Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Eruption of Misogyny

Aaron Sorkin supposedly responds to the reaction to his horrible portrayal of women in this blog post and the comments erupt into even more misogyny. There's a guy calling for the abolishment of rape as a crime (unless she's a virgin, in which case he has to pay her father and marry her - once she's his wife he can rape her all he wants as he also wants marital rape to no longer be a crime). There's another dude who can only think of one significant contribution women have made to society - Post it notes. He does have the caveat that the contribution has to be when she's in her twenties. I guess he never heard of Temple Grandin, who invented the hug box when she was still a teenager. Or any of the other women who have done wonderful and amazing things, usually while having to battle people just like that commenter.

Many of the other people commenting are apologists, who seem to think that because Mr. Sorkin is a fantastic writer he can do no wrong. All of us, even the most enlightened, still have areas where we can grow. Sure, he's written wonderful female characters in the past but he failed this time. Saying it's because he was writing about misogynists doesn't cut it. Look at Mad Men, which is filled with all kinds of "isms" but still manages to write characters that are three dimensional. (I may not like many of those characters but they're all complicated people who ring true.) Just because you protag is a hateful, sexist pig doesn't mean virtually all the women need to be drunk/stoned strippers/groupies/"bitches". It's ridiculous.

BTW, I say supposedly because it's the internet and impersonating someone has never been easier. If that reply is from Mr. Sorkin I'm somewhat surprised that there are so many errors in the post.

It's hard when someone holds a lens up to your hero and asks you to look at them in a new way. Some people will react without thinking at all. Some will go on the attack. And some will think about the new information and may learn and grow. I wish more people fell into the latter category.



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