You can be great
Yesterday, during a conversation with a couple of friends, some men and some women, we stumbled onto the conversation of entertainment. The recent surge of films and shows that feature a strong female lead, gave us a thrill to discuss. A couple of my friend’s attribute this to the increase in female screen writers, directors, and producers. The rest of the group settled on the increased availability of scripts for female characters.
A survey from Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that women made up 29 percent of main characters in 2016’s top 100 movies, a 7 percent increase over 2015.
I think there are a combination of things driving the change. Progression never really happens at the hands of one thing, it is usually combination of contributing factors that slowly chip away at the expectations of the masses. It’s more like transitional conditioning that change, but that is a thought for another time.
Shit got real
As we discussed, I noticed the gender conversation begin to turn into something that takes things a little further. You guessed it, “men suck for making women wait so long”. I consider myself a forward thinker, identify with the reasoning of my lady friends. Also, I secretly felt defensive. I would never have had admitted it in the moment but, after this they will know.
Truthfully, women have waited quite a long while to have the same opportunities as men in every aspect of life. Truthfully, it’s historically undeniable. There are other cross-sections of people who inhabit this same conundrum as women. To maintain focus here, I will leave that for another time as well.
I have let this topic sit in my spirit for a while, and the results are in:
To all the intelligent, driven, successful ladies reading this, I hear your voices. As much as possible, I understand the transition you are going through. It is thrilling to see that your voice, and more realistic representations of your life are now available on demand.
For decades, women were exploited on T.V. and in films. Actresses have been type cast, and portrayed as one dimensional. You are tired of the relegation to the kitchens, classrooms, and nurseries. Recently, you have reached the event horizon of your fair share of the lime-light, and the positions as directors, producers, and writers that you have deserved or so long. I salute you, I honor you, and I say it’s about damn time.
Where is this going
Now that your season of success is in full swing, are you planning to exact your revenge on all men. The rampant success of female powered shows has fueled revenge writing. The frequency of articles that annihilate men, often astutely, demolish the B.S routines that they act out on women have increased in great measure. The neck-and-neck race of fuckboy articles are surpassed only by articles that cover racism, or Donald Trump. (I know those are much the same thing)
Some will say what’s the problem. If men are behaving badly, why shouldn’t we call them out on their injurious behavior. The problem is, you are using the same broad-stroking brush to paint the male character, that you were once the victim of. I am not demonizing female authors/bloggers, but there is a population of female writers carelessly assassinating the character of “good dudes”.
For example, I googled fuckboy, and here are the results. Notice anything?
90 percent of the search results return an article that do exactly what I just described. T.V. and films, like Veep, Atlanta, Insecure, Magic Mike, How to be Single, or even Empire, feature one guy minimum, that just cant seem to figure out how to behave appropriately in a relationship. Also, I recently read a listicle that provided some anecdotal character analysis of the type of male characters on current T.V. shows that many “male negative” articles discuss
Do we have to be awful
I mention this here, because all the characterizations provided are crowd-sourced. These people exist in real life, and should be represented in entertainment programs that reach for the same type of verisimilitude that audiences crave.
We all want authenticity, things that represent people we have encountered. I am in line with the rest of the audience. The issue is the translation from storytelling, to the near insurmountable rhetoric that has become the common weekly feature on almost every female-led entertainment media outlet.
Can you hear me playing my tiny man violin yet?