Hollywood Hates Women
I constantly lament the downward spiral our world seems to be taking with regard to female status and treatment. I really, truly don’t believe women are better off now than they were at any time in the past. In many arenas, women are much worse off.
What’s the problem?
We are still missing a proportional number of women at the helm in every single area of life. When women aren’t the decision-makers, women suffer. It is very simple, very obvious, and actually very easy to solve. But only if you are working on a rational playing field with rational people. With men, it is never rational. It is privilege. Entitlement. Not rationality or fairness. And therein lies the problem.
I’m not a tabloid or magazine reader, and I’m generally not ‘up’ on entertainment, but I ran across an article on one of the more fabulous female actors of our time: Emma Thompson. Talented, versatile and funny, Emma was an actor I grew up watching. Perhaps it was because she is British, but she didn’t bring to the table the pornulation that Americans force upon their female actors. She was just a pleasure to watch
And very recently, she has spoken out about misogyny in her line of work. Specifically, she talks about how things have gotten worse for women in Hollywood. She thought things were better and were moving in the right direction when she was starting out.
When I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women, and I find that very disturbing and sad.
I’d been thinking the same thing – there is so little that is watchable these days – but it’s nice to hear confirmation from inside the penis, I mean, the industry.
Emma, who at 56, despite her great experience and talent, recently landed a part as a 77-year-old prostitute in a film. [Readers: don’t get sidetracked with knee-jerk defenses of prostitution and how I’m denigrating women everywhere – this is not what is at issue here, so grow up.] Why can’t a 77-year-old actress take that part? Why isn’t Emma landing spectacular leading roles?
Oh yes, the old intersection of misogyny and ageism. Actors who are 56-year-old women aren’t watchable (what???) despite being seasoned actors, experts in their craft.
Entertainment is a brutal industry. It’s very much a sausage club. Men’s voices show up in the writing (even women writers must conform to male points-of-view to get a job) and men control what gets produced. Not having women at the decision-making levels ensures that misogyny is only going to get worse and worse as porn-addled, privileged male viewers get bored with the current level of rape and violence they consume. The actresses get younger, more pornulated, and more violated both on- and off-screen. And the more violence and degradation there is, there is corresponding decrease in respect and humanization of women in the real world. Women are losing their voices more than ever before. And worse, they internalize the message and don’t question it (unless they don’t care about working anymore!)
My question is: where are all the viewers who have had enough and actually want to watch talent and have had enough of stifling misogyny? Misogyny makes life boring for everyone, and hurtful to women.
I teach university in China, and I’m getting an increasing number of questions and comments from undergrads to PhD students about the American obsession with sex. I tell my students that hatred of women exists in all countries/societies, and that men express their hatred in different ways. In the US, the current way for men to hate women is through hyper-sexualizing and degrading them. And further, American men give special pats on the head to women who have turned their subjugation into a fun, feminist choice. Basic psychological conditioning – it works!
In China, they show their hatred in other ways. It’s still all about sex, but it manifests in different ways. Hatred of women is universal – not just at Universal.