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Match made in misogyny heaven: Sports Illustrated & Archer just created magic

Sneha Vakharia | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:46 IST

If misogynist-bashing humour is your thing, there's a lot to look forward to this March because Archer - FX Network's animated comedy - returns for season seven.

And it's decided to herald the new season (starting March 31st) with these badass, entirely ironic, deliberately Bond-esque, swimsuit spreads.

Here's Pam Poovey in this year's swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated (for real).

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Fun facts about Pam Poovey, in case you don't know her yet:

She is dangerously combat-effective, and is Director of HR at Archer's secret agent company, ISIS.

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She is also seriously in love with her body and happily identifies with very bisexual. (Last year, her phone was hacked and these photographs appeared on the internet. She didn't care.)

And here's Lana.

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Quick recap: she's hot, smart and lethal. She's also unhappy becoming a babysitting mom (an unfortunate fallout of the fact that she fell in love with Secret Agent and Non-Secret Misogynist Sterling Archer).

And here's Cheryl.

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Assistant to Archer's mom, very rich, and very fond of BDSM.

Don Draper and James Bond Unite

If you're new to the world of Archer, Season 7 isn't too late to catch up. Archer is, quite simply, James Bond turned inside out.

The protagonist, Sterling Archer, is a handsome, womanising secret agent with a particular fondness for Russian women. In other words - he's awful, callous and deeply misogynistic. His emotional maturity and sexual drive are that of a stunted eleven year-old.

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He makes sex jokes because his brain can't process much else. He likes spending money on women and brutalising his butler because it's funny. He thinks Danger Zone is the theme song of his life. And he usually needs a woman agent or two to save him when he's about to die.

The misogyny is garish, unmissable, unlikeable. And that's precisely why it's also damning.

Compare it to Don Draper, the protagonist of Mad Men, whom Archer also happens to look like. Draper also has some of that emotionally-stilted sexism going on. But Mad Men forgives Draper's misogynistic ways. It treats him sympathetically - finding somewhat complex ways to forgive him. You know - like the fact that he was stressed and his wife was a bit needy.

Sterling Archer, on the other hand, gets laughed at by his colleagues for being "an alcoholic with commitment issues", and a "sex crazed ego-maniac".

Like on this occasion, when he opened a cooking show by announcing he's neither a servant nor a woman, and will therefore invite someone else to do the cooking:

The show is notoriously and proudly swimming in every sexist, racist, misogynist trope there has ever been. And lampooning itself with the very-same pride and notoriety.

Precisely why working with Sports Illustrated - one of the honorary flag bearers of sexism - on their swimsuit issue, is so damn clever.

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First published: 24 February 2016, 1:09 IST
Sneha Vakharia @sneha_vakharia

A Beyonce-loving feminist who writes about literature and lifestyle at Catch, Sneha is a fan of limericks, sonnets, pantoums and anything that rhymes. She loves economics and music, and has found a happy profession in neither. When not being consumed by the great novels of drama and tragedy, she pays the world back with poems of nostalgia, journals of heartbreak and critiques of the comfortable.