There two movements afoot in Hollywood that both contribute to the diminishing power of women in Hollywood. The first is that women have mostly handed men all the power to define who’s fuckable and who’s not, and worse, to accept it when men use that skewed definition to determine a women’s value when she’s hired. The complacence of female moviegoers has allowed male stories to become the default narrative and contributed to men gaining the upper hand as the most bankable gender. Women consumers support male-driven films by buying tickets to see them, and even when women producers attain top placement in the industry pecking order, they play along by choosing projects that will make the studios money domestically and, more importantly, internationally. Women journalists and bloggers only partly throw their support behind women and way too many women spread needless gossip and nastiness about how women look, how they age, whether they are fat or thin or ugly or beautiful. I have already read too many hate pieces about Gwyneth Paltrow, for instance, to fill a library. Many of this is woman on woman bitchery. This won’t do.
Women have to start owning their part of the problem because I’ll tell you something, my friends. If women could get it together and unite we could take OVER Hollywood, the internet, the government, the world.
The second movement is the hard cold reality of Hollywood: that men ARE in charge and they DO hire women based on their fuckability. They always have. The difference is that the average age of moviegoers whose boners need stiffening has gotten younger and younger as the decades pass. Now you’re not just looking at standard fuckability. (please refer to British television to see that fuckable women in the UK are much older than American women and, as far as I can tell, the boners of British men continue to function). You’re looking at what a 13-year-old might find sexy or attractive. They do this for major motion pictures, if you can believe that. Theater owners are perplexed as to why so many people are more interested in television when the theaters are devoted to mostly one kind of ticket buyer. How boring can you get when it’s the same old story over and over again: schlumpy or schlubby boy is an outcast then saves the day.
The result has been tragic for American film. Hollywood is shooting itself in the foot by not fortifying women as viable box office draws — vibrant vital women like Sandra Bullock, like Julia Roberts, like Meryl Streep, like Helen Mirren, like Oprah Winfrey. Studio brass do not invest in mature women because they want the boner dollars – the action, visual effects, violence and pretty young things money. Women coming up like Lupita Nyong’o, Rachel MacAdams, Jessica Chastain, Scarlett Johnasson, Sienna Miller, to name a few, ought to be treated with the same kind of shock and awe that male stars are. But they aren’t. You know it and I know it. All because, at the end of the day, it has to come down to whether they move the peen.
Amy Schumer joined up with Tina Fey, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette to make fun of this horrifying phenom in the Comedy Central video below.
Things are slowly changing because many women like those in the video are making it a loud complaint. Outspoken voices like these are essential if we hope to move the needle. Women have to abandon the need to appeal to men by appearing demure and never complaining. They have to stand up on stage and make a stink about equal pay like Patricia Arquette did. They have to start screenwriting fellowships that accepts entries from women over 40 like Meryl Streep has done. They have to say something important every time they get in front of a microphone like Viola Davis does and like Ava DuVernay did this whole past year. We don’t have to take this lying down ladies, nor do we have to take it on our knees or doggie style. We can stand up and refuse to stand down.
But first we have to make some noise. Lots and lots of noise.