You know what’s really funny, guys? Putting men in women’s clothes! Haw, haw, haw, haw, haw! Thus is the premise of ABC’s new comedy, “Work It,” about two men who can’t get hired for any jobs because women are better educated, so they don wigs, skirts, and makeup. What follows is a comedy of errors about men, dressed as women, learning the high-heeled and Cosmopolitan-soaked ropes of woman-dom.
I actually chuckled a few times in the trailer, like when the guy chucks his sandwich in the trash and eats only a slice of lettuce for lunch when he sees all the other women at the lunch table noshing on salads.
But still, I can’t get over how disrespectful it is that straight, white dudes are playing cross-dressing up for laughs when actual transgender men and drag queens are still marginalized by society. There’s a whiff of a minstrel show to it. I’m not sure that joking about how ridiculous it is that men are in heels or makeup is the best course to acceptance, you know?
And also, the premise of this show obscures the truth about women and work. Yes, women are graduating from college and grad school in higher numbers than men, as well as earning more doctoral degrees (third item). But if us gals are so damn successful, why does pay inequity still exist? To hear the white man in the trailer joke about how women are taking over — “Soon, they’ll get rid of all the men and keep a few of us around as sex slaves!” — made me roll my eyes heavenward.