While there is so much amazing, female-friendly television programming out there at the moment, it’s hard to fathom a world in which women’s media interests actually outrank those of their be-penised counterparts. But once a year, we get a taste of what that world would be like: Super Bowl Sunday might take up all the bandwidth on ESPN, but all the other channels are acutely aware that non-sports fans, ladies included, might want to watch something (anything) other than sports. Forget the Oscars. The Super Bowl is what’s up for women’s programming on every channel that’s not prominently featuring football.
According to International Business Times, over 100 million Americans—roughly one third of the population—watch the Super Bowl each year. So even though it’s easily the year’s biggest broadcast, for every one American gluedto the game, there are two more potential viewers whose attentions need grabbing. And many of those uninterested parties happen to be women
Sure, plenty of women who watch (and even enjoy) the Super Bowl. But others see it as one more day of TV that’s curated without our sex in mind.
Women are accustomed to having few options: Oxygen and WE are two of the only channels that cater to women outright. In most cases, we have to nitpick our way through network offerings to find something specifically created because it appeals to the XX chromosomal makeup (and if men aren’t interested, who cares).
That makes this coming Sunday pretty special, because not only are the lady channels showing lady television and lady movies, every channel not showing anything related to football is aimed to rope in female viewers. Vh1 is showing back-to-back episodes of their new series Hindsight. HBO and its various iterations are set to play a slew of lady-centric movies, from The Heat to Divergent to Leap Year. We have the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet competing with the Kitten Bowl on Hallmark (and while we recognize that not just women and girls are into puppies and kitties, our binary-biased society will still argue otherwise). The Witches of Eastwick is on Encore, Ghost will play multiple times on E!, and USA will play SVU until you’re sick of it (yes, that many episodes). And PBS gives zero fucks because they know people will still watch a new Downton Abbey, Super Bowl be damned.
We’re not saying women should be grateful—we’re still counting on a time in the (hopefully near) future, where women’s interests are taken seriously every single day of the year, not just on the one where men’s attentions are otherwise diverted—but we are pretty thrilled for lady TV day, if only because it’s a taste of a more balanced world. Until that world shows up though, you can find us watching another Ab Fab, sweetie darling. We hear it’s on this weekend.