As soon as Tina Fey took the first bite out of her “Brownie Husband” during this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” I knew there would be a lot of talk. Both the kind that celebrated the fauxmercial’s ingenious hilarity—and, I mean seriously, obvious satire—and the riled-up ridicule from those who seem to have been waiting to pounce on Fey ever since she decided to own her hotness and pose for magazines in low-cut dresses and take the lead in a romantic comedy—things that I think are just as feminist as not giving a shit about high heels or lipgloss. (Psst, the feminism is in the control of one’s own image. Yes, she’s in control of it). But pretty feminists have been criticized for embracing their prettiness for generations. (Gloria Steinem comes to mind.)
Ever since that now-infamous “SNL” appearance, there’s much more of the latter going on. The basic argument against Fey is: Why does Tina Fey make fun of women so much? Whether it’s her disheveled, unlucky-in-love—but totally successful, strong, and otherwise badass—character Liz Lemon on “30 Rock” or the pole-dancing, repressed homemaker in her latest film, “Date Night,” some women just can’t let Fey off the hook for portraying flawed—and, yes, unattractive—characters or turning her icy wit against other women.
But is she now? Well, yes and no.