"Host Seth MacFarlane has been leaning on sexist punchlines all night, and people are noticing. Here are the transcripts, so you can calibrate your outrage and/or eye rolls accordingly...."
That's Maureen O'Connor at The Atlantic. Maybe she's just looking for traffic or a neat framework for presenting some of the jokes from last night's big show, but how can you judge how sexist the jokes are when only the jokes about women are taken out of context? What was said about men?
I know there was a big song-and-dance number naming lots of actresses and the movies where they bared their breasts, but what was said about male nakedness? All of those women chose to display their boobs — to use the word in the song lyrics (which you can read at the link above (video here)) — and they got whatever admiration or career advancement they got. Having taken the advantages offered — perhaps including ousting some other actress with more modesty or less impressive attributes — they're not immune from jokes at their expense.
We make fun of men all the time. It would be sexist to have a rule that you can only make fun of men. So, were there jokes about male genitalia? But male actors don't normally go waggling their willies around in big Hollywood pictures, so it's hard to say what the parallelism would be for "I Saw Your Boobs." (It looks funny to write "male actors," but "actors" is used these days for both sexes. Maybe we could use "mactors" or — I know, it's taken — "malefactors.")
Now, it might have been impolite or in bad taste to call out the names of actresses who were there, proudly seated at this ritual of self-celebration, and to sing out "I saw your boobs" at particular individuals, right when they wanted everyone to think they were such goddesses, in their lovely ball gowns, which were quite possibly designed to make a special show of the very boobage that the song was about.
But that's not the topic of sexism. That's the topic of whether you want the Oscars host to display respect and reverence to the assembled dignitaries or would you rather have some broad comedy that might appeal to the big TV audience? It's a question of taste and a desire to maximize the size of the audience, which was the same question that led to the baring of the boobs in the first place.
ADDED: I don't really think Maureen O'Connor cares about sexism one way or the other. If she really thought McFarlane's jokes deserved condemnation, she wouldn't have written "are we spoiled by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's Golden Globes?" — which is also a joke about boobs. I'd condemn that joke for being so stale.
Who was the first person to equate "Golden Globes" and actresses' breasts? The Golden Globes were first presented in January 1944, so I'm betting the joke goes back to 1943. We needed some sexy laughs back in 1943. I'll bet just about anything you might say about breasts was either sexy or funny or both back in 1943. But today? It's hard to say something new. Maureen O'Connor doesn't seem to know how to say something new. McFarlane did. Gasping about how that might have been sexist is really incredibly dull. One thing that actually makes some people sexist is the unwillingness of (some!) women to laugh at themselves. Come on. Laugh at women. Laugh at men. We all deserve it.