Friday, March 14, 2014

What American Women Watch On Netflix

So over on Return of Kings, a fellow who goes by the commanding handle "General Stalin" posits that a gentleman can know a lot about a lady by her Netflix queue.

That's probably true, and the same goes for a person's library record.  Every time I pass the pleasant young man at my local library's circulation desk, I have to avert my eyes because he knows more about me than my doctor does.

Anyway, General Stalin claims to have a unique insight into the psychology of American women because a girl he "casually dated" left her Netflix password on his laptop.  Not only did he get to enjoy months of free streaming, he knew exactly what his ex and her roomies were watching (and presumably thinking).

That General Stalin is one nosy dude!  Not to mention cheap. And it occurs to me that confessing to this seems oddly more embarrassing than once failing to return a library book, but I digress...  Truth be told, I would have been sorely tempted to behave in a similarly dubious fashion, especially if I had some "unfinished business" with the ex.

The General summarizes his findings as follows:

First, young American women watch a lot of "sexually deviant movies and documentaries."  The General was dismayed to find that "a small group of average white single American girls, who grew up in nice neighborhoods with good families, cared far more about sex than romance. I hardly ever saw a romantic comedy or critically acclaimed tear-jerker on there."  

I'm not a young woman, but even when I was I generally loathed romantic comedies and treacly melodramas (with a few notable exceptions).  But I did, and still do, treat myself to the occasional kinky documentary.  Ever since my ten year old psyche was permanently scarred by "Mondo Cane," I've had a predilection for viewing the bizarre margins of human behavior.  I have watched more than one documentary about "sex dolls", for example, a phenomenon I find morbidly fascinating. 

Second in popularity, according to General Stalin's informal survey, were independent movies with "strong female leads" especially those that featured women overcoming perilous situations, like "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."  This makes perfect sense to me.  People (not just women) enjoy watching characters they can identify with who use their wits and fortitude to triumph over evil.  From this, the General concludes that "single women want to be fucked raw and treated like filth by bad-boy miscreants, but they also want to make these men suffer for not showing them respect and honoring their strength and independence."  WTF?  I would come to the opposite conclusion.  Both men and women love watching horror and suspense for a number of reasons, but the desire to actually be a real victim (or perpetrator) is not one of them.

I've already confessed that horror and true crime are my guilty pleasures.  My Netflix queue is jammed with unwatched "Disappeared" and "Deadly Women" episodes.  Ann Rule books are my "go to" trashy reading.  I scare the bejeezus out of myself for an hour, then turn on the lights and realize how safe and cozy my life actually is, have a hot cup of cocoa and sleep like a baby.  Sadly, my partner does not share my passion, so I have to indulge myself when she is not around.

Finally, the girls whose Netflix viewing he was obsessively monitoring had a taste, broadly shared by the American public, for "Reality TV." 

OK, I agree with General Stalin, that is just plain indefensible.  I'm proud to say that I never watch Reality TV shows.  Except for the ones about plucky dwarfs and adorable polygamists.

BTW, why can these guys never discuss American women's media tastes without referencing Sex and the City, a show that has been off the air for a decade?  It's beginning to seem like a kind of tic.

General Stalin describes himself as "a passionate but misanthropic cynic who is tired and beaten down by the shortcomings of Western civilization, currently living a life of quiet desperation."  I feel his pain.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm right in the middle of "Blue is the Warmest Color,"and I'm just getting to the "good parts" if you know what I mean (and I know that you do).


  1. But ... SEX AND THE CITY! (I kid, I kid.)

    My Netflix queue includes Psych, Monk, Columbo, Once Upon a Time, Grimm and a ton of documentaries from the Smithsonian Channel, NatGeo, things like that. What that says about me? I guess I'm a serial killer in training with a really weird sense of humor and a penchant for fairy tales. :P

    1. I like those Smithsonian and National Geographic docs too. I don't just watch kinky stuff. I watch everything! "Orange is the New Black" and "Nurse Jackie" are particular favorites. What did I do before Netflix? Read more, probably.


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