'Louie' Gets "Beat Up By A Girl" & Raises Some Big Questions About Assumed Gender Roles
From taking on the double standard about using the word fat for men vs. women, to taking strides to appreciate and talk about women more and more over the last few seasons, Louis CK is proving that his FX series Louie is becoming more progressive about gender equality as the seasons progress. But there's still a lot of work to be done. On Thursday night's episode "Bobby's Place," Louie intervenes when witnessing a woman beating up a man for allegedly staring at her. While the audience and Louie don't really get to see what occurred that makes the woman angry enough to hit the man, we do see Louie step in anyway and try to calm the woman down by telling her to leave him alone rather than just trying to diffuse the situation with a more unbiased approach. This is where things get a little crazy as Louie gets beat up by the woman for basically not minding his own business. But it's what comes next that really mixes the gender roles up even further.
Louie gets home and his daughters immediately ask him what's wrong and who was the man who beat Louie up. They don't even consider the idea that it could be a woman, and when Louie tells them the truth about what happened, they laugh at him. He tells the girls "You should know that women are strong" and they retort with questions like "You got beat up by a girl?" and "Was she pretty?" among snickers. And what's worse, when he goes to Pamela's house and tells her the truth, she laughs too.
Louie asks Pamela to put some makeup on him so he doesn't look totally injured and beaten up for his comedy shows later that night and as she cakes on the foundation she suddenly starts begging him to let her make him like a woman so she can have sex with him as a man. After lots of persuasion, Louie agrees and the two switch gender roles for a bit of foreplay. When they start having sex, things get even more complicated as Pamela ahem... takes Louie from behind.
After they finish, Pamela is the one asking Louie if he's OK and silences him when he tries to have a conversation with him. Louie tells Pamela that he believes they've crossed into a new category of relationship. At this point, Pamela tells Louie that she can't lead him on any longer and breaks up with him.
This storyline definitely began in a questionable way, as the woman who beat up Louie was seemingly portrayed as someone who was imagining that a man was staring at her. I would have preferred for her to have a real reason to want to beat the man up. Since we don't exactly know why she was triggered to such a violent outburst, it's hard to really understand what happens next with Louie. But the plot then progressed in a really interesting way. Why is it so ingrained in our brains that a woman can't be strong enough to take down a man? Why is that something even kids take as gospel?
And on that same note, as sad as I am that Pamela broke up with Louie, why does it have to be strange that she's the one who doesn't want emotional intimacy? These are the kinds of questions that I hope Louie can continue to raise throughout this season and the series as a whole. These are the kind of people and stories that can help bring more light gender equality in a funny, real way.
Images: KC Bailey/FX (3)