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But When I Do It, It’s Really Stylish
July 2, 2016 By Jo Eberhardt
I grew up on 80s British comedy. (Which possibly explains everything you ever need to know about my writing style.) Yes, Minister taught me about politics. Blackadder taught me about history. Are You Being Served? taught me about… well, lots of things. And Red Dwarf taught me about science fiction.
In fact, Red Dwarf taught me a lot of lessons, and one of the ones I come back to time and time again is from the most feminist episode I’ve ever seen in any TV show ever: ‘Parallel Universe’.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of watching Red Dwarf, the two main characters are Arnold Rimmer, a socially awkward, sexually repressed hologram, and Dave Lister, a slobbish, easygoing lad’s lad whose skills include drinking lager and eating vindaloo spicy enough to melt through plastic. In ‘Parallel Universe’, they’re accidentally transported to a parallel dimension where everything is the same… except that women are the dominant gender. There, they meet their female equivalents who, obviously, try to get them into bed.
Hi-jinks ensue as the boys come to terms with being objectified and, in Lister’s words dealing with women who “think of men in the exact same way [we] think of women…. it’s disgusting.” But my favourite part of the episode is the conversation that takes place about female-Lister’s attempt to seduce male-Lister:
Lister: She tried to impress me by drinking six pints of lager and belching the whole of Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Rimmer: That’s your party piece, isn’t it?
Lister: Yeah, but when I do it, it’s really stylish, man.
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