The descriptors men and society use to describe women are so flawed in logic.
If a woman doesn’t have sex with you, she’s a bitch. If she has sex with anyone else, she’s a slut. The only way for her existence to be validated in your mind is if she sleeps with you and only you, if you can treat her like your property. So if you’re describing women are bitches and whores, more than any statement about them, you’re saying that you don’t really think women are independent people.
A woman’s place is in the house.
And the Senate.
And the Supreme Court.
And the Oval Office.
I just realized something. The opening lines to Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” are “You’re on the phone with your girlfriend, She’s upset / She’s going off about something that you said / She doesnt get your humor like I do.”
Knowing Taylor Swift, and the inevitable short skirts/ T-shirt comparison that is to come, I totally bet that the guy made this horrible sexist joke [tw: rape just in case] like, “It’s not rape if she likes it,” and then his boss bitch hard femme girlfriend was like, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
That’s totally what happened. In which case, I agree Taylor. He does belong with you.
I think the strange thing is that when a girl says, “I’m fat,” her friends’ immediate reactions are to say “No! You’re totally not,” or “What? You’re so skinny I wish I was as skinny as you!” — but really I think we should all be telling each other, “So what if you are?”
I have to disagree.
A recent Huffington Post article highlighted issues with the female characters in Aaron Sorkin’s new show The Newsroom. I do understand the questions they raised, and I agree with some of what they say, but I still believe that Sorkin’s female characters are actually really empowering. Most of the issues seem to be with Mackenzie McHale and Maggie Jordan. Because Maggie is supposed to remind Mac of herself when she was younger, their characters are actually very similar. And yes, they tend to bumble a lot. But really, I know some incredibly intelligent people who make a lot of blunders or gaffes. Some people are just more graceful than others, and part of their characters is being a little wacky and unbelievable at times. Remember when Jim Harper hid behind a desk to avoid his angry date Lisa? Jim’s also run into a door more than once, tripped over Mac’s luggage, and generally embarrassed himself. It’s not a weaker sex thing, it’s a “this is a clumsy character” thing.
As for the argument that Mac is repeatedly berated for previous sexual misconduct, I’d like to point out that it’s only in Will’s eyes. Nobody else in the newsroom cares, because they see Mac as the whip-smart and talented EP that she is. Will keeps punishing Mac for this, but it’s made clear that this is a character flaw for Will, not Mackenzie. It shows his inability to forgive people, and his tendency to become a jerkwad. Because even though he’s the protagonist of the show, Will McAvoy is a bit of an ass. We like him because we see his intentions are good, but we also see that he does some incredibly cruel things.
The argument that The Newsroom is sexist almost always skips over the other female characters. And, as a feminist, I’d like to point out that I absolutely adore Sloan Sabbith. I love Sloan Sabbith. I relate to Sloan Sabbith. I aspire to be like Sloan Sabbith. Sloan is chosen to do an economics segment on Will’s show because, although she is also entirely qualified, she’s extremely attractive. And, as a result, she struggles to gain acceptance and be treated seriously as an economist. A lot of pretty female characters in television tend to manipulate their prettiness, but it’s clear that Sloan is actually really uncomfortable with being treated as a pretty face. In fact, her character is not that good with men at all. An extremely beautiful young woman is not that good with men. Do you know how rare a character like that is? Her desire to be taken seriously as an economist is, personally, really empowering, and Sorkin shows multiple times that she is super intelligent. Sloan doesn’t want to be a female economist; she wants to be an economist. Period.
I can see where people come from when they say that the Newsroom is sexist. I really do. But the overwhelming majority of interactions including female characters just highlight how intelligent and well-rounded they are. Sorkin doesn’t have them talking about stereotypically feminine things constantly, and at one point has Sloan give Mac a lesson on economics. Two women talk about economics independent of men on a popular TV show. Just let that sink in for a moment. From Maggie’s speech on the treatment of illegal immigrants, to Mac’s adamant opposition to covering the Casey Anthony trial, the women of the Newsroom show again and again that they’re to be respected. They don’t ask for respect, they demand it. And that’s what I really admire about this show.