Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Quickies: Cinema And “Gender Politics”

     These days Hollywood treads the politically-correct line almost perfectly. It can make moviegoing a problematic thing for someone who will have no truck with such trash. However, there are a few prominent figures in cinema with whom I have no problem. I applaud such producers, directors, and actors for being true to themselves even when it means “going against the grain” of their industry.

     One such actress, who currently bestrides her trade, is Jennifer Lawrence. This young superstar has graced some of the best movies of the last decade – and her performance was usually the jewel in the movie’s crown. (Watch Winter’s Bone or Silver Linings Playbook for examples.) Off-screen she’s struck me as normally American: i.e., a person of good sense who takes responsibility for her own decisions and actions, rather than one who buys into the PC nonsense about “structural oppression” of women (or anyone else) by “the white capitalist patriarchy.” Our Celebritarian era is improved by figures like that.

     So it made me unhappy to read the following:

     Reading the logline we previously reported for The Rosie Project may not have seemed like a problem when we picked up on it a couple of months ago, however that all changed after Lawrence's essay on gender imbalance. The moment Jennifer Lawrence put the industry on notice, was the moment the Richard Linklater project's story of a man trying to find his perfectly defined woman became something that didn't sound like a Jennifer Lawrence picture.

     Lawrence’s “essay,” which strikes me more as a squib of irritation with herself, can be found here. It does include the following:

     It’s hard for me to speak about my experience as a working woman because I can safely say my problems aren’t exactly relatable. When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me).

     ...which, despite the “lucky people with dicks” bit, makes Lawrence appear aware that her shortcomings as a negotiator, if any, are her responsibility. However, it concludes as follows:

     Again, this might have NOTHING to do with my vagina, but I wasn’t completely wrong when another leaked Sony email revealed a producer referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a “spoiled brat.” For some reason, I just can’t picture someone saying that about a man.

     Dear Jennifer, while men are seldom called “spoiled brats,” we’re frequently called much worse things – things no woman is ever called.

     We who have admired Jennifer Lawrence and appreciate her acting prowess should hope this will pass.


furball said...

I can't begin to count all the stupid, poorly stated and incorrect things I've said. Even when I was factually correct, I've often said things poorly.

So, while I don't usually bother to listen to "celebrity" opinions at all, when I *do* come across comments like the ones you've quoted from Lawrence, I tend to cut them a lot of slack. That's *IF* I bother reflecting about it at all.

I try to "celebrate" actors and singers for their acting and singing, not their personal views or politics. Heck, Mel Gibson is one of my favorite actors. And I'd go out of my way to avoid a Youtube video of Paul Ryan singing.

Tim Turner

Reg T said...

I'd go out of my way to avoid seeing Ryan doing anything - unless it was retiring from politics. We don't need another Tea Party hopeful who turned almost immediately into another RINO-type of politician. We certainly don't need him as Speaker of the House.