Thursday, July 02, 2009

Guys and Girls

This one time in my teenage years I went to see a movie in the theater and right before the previews there was a commercial for Navy Seals. And I was like Oh My God I want to do that. Fucking Navy Seals, man! Holy shit! Yeah! I'm gonna join the Navy Seals!

And then I remembered.

You know what I'm talking about. Come on.

I'm a girl.

It sort of hit me right then. There is something I'm not allowed to do. No matter how hard I work or how much I want it, I could not ever be a Navy Seal.

I don't actually want to be a Navy Seal. As cool as Charlie Sheen looks, that is not the job for me, but that doesn't change the moment of absolute shock to my system I felt when I realized that my lack of penis prevented me from doing something.

It's not anybody's fault, really. This is a man vs nature issue. Demi Moore aside, no woman has ever been a Seal and most likely no woman ever will. It doesn't matter how strong and aggressive and bald we are, we cannot physically handle the cold water. That's it. Capillaries.

Now I'm not a throw-your-bra-in-the-fire-and-stop-shaving feminist, but I do get pretty indignant when I feel like I'm not allowed to do something because I'm a woman. But in screenwriting, it feels like we're so far at the back of the bus we can't even see the driver.

Remember Shannon Faulkner? She made that fuss about getting into VMI and then refused to shave her head. That bitch pissed me the fuck off. "Oh I just want to be equal! Just treat me like everybody else except OMG my hair!"

And then she quit because she was too fat to do the cardio workouts.

Thanks, bitch. Now every sexist asshole who likes to call woman raggy weaklings just got more proof that he's right.

This has made me rethink Diablo Cody. I'm mixed up on that. How many other female screenwriters can you name? Susanna Grant?

Okay now how many female screenwriters can the average person name?

Just one.

Then again, most people can't name a male screenwriter either.

So in a way, Diablo Cody did something awesome for us. She got some attention. She made people remember that somebody writes this shit. But she did it by gaining attention as stripper. And yet, if I have to use my cleavage to get attention at a party, I'll do it in a heartbeat. So am I so much better than her?

I'm conflicted.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm overreacting, but then I think about when I go in for a pitch meeting, is the fact that I'm a girl going to hurt me? If I go in there and start talking about explosions, are the studio execs going to assume that dude with the penis can write better explosions than I can? Is this gonna be the goddamn Navy Seals all over again?

I always thought being a girl was an advantage. It sets me apart, after all. But then that may just be my naive self talking, the one that thinks everybody likes girls who like explosions, the one that doesn't really see a big difference in capability between a guy and a girl.

I dunno. What do you think?


  1. A good story is a good story. Who writes it is irrelevant. Except to the person who wrote it.

  2. However, in TV...I can name female writers and producers for days.

    Movies, behind the curve in writer recognition, chick writers and directors, in, I think currently, in good-to-suck ratio.

  3. Heh,heh,heh, you said cleavage. Kidding.

    Anyway, the SEALS are great until you have to jump into a Hot Zone. I was - am Airborne - and SEALS are PSYCHOS.

    As far as female writers, I can't really understand why guys would want to be surrounded by old farts and young punks.

    Me personally, my favorite movies to write are ones that star women. If I ever get to direct I hope I can find a hot female writer to stare at while she tells me why whatever.

  4. I can name more female screenwriters than my mom, dad, two sisters, and wife combined can name male screenwriters.

    They are out there, they are working both in television and in movies.

    The problem is getting more female directors. That list is much shorter.

    I'd like to see more women fight to make movies like The Hurt Locker and Strange Days. What does Bigelow have that other females don't? Maybe the desire to make so called male films.

    Most of the female directors I'm aware of are making crap starring people like Kate Hudson.

    It's kind of up to them to prove they can do something different. It's all about money and finished product in Hollywood.

  5. I think being female will help you in a lot of environments. You're formidable- nobody is ever gonna make you cry in a meeting. Please, using 'home skillet'...

  6. If the phrase "Home Skillet" is appropriate, I will use the phrase "Home Skillet."

  7. I actually like Diablo quite a bit, and think it's great that she's made the concept of being a screenwriter (regardless of gender) kind of real for a lot of lay people. And I don't begrudge anybody their personality (big) or their background (stripping) -- I can't ask any one woman to plan her career moves based on what will make women look good.

    But. I'm REALLY wary of the fact that a large part of Diablo's mystique comes from being who she is, and hot! This article from the NYT, about her and her successful female 'entourage' of other writers (also hot) would have been so refreshing... if it hadn't been published in the FASHION section!!

  8. Anonymous3:18 AM

    There are lots of female screenwriters who have made it. You want to see really high odds? How many Asian, Black, Hispanic, and / or Indian (American or India) screenwriters can you think of? Compared to these people, you have it very good.

  9. I don't believe it's a competition to see who's the most disadvantaged. But I do think to say women are perfectly even in the industry is foolish.

  10. Anonymous12:21 PM

    Agreed. Women are not "perfectly even" as you put it. And you're right -- it's not a competition to see who is the most "disadvantaged" but it definitely helps to know that there are people who are in worse positions... and succeed. It actually can motivate you -- "Wow, if he or she can do it, then I can do it." The tone that I got from your post was that you were a little down about all this. If you keep in mind how bad other people have it, it keeps things in perspective and then you won't even think about it too much -- and obviously you thought about it since you posted on it. Me, personally, I would never make a post about how few Asian screenwriters there are in Hollywood. Granted, it's true, and it's good to be aware of it, but it is what it is and it could be worse, and on top of that, it's not productive to spend time thinking about it.

  11. That's great for you. Me, I like to take time to think about stuff and the blog is where I post those thoughts.

  12. I'm conflicted about the Diablo thing too.

    I do like the fact that she's bcome somewhat of a recognizable name. Any pub writers get is great. I think it was R Bass who said the day writers become stars & household names is when we'll finally get the respect.

    But I don't like the stripper thing. Using sex to sell yourself is easy.... and old.


    Being a girl factors into everything. It's almost unavoidable. Should I wear the push up bra to a business meeting? If i'm nice, will he think I'm flirting? Should I use initials instead of my very feminine sounding real name? Will they hire a guy instead of me to write that big action movie???...

    It can get complicated.

  13. Anonymous7:53 PM

    "using sex to sell yourself is easy and old"

    Um, Diablo's writing speaks for itself. The "stripper thing" is so minimal as to be ridiculous - she stripped for one year (Jesus, hasn't everyone by now?) She wrote a good memoir about her stripping experience which has nothing to do with her scripts. It's the media and the public who are so obsessed with it.

    There are as many creative & talented writers who strip for a living as there are waiters, secretaries or teachers writing. It's a job, nothing more. It used to pay well, so did a lot of jobs. And for the record, it's not easy, actually it's very complicated. More than say... oh, picking out a push up bra for that big meeting.

  14. Her stripping has nothing to do with her script. It has a whole lot to do with why we've all heard of her.

  15. Anonymous9:20 AM

    When Laura Reyna says, "But I don't like the stripper thing. Using sex to sell yourself is easy.... and old." she's implying Cody is "using" sex or the "stripper thing" to further her career, which Cody has never done. It was an offensive comment, particularly to me as a stripper and a writer.

    It's only the media & Hollywood that uses the stripper "thing" (or what they perceive to be the stripper thing seeing as how authentic portrayals are approx 1% of it) and if the public weren't so simultaneously repressed & titilated by that "thing" we could all appreciate Cody solely for her remarkable skill.

    I'm pretty sure, Laura, that Speilberg didn't give Cody a deal based on what amounts to her previous year-long stripping hobby. And if a stripper ever does get an authentic portrayal of any aspect of the our "thing" onto the big screen, she won't be "using" it anymore than an ex-CIA agent writing an authentic portrayal of a spy.


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