Ep.33: Amazon Women in the Mood (Notes)

  • Early in the episode, PE forces Zoidberg to clean up after Nibbler. In a later episode, we see that Scruff is, allegedly, a reanimated zombie-like figure. This, then, is one of the many ways in which the future has managed to super-exploit the workers on top of the career chip regulation. Such workers are truly at the bottom since the professor remarks that Zoidberg “always seemed to be full of life… begging for scraps.”
  • Amy’s remarks about Kiff’s constant calling is another reminder that toxic masculinity and rape culture is alive and well in the future.
  • Kiff spent time in the DOOP boys choir which he laments, thus signaling that masculinity even among alien species is disturbingly human.
  • When Zoidberg’s new shell catalog comes, the demo shell comes with various outfits– usually of a culturally insensitive nature– over the generic red shell, thus, we see that what “J. Crab” sells is not so much as shells as aesthetics and lifestyles.
  • Planet Amazonia is a riff on the classic legend of the Amazonia Isle and the myth of a race of large, skilled warriors; the legend has many iterations and overlaps with other legends such as Hercules so I will not get into the dynamics of how this take on the legend is “true” or “untrue”. Rather, I want to bring attention to the idea behind Futurama’s take on Amazonia as a feminist caricature (sports, humor, architecture). Amazonia culture is focused on practical, down-to-earth living instead of “abstract craziness”. Even though this could be just as much a meta-commentary on the nature of sci-fi comedy animation, the subtext makes clear that the sort of matriarchal culture embodied in Amazonia is foolishly idealistic. More than that, the episode in general viciously reinforces gender roles and cliches in another reactionary show of force.
  • Sexual Politics: when the males are sentenced to death by Snu-Snu (sex), Kiff is the only one who concretely expresses his horror while the others appear mixed about their fate; to this, Zapp says, “What are you, Gay?” This is a watershed moment for the series since it reveals both the sort of sexual life led by men in the future but also the idea that the developers felt comfortable enough to add in this idea that heteronormativity should be placed before regards for one life, a toxic idea at best (“Goodbye, friends. I never thought I would die like this but I always secretly hoped”).
  • The ruler of Amazonia is a “Femputer” who is secretly a “Fembot” who fled from a planet ruled by “a chuavinistic Manputer who was really a manbot”. She laments on her difficult position and is one of the few moments in the show which acknowledges the anti-femme violence implicit in capitalism. Unfortunately, the episode repeats tired sexual mantras about ‘women needing a man’ with its resolution of Bender and the Amazonia Fembot dating.

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