuation of stereotypes (and deeply negative stereotypes at that) is alarming and disturbing. While in one moment you feel as though the show’s commentary “gets” you and is so very open and progressive, it at the same times continues to use old, demeaning dialogue associated with “slut shaming,” typical frameworks of feminine beauty, and narrow fields of opportunity for and capabilities of young women.

      While some of these may be of concern to you, others may not, but hear me out! If a show is suggesting that a woman must be at all times “model ready” for others (ex-boyfriends, et cetera…) to take us seriously or see us as worthy, there is something seriously wrong. The disturbing part of all this is that I can relate to this feeling of always needing to look pretty when I go out, because I never know who I’m going to run in to!

      So if I can relate and this is just “girl talk,” whats so wrong with that, right? The problem is, I can relate because society, the media et cetera… has taught me, and other young women, that this is a valid concern. So how can a show claim to be progressive if it validates a notion and asks us to relate to an idea that has been taught to young women to diminish their worth beyond physicality? The thought that we treat this so casually, even on shows that attempt to get away from this, is problematic. MTV is not the place for progressive thought, people. Perhaps you might see things differently here, but the casual treatment of the concept of “slut” is also problematic. While the show makes room for female promiscuity, it continues to attribute negative connotations to female sexuality through the use of the word “slut.” Sure, I from time to time with casually use this word with my friends (in a non meaningful sense), but the suggestion that a female who is promiscuous, falls in the “slut” category perpetuates the idea that female sexuality and the openess of female sexuality is negative or threatening. Why should I feel that a sex life that involves multiple partners is by definition a “slut phase?” Shouldn’t your sex life just be a sex life, rather than juxtaposed with the ideal concept of feminine reservation, monogamy, and conservatism? Why continue to use these labels? It takes away the ability to define your own sexuality and places it into a binary between shameful and ideal. Why is it that if you’re the girl of the group that “picks up” that Girl Code should suggest you’re “that friend” that people just want to party with? Are they suggesting “sluts” have a one-track mind and do not possess qualities that make them worthy? In this, while perhaps it contrasts a bit with the concerns expressed in this article (which are understandable and valid as it pertains to a young teenage daughter), we see the negative effects of shaming female sexuality as this is another form of sexuality. While Girl Code might treat this lightly, it is nevertheless rehashing this old and dangerous dialogue that limits female opportunity.

      I could go on and on…commentary on female driving? Making light of the idea that women should just admit that they’re incompetent? Really?? Talk about a limiting scope. Maybe the better approach would be to make fun of that stereotype and why it’s ridiculous people believe in it rather than attempting to demonstrate its validity? Female sports? The only discussion I heard loud and clear there were female uniforms and girl-on-girl action on the softball team. Thanks, guys, for bringing to light a field of opportunity for young female athletes! UGH.

      Anyway, I think you get my point and we’re coming at this from two different perspectives. But I completely agree with the desire to critically analyze these things and not just sit back and say, “can’t you take a joke?” I can admit to laughing at the show while still being aware that there are some seriously effed-up messages for young 14 year olds to 20-something year olds. The fact that it’s funny isn’t the point. Because when you look at it…I mean when you reallllyyy look at it (and I’ve tried to like the show, I really have), it’s not the sort of humour that’s making fun of these backward ideas. It’s the sort of humour that is rehashing them and continuing to make these stereotypes acceptable.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        October 18, 2013 at 6:44 am

        Thank you for sharing your perspectives, and for your thoughtful analysis. It is important for people — and especially young people — to realize that what they see even on seemingly innocuous TV shows has an influence on how they perceive the world, how they think, and how they behave as a result.

        A favorite mantra of progressives is to “question authority.” But “authority” does not comprise only parents, teachers, and churches. Gossip Girl and Sex and the City and, yes, MTV are cultural “authorities” too…and it’s equally important to question them.

    10. Dani
      October 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      While I am not a parent yet, my friend told me about this show a while back. I, in no way, ever want to see this show, whether it be reviewing it for my children or whatever. However, now that I’ve read this and some other things:
      This. Is the stupidest show. I have EVER heard of. I am so disappointed at how my age group in Middle School through High School wants to take on this perspective.
      Tons of people say, “Oh no, they just make it for comedy, it’s not supposed to be taken seriously.”
      Well, I’d like to give you some examples.
      Recently, I got to talk to one of my friends from school. I had entered homeschool, so I wasn’t sure of what was going on. I asked her. She said, like… I think 3 different people got pregnant.
      Are you serious? What good is in that?! Having babies is a beautiful thing. But when you go out and have sex outside of marriage, disobey Papa God, and all of that, you pretty much threw your love-life out the window for something WAY LESS than what God wanted you to have. Secondly, this all happened within a half year time frame, or more or less.
      This show is a disgrace. This is teaching girls all the wrong things. Cursing? Pfft. Makes you look cool? HA.
      I could come up with better puns than to resort to cursing and flaunting such vulgarity to anyone.
      This show needs to be banned or something, I’m really upset and tired of all the girls who act like this (and this is why I left my old school). They all just don’t care. Not about Papa God. Not about the goodness. Not about any of that.
      They just want to go waste themselves on people, and joke about it constantly. Bleh. It’s disgusting. Why can’t we just talk about Pokemon and other COOLER things? I don’t get why people glorify all this sin.
      I’m praying that the next generation doesn’t have to suffer through what I had to with such vulgar language being thrown around on the streets and in school.

    11. LDM
      January 9, 2014 at 8:48 am

      I remember the day when MTV played MUSIC! Not this reality show horse manure.

    12. sukee
      February 25, 2014 at 1:59 am

      If people like you had their way,TV would be filled with nothing more than irritating Disney shows and overly PC comedy with corny jokes..there is this ‘revolutionary’ feature on most cable and satellite TV,its called parental control,if you want you heavily indoctrinated children to be sheltered from watching shows,like girl code,PLEASE feel free to use it!

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        March 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        Parents “heavily indoctrinate” children, but MTV doesn’t?

        And “parental controls” are worthless, because they rely on the content rating given the show. MTV rates Girl Code TV-14. So if a parent had their “parental controls” set for shows safe for 14 year olds, their kids would still see it.

        If people like you had their way, TV would be filled with programs telling girls they’re only valued for their looks and their willingness to have sex. Oh, wait…people like you DO have their way, since that’s all that’s on MTV now.

        • Zoey
          March 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm

          Wow you are ignorant. That’ show’s content is relatable for most girls, and if your daughter is 14, that includes her. You can’t shield your children from learning about sex, relationships and situations that every women deals with sometime in her life. Girlcode gives girls advice on how to deal with life. The women on that show teach girls to love and respect themselves. I knew quite a bit about sex, alcohol and relationships when I was 14, and girlcode wasn’t a show then. Maybe if it was I would have had a better understanding of these topics from a girl’s prospective and would have avoided mistakes I’ve made in the past. Girlcode gives advice on the topics that all teens know about, but overly protective parents like you don’t want them to. Teens need to learn these lessons sometime, obviously you won’t teach them to your children, and do you really want them to learn from their own mistakes? Why not learn them from girlcode! Just hope your daughter doesn’t get pregnant because she missed the episode of girl code where they gave advice on using protection. And I’m not talking health class advice, I’m talking about girl to girl relatable advice that girls actually listen to.

          • Christopher Gildemeister
            March 31, 2014 at 9:01 am

            Zoey,

            So, anyone who dares to question what they hear on MTV is “ignorant”?

            Girl Code’s content may be “relatable” to promiscuous twenty-somethings, but it’s quite a leap from saying that it addresses subjects “every woman deals with sometime in her life,” to saying “and we’ll address those subjects for kids age 14 (or 12, or 10, or 8, since MTV deliberately makes available and markets its programming to younger viewers as well – note David Janollari’s comment that its viewers age 12 who “live and breathe all our shows”).

            It is legitimate to say that one can’t – and shouldn’t – shield children from learning about sex, relationships, and other situations. It is not legitimate to presume that MTV – a multi-billion dollar corporation that cares nothing about young viewers as individuals, and sees them only as consumers to whom they can sell skin and hair care products, fast food, and other merchandise — is a better teacher about sex and relationships than a child’s parents, who love and care about them.

            The notion that Girl Code teaches girls to “love and respect themselves” isn’t even laughable. It’s tragic. If you reread the examples presented above, you’ll see that the show treats women as though they exist only to service men’s sexual desires. There’s nothing there that teaches girls to be truly strong and independent, to think for themselves, or to take pride in who they are. Everything is couched in terms of, “What can you do to have more sex?” Telling girls and women that they are nothing more than sex objects is hardly teaching them to “love and respect themselves.” And the idea that Girl Code will somehow teach girls to avoid getting pregnant – when all it does is tell girls to have sex as often, and with as many different partners, as possible – is ludicrous and sad.

            If Girl Code truly “gives girls advice on how to deal with life,” where are the sections on seeking a career, or schoolwork, or dating (I said “dating,” not having sex), or even simple friendship? But the show doesn’t address any of those subjects, or anything else. On Girl Code, it’s all sex, all the time…because obviously, that’s all MTV’s executives think girls are good for. But then, what else would you expect from a show aimed at teenage girls, on a network run by middle-aged men who only care about exploiting them?

            Zoey, I’m truly sorry you had bad life experiences. But respectfully, I must disagree that your life would’ve been better – or that any girl’s life will be better – if they mindlessly and without question believe everything they hear on MTV.

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