I’ll admit up front that I’ve never liked Family Guy. Now, don’t mistake this for a lack of appreciation for animated comedy series in general or for not having a sense of humour. I enjoy the cultural relevance of “The Simpsons”. I get off on a good “Futurama” geek joke. And anyone who doesn’t think “Weeds” is the funniest fuckin’ show to go on the air since … well, since I can’t even remember because I’m not sure at this moment if there ever has been a funnier show … ok, let’s not go any further on that!
I just never appreciated the way “Family Guy” always plays for the easy laugh at the expense of its female characters, (sexist) stereotypes of women, stereotypes of gender relations and violence against women. It always left this bad taste in my mouth, like it was trying to front as a satire of misogyny, when really the joke was on us (girls) who were laughing along.
I happen to be a huge fan of Family Guy and I watch the show religiously because I think it is hands down the funniest show on television. While I agree with some of the things you had to say on its portrayal of women in certain jokes you need to remember that these jokes do not make up any sort of majority of the shows jokes. The most common type of joke on the show is celebrity bashing and other little random tidbits. The reason people love the show so much is for these random jokes and references to other television shows and current events.
It is true that they do go overboard with many jokes and many times these jokes are in reference to women but you are forgetting the most popular part of the shows humor. This would be its main character, Peter. I find myself laughing the most at his stupidity and hilarious mannerisms. In every single episode of family guy I have ever seen (which is all of them), the sex that is getting bashed on the most is the males. Peter’s character is an idiot and is constantly saying and doing stupid things and making himself look as such. Furthermore, when he gets into a pickle or does something retarded, his smart, independent and caring wife is there to rectify his mistakes. Even though there are plenty of jokes directed toward women, this theme of the stupid male and the intelligent female is prominent in just about every episode of Family Guy. One such example that makes men look stupid is when Peter accidentally dumps a bucket of hot cooking oil on Lois and hospitalizes her for a few months. From there they show what life is like when a man is left in charge. The house becomes a wreck and Peter has no idea how to do anything to keep the family in tact.
It is true that the Family Guy writers do degrade women at times, but women certainly are not singled out anymore than other groups, and they certainly are not the most popular joke victims in the show.