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You probably know that women were not allowed on stage in Shakespeare's day, but you probably don't know why. The vagabond laws, which applied to wandering English citizens such as a touring acting company, would have by a technicality, rendered an actress a prostitute. With the advent of the Lifetime Channel, this prophecy has come to pass. As a television aficionado, I have noted a distinct lack of quality, or if you prefer, an abundance of suck-in programming by, for, and about women. My first reaction is that this is the result of hysteria, a wandering womb. This condition causes the afflicted woman to behave erratically, which is what makes it so hard to detect. It is best solved by a decade or so of bed rest, and a daily dose of Professor Clive M. Pilliganswortz's Vitalitiffical Nervular Moth-Ball and Iodine Tonic.

My attention was first turned to this scourge of estro-tainment upon learning that a friend had been cast in a production of "The Vagina Monologues." Frankly, I find the idea of a talking vagina extremely distasteful, but we must move with the times. I'm sure somewhere a disaffected grad student is penning, "Kooch! The Musical" as we speak. For those of you who don't know, "The Vagina Monologues" are to actors what shooting someone is to the Mafia. You make your bones, you're in the club. If you're, say, Stockard Channing or Sean Young and you haven't done "The Vagina Monologues" you can actually have your uterus revoked. I'm sure the next Broadway cast will include Sarah Michelle Gellar and at least one Olsen twin. You actors gotta get yourselves some street cred, yo.

For the sake of science, I actually forced myself to watch four hours of the Lifetime Channel. The vast majority of their line-up consists of reruns of old TV movies with names like, "Shattered Roses: The Story of One Woman's Struggle to Find Her Place in a Big City After Getting Knocked Up By Guatemalan Freedom Fighters." These movies send an important message to women, that no matter how abysmal they are at choosing a mate (and they are borderline retarded in this respect), they can triumph over their own poor decision-making skills based on pure ovary power. I can only conclude from these movies that women find unemployed alcoholics extremely attractive. Somehow women register Treat Williams, in a wife-beater, sporting a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon as soul-mate material.

Now where did I put that bottle of Jim Beam?

I also subjected myself to watch their show called "Strong Medicine," a medical drama about a hospital where 95 percent of the characters and cases revolve around women. My question is, why aren't more men watching this show? Finally, the Lifetime Network gives us what we've been clamoring for: girls, girls, girls! The doctors on the show are blazingly hot and can't act their way out of a Vagina Monologue paper bag. It's "Baywatch" in scrubs. Feminism never looked this good and this inarticulate. Let the drooling begin. Now there's even a knock-off network called Oxygen, something the people over at Lifetime obviously aren't getting enough of. The main purpose of Oxygen seems to be to inform women that one in four of them will get breast cancer in their life. It's part of a campaign by The Association of Duh, We Already Knew That, or TADWAKT. TADWAKT brings you such fun-facts every year as, "Did you know you can contract HIV by sharing bodily fluids?" and "Don't eat a live cat!"

This kind of charade stands in stark contrast to the glory that is male-centered television. Who among us cannot help but be humbled by the dramatic achievement that is a Ja Rule video? The juxtaposition of buxom women and glittery cars has not been, nor ever will be repeated; a shining hallmark of originality and heart which asks every one of us to imagine slappin' da bi-otch within. Although women have attempted to portray an image of themselves as strong and independent, the cartoonish farce they actually created is really the feminine equivalent of a minstrel show. These women aren't examples of compelling human depth and complexity. They are navel-gazing sad sacks who solve a problem every week by reaching deep inside themselves and embracing the uniqueness that they don't actually possess.

I began this writeup with a mention of Shakespeare, and I feel it apropos to close with an example of a strong woman from a tale of abuse and jealousy far greater than "Shattered Roses: A Story of One Woman's Courage as She Retrieves Her Kidnapped Son from A Ukraine Wife-Beating Cult." I am speaking of "Othello, the Moor of Venice (not of a Trailer Park)." In that play Desdemona says, "…Men's natures wrangle with inferior things, though great ones are their object. 'Tis even so; for let our finger ache, and it indues our other, healthful members to a sense of pain. Nay, we must think men are not gods, nor of them look for such observancy as befits the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia, I was, unhandsome warrior as I am, arraigning his unkindness with my soul; but now I find I had suborned the witness, and he's indicted falsely."

Top that, Oprah.

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