Screenwriting : Hollywood, It's Time to Retire the "Loveable Misogynist" Movie Hero by Beth Fox Heisinger

Hollywood, It's Time to Retire the "Loveable Misogynist" Movie Hero

Hollywood, It's Time to Retire the 'Loveable Misogynist' Movie Hero
Hollywood, It's Time to Retire the 'Loveable Misogynist' Movie Hero
Of all the big budget franchise films that have come out this summer, the most productive discussions around the representation of women have come not from Avengers: Age of Ultron, not from Jurassic W…
Nathan Cowan

FOR REAL THOUGH

Owen Mowatt

Not anytime soon I fear. "win the day and get the girl" Until someone comes up with a better(?) alternative, especially to an action/adventure romp, this simply wont change. Watching Jupiter Ascending, I was shocked that of all people, Lana Wachowski would put her name to such a weak and ineffectually female lead character like Jupiter Jones, which basically played right into the hands of this type of male. She simply couldn't do anything without the help of the strong jawed, male co-star, who swooped in to save her over and over again. She even fell for him without knowing who he is.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Right! What I really appreciate about this article is the point that "lovable misogyny" rarely furthers a narrative or builds interesting characters, nor gives room for any character arc. It's just -- there. It's incredibly boring. Limiting. Tiresome. Lazy. Lacks any kind of imagination. It doesn't add anything to the story or the character. So, WHY do this to male protagonists? WHY does gender have to inform interaction? And this "interaction" is usually derogatory towards women. "After all, if the Hollywood bro-club presumes the audience doesn’t respect women, why the hell should your protagonist?" The problem, of course, is that audiences DO respect women. It's 2015. We see through this crap and we've grown exhausted of this trite male persona. I really enjoyed this article. Please read it in its entirety. It made fantastic points. Cracked me up too! Especially the writer's plea to Mr. Pratt; "So when Pratt made the jump from television to film, not much changed about his onscreen persona, except in the way his characters view and treat women — a karaoke version of early 80′s Harrison Ford. I’m only disappointed because I believe in you, Chris Pratt. We all believe in you, you beautiful boob." Anyway, I view this "retirement" as a 'call to action' to stop confining male protagonists. Enough of this old sexist garbage! C'mon, Male Movie Hero. You know better. You're better than this. :)

John Garrett

Beth, in my daily experience women and men interact differently but so do generations. I have noticed that younger people will often talk without ever looking at each other. Forget about eye contact. So to some degree it is learned behavior. However, I will tell you that if you and I went into a public place and yelled at someone, I would almost always receive a more visceral reaction. (This is assuming your pictures are of you.) And when going to a club, the only person that would look at me is the bouncer while you would have more attention than you would like. Because I look like Shrek and you are a lovely woman. You want to see a difference in behavior or interaction based on gender. Industrial sales. I should probably write a book, or at least a screenplay, based on that. Now, to appear to contradict myself, there are many instances where it does not determine interaction. I don't care if my surgeon is male, female, black, white, asian, latino as long as they are good. I am going to listen to my doctor or the woman that does my taxes and in the function of the job it doesn't matter. But I can tell you that the woman that does my taxes hugs almost everyone that she works with. I am not saying a man couldn't, but it is much less likely. And sometimes, in the dark, when I am all alone and no one can see.....I watch Expendables 3 and enjoy it. I can tell you all the things wrong with it, and I still find it fun.

David Levy

It's amazing the characters who are usually depicted that respect women are those with low confidence or low self esteem. The underdog if you will. Males with flaws built into their character for emotion and sympathy that are obvious. For Tony Stark, Jack Burton, Peter Quill or even Han Solo the ego and machismo empowers all. They cover their flaws in the face of general social interaction and convention with their behavior. The right characters are out there to show that a hero can be cocky and respectable. If Capatain America can be looked up to as a role model for the way he treats respect as a two way street then so many other characters can.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hmmm, let me clarify. :) The only "gender informs interaction" that I'm referring to is the automatic and normalized belittling of a woman just because she is a woman. "You throw well... for a girl." How 'bout just, "You throw well." This doesn't mean men can't be men or women can't be women. But, rather saying this dismissive attitude towards woman, certainly in film, is tiresome and should not define masculinity. If anything, belittling women is a clear sign of male insecurity, is it not? Frankly, it's just stupid and absolutely ridiculous for men to be "shocked" if a woman can do something or is far better at a certain skill set than a man. I mean, get over it. Move on! Right? LOL! In the article, the writer points out how Mad Max in Fury Road makes huge leaps as a Male Action Hero because he doesn't question or belittle any female character. Nor is he surprised when a woman shoots a gun or fights. He does not change how he speaks or acts because he's around women. His ego is secure and intact. He simply hands over the gun and they fight along side each other. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Oh, and yes, that is me in the picture. You may find this funny, but years and years ago, back in college, I worked as a bouncer. Yup. I'd be sitting there with two giant men -- Joe and Junior, I kid you not! I'm just a wee thing, about 5'4," and I would simply approach people and ask them to stop or leave or whatever. I'd act like I owned the place. And they would comply. Personally, I thought Joe and Junior were lazy. They just sat on their stools, hidden against the wall. They liked to think that their brute presence caused people fear, but the fact is when anything happened I was all on my own. I firm tone of voice is all it took. I never needed backup. Our boss put me in charge because I kept the room "calm." I didn't go into some weird "macho thing" -- his words, not mine. LOL! :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, great point, CJ! :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, personally, I don't care for any belittling of anyone because of one's gender. However, this behavior is shown more frequently in film with male characters and how they treat and act towards female characters. :)

John Garrett

Ah, well in that case Beth, I am in agreement. (The caveat being that there are characters that are misogynists, usually bad guys, and must be written that way. I see them in real life all the time.) But I would go one further. Why are we surprised when a man cannot work on a car? I mean I can, but I am not surprised when other men cannot. Men that don't like beer, although I do... men that don't watch sports, although I do...men that cannot fight, although I can...or men that have never held or shot a gun, although I have. Dude, I am so becoming a stereotype...

John Garrett

OH, and I used to bounce. I am a big guy, was training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the time. But in the 3 years I was bouncing every week, I was involved in two physical altercations. Because I didn't act all macho. I would talk to everyone and move around. I was able to prevent most issues before they developed. I know this will shock a lot of people, but by just being a nice guy that was there for their safety and comfort, a number of things were handled before they became a problem. The two altercations were major and much bigger than me. One required a canister of pepper spray that cleared the room, and the other was a guy that went to his car and got his gun. Thankfully the gun jammed or you would not be blessed with my awesome comments.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, there are all kinds of gender bias. :) Yes, the bouncer experience was interesting. Granted, I didn't work at an establishment with a mostly rowdy clientele. I mean it was never like that Patrick Swayze movie, Road House (LOL!), but it was a large establishment with a bar/restaurant and a high number and variety of people that would visit daily/nightly. We were the local "hot spot." Things would happen. Mostly people being too obnoxious. At first I worked as a hostess, then the boss moved me over to being a bouncer for the bar. He didn't like how the bouncers were "unapproachable" so he switched it up by placing a woman in the position. "People find women more approachable" he said. I was truly put off, "great, you're just using me because I look harmless." But, I could hold my own, so, we noticed a change. Apparently having two "brutes" at the door could sometimes create a perceived "negative expectation." In their defense they were nice guys. Yup, it was interesting. Needless to say, I tired of it and didn't stay too long. ;) Anyway, back to the thread topic!

Bill Costantini

One thing to be careful about, with articles like this: + Is the character in question truly a misogynist, which means "a person who dislikes, despises, or has a strong bias against women?" Or is the person someone who can display insecure, psychotic, sociopathic or borderline behavior towards ANY person - male, female or transgender - at any given time? That's a more complex area of understanding than conveyed in this article, and needs a deeper and more learned analysis before making such a conclusion. An ex-girlfriend of mine is a very well-known psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of womens crises issues and gender issues. She will only define someone as a misogynist if that person clearly exhibits those above mentioned defining factors to ALL women at ALL times - because that's what a misogynist is, and does, at ALL times, overtly or covertly. If that person does it ONLY at times, then that person has other clinically-defined disorders that may or may not involve misogynistic tendencies. If that person treats ALL people with equal disdain and contempt, then that person is a lot more than a misogynist. That person could suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or other types of disorders that fall under the five axes of clinical psychological treatment. See the Five Axes of Diagnosis in the DSM-IV for further understanding of how the psychology/psychiatry fields clinically diagnose mental health disorders. Now I'm not saying that this character in question is or isn't a misogynist. What I am saying is that to conclusively define anyone's disorders or tendencies requires a definitive analysis of the person or character in question. This article doesn't do that, and that is disappointing to me personally, before reaching such a defining label. And "lovable misogynist" is head-shaking and even laughable in a foolish type-of way. It's like a "pop psychology" article to me, and I'm not a big fan of people who throw around "labels" without the proper processing of those labels. Labels are powerful defining conclusions that may shape perceptions that could be entirely innaccurate, and irrevocably damning and vilifying. I don't personally like when it's done without a thorough analysis using industry-accepted standards - which the author of this article failed to show or share. And I say this with no disrespect to you, Beth, or to Laura Ashbourne, who originally cited the article in another post. I know you're both very brilliant people, and I know Laura has a very successful and distinguished career in the film industry. I am disagreeing with the methods used and the conclusions reached in this article, even though the character may truly be a misogynist, because the writer of this article didn't use accepted methods - or didn't display those methods in this article - to establish such a conclusion. As a writer, it behooves us to understand human nature and psychology, and the psychology of our characters, in order to reach true cause and effect outcomes, and to write characters whose natural progressions in our stories are proper, and whose faults are properly understood and exhibited in clinically-accepted ways. Without that understanding and without that proper implementation, well...it's potentially not right. I'm not saying we have to have degrees in psychology to succeed as writers and play out our characters true to form, but we have to properly understand human nature, and properly reach our conclusions in our stories - and conclusions in articles like this - in the right ways.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, Laurie Ashbourne posted this article within a different thread. Thanks again, Laurie! I loved it and wanted it to have its own thread -- with her blessing, of course. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

With all due respect, I don't wish to delve into clinical psychology. I am highly aware of it as well, and yes, it absolutely informs one's creation of characters to great effect. :) Yes, this article is throwing around terms to make a point -- not clinical diagnosis. And, what we're discussing is the attitude/behavior of a male character type and in the context of film. Every example given in the article showcases sexist behavior/attitude shown in film and how it is usually expressed through a certain type of male character. Chris Pratt's character in Jurassic World clearly thinks less of women, has a bias, and expresses this attitude in the way his character treats the female lead -- even if it's delivered in a haha-I'm-just-a-funny-cool-dude, kind of way. It is what it is no matter how it's delivered or how charming the person is who's delivering it. I certainly don't find playful sexism funny, nor this male character label as "pop psychology." I find it tiresome. Boring. Keeps me home and not going to the movie theater. I find it interesting that the phrase "lovable misogynist" used by this ONE writer is so bothersome to you, stating; "Labels are powerful defining conclusions that may shape perceptions that could be entirely innaccurate, and irrevocably damning and vilifying." Yes, I totally agree as they certainly can be. Women have suffered and been derogatorily portrayed in film as "labels" for years and years, often through the use of this particular male character type. Which is what the article is also about. :) The writer of the article is basically saying, "Enough already. Can we please move on!"

Bill Costantini

See, that's the problem, Beth. To imply someone is a misogynist without taking the "whole" into consideration is not proper validation. I don't appreciate that, regardless of the label, gender or race, and I'll call it when I see it. And it's not a matter of semantics to me, nor am I being pedantic. The label was bandied about without proper examination or validation in the writer's analysis, and that writer took an easy way out in the use of that term, and make a critical conclusion without showing the critical evidence. That's not the way critical thinkers validate observable phenomena and make accurate conclusions - that's "pop psychology." If the author of that article would have stated "in all 24 scenes of Grady's interactions with women, he clearly displays dislikes, contempt and/or biases...." then I'd clasify that as a misogynistic character, if it could be validated. But the author of the article didn't do that, and tried a "compare and contrast" with another character in another movie who clearly has more positive relations with female characters in that movie. At the very least, Grady certainly has issues with his boss/former girlfriend, which can be understandable. But does he clearly deserve the label "misogynist" because of that? Was Allnut a misogynist when he called Rose a "crazy old maid" in The African Queen? Was Clint Eastwood a misogynist when he treated any choice of his female co-stars with surlyness and hostility - or were Bogart and Eastwood like that with ALL of the characters in those movies? Some characters have true clinical disorders, some are just plain mean, grumpy, and surly, and some have issues with their former girlfriends. And "The Battle of the Sexes" is a fine schism to explore in art, and has been since the beginning of time. There are not-so-fine lines between characters' personality qualities and the past issues between characters, and the verdict of labeling someone a "misogynist." And since you asked, I find the phrase "lovable misogynist" bothersome because....how in the heck could anyone be considered a lovable misogynist? Eech!

A. S. Templeton

"Move on"? Actually, no, because the mass culture, Hollywood included, is not ready to move on from intrinsic sexism (and most other -isms ftm). We're still in transition, and it will likely take centuries more. Instead of railing impotently against "lovable misogynists" and "male chauvinist pigs", how about writing scripts that purposefully include those character tropes, then showing the believable and plot-appropriate consequences and comeuppances to expressing/acting out such attitudes? Either in the protagonist or in disposable clones or mirrors. Whether a producer will let it stand is another matter.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Bill, respectfully, I think you're being too serious. This is getting pedantic. We're talking about a character type not any actual person. I certainly am not playing battle of the sexes here. Nor will I. My position is really that this character type is cliche, tiresome. I completely agree with the writer of the article. And, that I am deeply saddened that this tired male character behavior is considered acceptable when it really shouldn't be -- but that's a larger societal issue. Frankly, the character behavior from the specific films highlighted and explored within the article is sexist; comes from gender bias; and is misogynistic. "Lovable Misogynist" makes perfect sense to me. Perhaps take another look at how the writer describes it. Or perhaps take it up with the writer herself. She does put the term misogynist within quotes -- which perhaps means she's using it sarcastically. ;)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Alex, yes, we do have a long ways to go. But, I believe mass audiences are ready. Another point the writer makes in the article is that if gender isn't made an issue within a film then the audience won't either. :)

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

Not before I write my lovable misogynist trilogy. Here's my logline for the first installment called Who's Your Daddy? "A lovable misogynist returns home after fighting Amazons to discover he has a daughter from a one night stand; and with fatherhood foisted upon him learns he’s really just an adorable curmudgeon."

Bill Costantini

Beth, we can respectfully disagree, and I'm okay with that, as I know you are, too. I like stimulating conversations about art that can create subjective interpretations, and especially when those conversations don't turn into idiosyncratic diatribes. Looking at the emotional battles that exist in good writing, and trying to emulate those types of battles, brings good writers to an elevated state of consciousness and writing. I'm not referring to the movies in the article, for the sake of this conversation, but thinking about movies like "As Good As It Gets", "Hannah and Her Sisters", "Falling in Love", "This is 40", and "Truly, Madly, Deeply", to name several. They certainly illustrate how bad behaviors can be universal; how those bad behaviors can have subjective interpretations, and can create conflicting feelings in our own processing of those troubling situations; and can spark many a good conversation.

Bill Costantini

Phillip, are you stealing from John Waters and Russ Meyers again? Heh-heh.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

Bill, to quote the great Aaron Sorkin, "good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright."

Bill Costantini

Heh-heh. And Sorkin copped that from a few as well. William Blake. "The difference between a bad artist and a good one is: the bad artist seems to copy a great deal. The good one really does." Liionel Trilling. "Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal." Ralph Waldo Emerson. "It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a writer, having once shown to be capable of good writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion." Source: Writers on Writing (Jon Winokur) A great read for the bath tub!

A. S. Templeton
Beth Fox Heisinger

I appreciate that, Bill. Thanks so much. :)

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

Bill: Well done!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yeah... Thanks for "belittling" and mocking the point, guys. No one is saying anything about "social engineering." That comment, or joke, is truly frustrating. Disappointing. Yeah, yeah, "C'mon, Beth, where's your sense of humor." I have a great sense of humor. That, that just isn't funny... Certainly not from my point of view. And, sorry, these specific films made huge numbers at the box office NOT because of sexism, but because of many other elements -- like being part of a giant franchise with a huge fan base. I'd like to return to the thread topic. Thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate it. :)

Cherie Grant

As a side note to Beth I too did security work (we don't use the 'bouncer' word anymore it's 'crowd control') and it is true people reacted more calmly to me than the blokes because guys get riled by other guys. i guess it's a testosterone thing.

Dawn Martin

I just think Hollywood is always falling back on what used to work in the movies, i.e., stereotypes, but still hasn't caught up with the world yet. Things have changed and those old cliches are tired, boring, and not what most people want to see today on the screen. Im also tired of the single white knight saving the world cliche.

Fiona Faith Ross

I want to unburden myself here. Watching the type-cast misogynists dragging their knuckles along with them through the plot of Jurassic World, I was captivated by Claire Dearing's outfit. First, the top 'n skirt. I hated them. No disrespect to whoever did costume, but ugh, or if you prefer, euw. And then those heels...(which I believe have been discussed in another thread, and in the article, inspiring my courage here). In the "life 'n death in the jungle" scene, I could not take my eyes off those horrible, awful, annoying, inappropriate shoes. There...now I've spewed adjectives, and I never do that. I mean, CEO or not, on that site, any female worth her salt would have worn trainers, whether shuffling admin, prepping dino-food, or shovelling shit. You. would. wear. trainers. We all knew she had to wear them because some old dinosaur made her wear them. Probably the pterodactyl who issues the pay checks. Thanks. I feel better now. @Beth Thanks for highlighting the article. What a brilliant writer!! @Dawn I understand your disenchantment with the "white knight". The problem is that the challenge still remains of giving the protagonist life-or-death stakes to fight for, otherwise conflict is diminished. Perhaps we writers should try harder to avoid the "white knight" trope. I found the "save the world" component of Terminator: Genysis enjoyable, I must say. I thought "they" did it well.

W. Keith Sewell

Yeah, that sprint in high heels from a T-Rex, raised my eyebrows for sure...

Christopher Binder

There are definitely flaws in that article. The writer critiques films from certain time periods with a present, 2015 eye with no consideration given for how things were way back when. Imagine being critiqued for doing things a certain way now by a person 40 years in the future. At no point in Jurassic World is Claire the damsel in distress. There isn't a scene or moment where she is by herself in danger and gets rescued by Owen (unless him getting ride of the mosquito that's pestering her in their first scene together counts). A lot of them making it out alive can be attributed to her. I'm unsure of the validity of the last paragraph in the article when Jurassic World has currently grossed just shy of 600 million DOMESTICALLY. Seems like the majority of movie goers here don't seem to mind the misogynist jabs because they're just playful and flirtatious, not to be taken seriously. I will say this personal view of how women are treated in Mad Max: Furry Road. Consider the post apocalyptic world the film is set in. Civilization has been wiped out, taking all customs, traditions and views along with it. Immortan Joe has created his own model of civilization where he keeps beautiful women locked up to be used simply to bear his heirs. When they and Furiosa have to team up with Max, it's for survival, and they treat each other as equals (after some viscous power struggles where at point Max almost takes off and leaves them all behind) because survival dictates that they have to in order to get what they all want. In fact, Furiosa herself actually becomes a damsel in distress at the end when she gets seriously injured and Max has to do a blood transfusion to keep her from dying.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Belittling/degrading someone because of their gender is wrong no matter what decade.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Moviegoers are not going to movies to watch sexism. We tolerate it. And, Jurassic World has received grief for its ridiculous and obvious sexism. Moviegoers went to see Jurassic World because it's part of a very popular and successful franchise; it has amazing special effects; and Chris Pratt has a fan base as well -- oh, and DINOSAURS. If anything, WHY were the creators so lazy? If you have a film with such a huge budget, why skimp out on the writing? Why skimp out on character development? Why not treat the franchise and its audience better; smarter. The very first film in the franchise did -- Jurassic Park. Why not go for not just the big bucks but for great reviews as well. Seems the latter point would bring in even more money.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Sorry, Furiosa is not a 'damsel in distress.' She's an injured fellow warrior.

Fiona Faith Ross

Beth, you're right. The thing is, the brilliant totally amazing late Michael Crichton wrote the original Jurassic Park. His science, extrapolated science (if I may call it that), story logic and characters were all meticulously developed, as in all his novels (I think I've read all of them). Spielberg did justice to his book. Jurassic World suffered, imho, because the great Crichton is no longer available to us, and the results are plain to see.

Fiona Faith Ross

@John Your female protagonist is very nice! She could do with bigger ta-tas. They don't have to hang out. Lookin' right atcha will do, for best box office effect. Hahahahahahaha!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, thanks for that, Fiona! Michael Crichton is certainly missed. There is a stark difference between where the franchise was at its beginning and where it is now.

Beth Fox Heisinger

The main point of the article is that here we are in 2015 and we're still seeing the same old wink-wink-nudge-nudge sexist go-to crap for showing antipathy between male and female leads -- the same thing the good ol' boys have been doing in film for the past 40 years or more. The article writer states in her final paragraph: "My point, Hollywood, is that you don’t have the garbage excuse of “this is what audiences expect” anymore, because it is demonstrably untrue. And if ever there was some bullshit excuse about relatability and gender relations in terms of how we portray male protagonists, the current iteration of Max Rockatansky has shattered it like Valyrian steel through a White Walker. Praise Jesus, hallelujah, and it is time to move on." Amen to that sister. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

True that, CJ. ;) I guess, I'm forever hopeful.

John Garrett

I have to say, as far as people that don't get it are often caught up by the language. Using terms such as good ol' boys and misogynist often get people in a defensive stance. They don't hear anything past that. Others simply fear you are trying to take something away from them. As I have said before, I am not against equality, as long as the movies don't suck. I don't want a bunch of movies like FreeZone made to try and reach some mythical concept of equality. Which brings me to my point. I have been considering this whole equal 1:1 idea and I think it is ridiculous, but not for the reasons you might think. To really be 1:1 you would have to make a LOT of really crappy strong character female movies. How about we simply write and produce more good movies. <that little dot is a period. If you need an example, check out Recon 2020: The Caprini Massacre. I actually highly recommend that you do NOT watch it, but if you need an example, that will do. If you do watch it, you will lose IQ points and it will be 89 minutes of your life you will never have back. I don't want more FreeZone movies and I don't want the female equivalent of Recon 2020: The Caprini Massacre. I really really do not want that. So I have changed my stance to reflect this. I support more female representation in GOOD or at least PASSABLE movies.

Beth Fox Heisinger

John, the 1:1 ratio idea does not ONLY mean confined within one film or one TV show, but also is considered across the industry as a whole. You're limiting your thinking. We'd like to see an equal amount of female characters. When you break down film you can easily see a huge gender imbalance. I posted this statistic in another thread: Out of the 23,000 roles in the 100 biggest movies of 2014, only 12% had a woman at the center. Clearly, we're not even close! That statistic is according to research by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University on "Variety." Also, John, saying things like, "I am not against equality as long as movies don't suck" or "I don't want a bunch of movies like FreeZone made to try and reach some mythical concept of equality" or "To really be 1:1 you would have to make a LOT of really crappy strong character female movies;" that all seems to ring a bit "male authoritative," dismissive, and presumptuous to me -- you're assuming that just because a film may have more women in it, it will, of course, suck. Mythical concept of equality? Huh? Equality is not about sameness; it's about fairness. And, no one is taking anything from anybody. We're talking about ADDING things; broadening the range; telling more stories. Plus, not all movies are made for you -- or just for men. Movies are made for audiences who are comprised of both men and women.

John Garrett

Beth, you misread me. I am simply saying I don't want more bad movies JUST to try and reach "fair". As a consumer, I want good movies. I am not saying you cannot make good movies with women as the focus. There are many examples of incredible movies with women as the focus. I just don't want more bad movies of any kind even though I know they are unavoidable. I believe that to simply focus on a goal of 1:1 will result in bad movies. Granting that the term "bad movie" is subjective, I still do not wish to participate in the creating of movies JUST to reach "fair." I believe there are a number of stories that would be interesting that are not being told. They would require a female focused movie to tell the story. They would be awesome. But they are not what has made money in the past because they have never been tried, or have not had anyone competent creating them. So again, I am okay with equal representation as long as we are talking about making good movies.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Mad Max: Fury Road made over $366 million world wide. It's budget was roughly $150 million -- I believe? You'd consider that a success, right Mr. Hunter? That's a pretty good return on investment, yes? It also got a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes -- an average of 8.7/10 based on 277 reviews. Not too shabby for a film featuring a non-"lovable misogynist" male movie hero with a female lead and a cast of mostly women. Granted, not the box office numbers of Jurassic World, but Fury Road certainly got far better reviews.

Marc Breindel

I find it hard to believe that "lovable misogynists" make movies commercially viable. Yes, some audiences strongly favor such types, but many others enjoy movies where women are respected, just like men. I can hardly believe this needs to be said! Why don't I just list some popular 2014 movies that portrayed women as being on the same level as men (again: does this basic decency really need to be defended?), to show that we can make great entertainment -- plus huge sums of money -- without sacrificing core values: * Hunger Games ($350 million) * Maleficent ($241 million) * Into the Woods ($128 million) * Lucy ($127 million) * Edge of Tomorrow ($100 million) * Wild ($38 million)

Beth Fox Heisinger

John, with all due respect, you are assuming that a movie featuring more women will be bad -- based off some horrible movie you once saw. I mean, how many horrible movies have been made with a mostly all male cast? A lot! No one is doing anything "just to be fair." Nor suggesting as such. There is an IDEAL that MANY WOULD LIKE to see -- that both men and women would like to see. We are talking about gender imbalance. And lack of equality. This article is addressing a tiresome/dated male character type and attitude that many are tired of having to tolerate -- and not just women, men too. John, it's also about the better portrayal of women not just equal representation. This is not a "fight between the sexes." Not at all. You're responding as if some "authority" is going to crack down on all films, and from now on require a 1:1 ratio -- or else! You also seem to think that women only like a "certain" kind of movie or should only be featured in a "certain" kind of film. Gimme a break! Did you know that women still make up the largest majority of moviegoers? It's a slim majority, but a majority nonetheless; 52%. So a "chic flick" pretty much means ANY MOVIE. ...Guys, c'mon. Can we please move on! :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Thanks for that, Marc! Great points! Couldn't agree with you more. :)

Marc Breindel

Thanks, Beth, and back at you!

Marc Breindel

CJ, did you see "Edge of Tomorrow"? Did you feel that 'lovable misogyny' was missing? Tom Cruise's character has to work with Emily Blunt's character to save the world from space aliens. Would it have been more enjoyable if Tom had sometimes said, "I can't believe I'm fighting beside a woman!" Should they have added another male character for Tom to commiserate with about Emily? I just don't see what you would gain. And, yes, I'm aware that "EOT" made less money than they hoped, but I don't believe a little shot of misogyny would have improved it. (I actually thought it was really good as is.)

Marc Breindel

CJ, I'll go back and read the full thread. Sorry if your palm hurts!

Christopher Binder

@Beth, when you get to make your own movie you can make it as non-misogynist as you want.

Marc Breindel

CJ,, I'm sorry. I just read every comment in this thread carefully, and I see that I misunderstood which angle you were coming from. I hope you can have sympathy: My own head was reeling from disbelief at arguments made in 2015 that would have looked dated on "Mad Men." I totally agree with you, and I'm impressed at your transatlantic thunderclap superpower.

Christopher Binder

That's a very CJ response.

Marc Breindel

Thanks, man. You're right: some very poor journalism on my part there.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Christopher, I will. Thanks. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

CJ, You're not the only one slapping their forehead... Straw man arguments indeed!

Craig D Griffiths

Mad Max wasn't the main story, just the story teller. There was no existing audience for a furiosa film. Now perhaps. Movie dialogue is not how people really speak, it serves a different function. Movie characters are not how society really acts, they serve a different purpose. These types of characters are like tools their use changes as needs change. A racist character was feared in The Heat Of The Night, but the KKK was laughed at in Blazing Saddles. I more recent films racism has become something to be ashamed of. The tool of a racist character has changed. So will this.

John Garrett

Beth, I want to apologize as I confused this post with the other one. And was commenting to things there. But as far as the same old hero in the films, I am all for a new type of hero. As long as they are interesting.

John Garrett

Oh, and I read in the last few months an article that said the demographic of the person most likely to go to the most films in the theater is a Hispanic woman. Just an interesting fact.

Marc Breindel

John, then we should all pay attention to sleeper Mexican hit "Instructions Not Included." I really enjoyed it, plus the female characters are, well, surprising. http://www.ew.com/article/2013/09/04/instructions-not-included-box-office

John Garrett

Marc, I will check it out! Thanks.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Thanks, John. Much appreciated. :) Yes, a new type of male hero sounds great to me too! I know... There's all these threads going on right now about similar issues and future possibilities. Although complicated and trying at times, I think it's absolutely wonderful and very important for creatives to share their thoughts about the characterization and representation of male and female characters. Plus, it's always a good thing to expand our ideas and perceptions -- certainly as writers. :) Yes, I saw that fact too about Hispanic women being most likely to go to a movie theater. That's so interesting!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Marc, thanks for the link. I haven't seen "Instructions Not Included" but it's on my list of must-sees. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Craig, yes, great observations and points. This too shall pass -- or rather, change. LOL! :) In the article the writer compares Fury Road to The Great Gatsby, stating; "While there is some debate as to who is the protagonist of the piece, Max is the main character as the audience views the story through his lens, the Nick Carraway to Furiosa’s Jay Gatsby." That comparison for me really clarifies the two characters and how they functioned in the film. :)

Fiona Faith Ross

Sometimes the BEST thing about a bad movie are the reviews. Do I dare mention FSOG, since we're on the subject of misogny? Except that it might start a thread big enough to bust the S32 servers. Here's one more that makes delicious reading, and then I really must shut up, and, to quote Beth, move on. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/jurassic-world/questions-spoilers-mistakes/

Beth Fox Heisinger

I understand the title and various points within this article have certainly rubbed some people the wrong way, but I honestly see this "calling out," if you will, as a liberation for our beloved male movie hero. Creatively speaking, he's been treated rather lazily in recent years. He's been confined. Stereotyped. Why must our male protagonists be portrayed this way? I see this as a "call to action." This "retirement" opens up the realm of possibilities; to further extend complexity in character development. ;) Sounds great to me!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Thanks for sharing this link, Fiona! "Everything Wrong with Jurassic World." Great share. I loved it! ...God, those damn high heels and cream-colored dress suit! Although, I did enjoy watching Chris Pratt trying to run in a lovely pair of red pumps! Haha!

W. Keith Sewell

I agree Beth. I sum most of it up to 'lazy writing' or producing, and the perceived inclination that audiences of 'big action' and 'misogynistic' films are only interested in the amazing effects and uptempo action - sans character development. It's safer to stick with the stereotypes than risk actually telling a well- conceived story... It's like eating Chinese food, (not to put down chinese food - I love it!). But after an hour or so - I'm hungry again.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yeah, that's the unfortunate thing about big action films. I mean, I like junk food too -- high quality junk food. It's soooo much better. More satisfying. ;)

Shane M Wheeler

I think, perhaps, the reason this archetype sees play in waves (going away and coming back) is because... there's a reality to it. I've met people who are charming, a little bit dismissive of women, rugged man's man's types, who despite some of their more regressive behaviors in the battle of the sexes, are the kind of people who immediately help out when someone needs it, from the mundane problems to the dangerous. In other words, they are the kind of people that are pro-active enough to end up being protagonists. Not all of them are Chris Pratt good looking, but that's the Hollywood effect playing out over all characters. I also think that, when it goes away, it just means it's going to come back eventually. Hemingway hero worship always does. Is it possible the real problem is, that this archetype is often done so poorly? That, the person feels more like a walking Marlboro cigarette advert or time transported man of yesterday than a real person? And perhaps, the lack of equal or interesting female characters?

Shane M Wheeler

I agree on the casual misogyny and growth thing. I think that what really made that part of Jurassic World awful (honestly, I would've just watched a more sedate version where we just had some childhood angst, a divorce, and saw this really awesome virtual park- the plot felt less compelling than the setting to me), was that the misogynistic attitude was born out through the female leads relatively unimpressive capability. She's the kind of character that had zero chance of surviving the first film, after all, and really has nothing compared to the female leads in the original. Park:Scientist and hacker? Competency and compelling. World: Business lady that runs a great deal of a park on dinos, with zero head for outdoor survival, nature, animals, etc.? Seems pretty poor writing honestly. It doesn't make a great deal of sense. And it is really jarring that a film made twenty years later was less progressive than the original. Fair point on the sexism versus racism thing. Maybe the whole battle of the sexes thing is overused entirely. I think men get some kinds of pigeon holed BS in areas too. They get called dicks, assholes, motherfucker, etc. all the time, and in the land of sitcom, Dad is always a moron, boys are rarely far behind. Bitch seems to get used most often as a short hand to let you know who the villains are.

Marc Breindel

Yes, Bryce Dallas Howard plays a weak leading character. She roughly equates to the "greedy lawyer" in the first "Jurassic Park," but that clown is dispensed with in the first act -- while sitting on a port-a-let, literally with his pants down during a T-Rex attack, for some reason. Meanwhile, Richard Attenborough's park director and grandfather of the requisite endangered young visitors in "Park" (John Hammond) truly inhabits his dino-facing position and stands up for his misguided principles, making him and his film much more compelling. [Note: In the original book, the park director is even tougher than in the film, and he pays the perfect price: *** OLD BOOK SPOILER ALERT *** OLD BOOK SPOILER ALERT *** OLD BOOK SPOILER ALERT *** Hammond is eaten by a pack of small, chicken-like dinosaurs (Procompsognathuses), which first bite him and inject a natural narcotic, so that he actually laughs as they start to tear off his flesh, truly humiliating him and discrediting his arrogant faith in human (especially his own) supremacy over nature. Now, that's a story arc! I wouldn't want to see a repeat of that same plot, but you could certainly write a new character for Bryce Dallas Howard who was credibly strong in different ways. Maybe she takes on the military contractor who's trying to weaponize the raptors. Maybe she knows they may kill her and make it look like an accident if she interferes, so she plays along until her conscience can't take it any longer. Simply fretting about park attendance gimmicks doesn't make her a compelling lead.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Great point about sexism verses racism, Devon. Thanks for that. :)

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, it is about the lack of character development, especially the lack of well-written female characters. Jurassic World has none. Read the article Fiona posted about the film within this thread -- it's great! :) It's not just the wink-wink, nudge-nudge, belittling of women in film by male leads, it is the SHEER VOLUME in which it occurs that is so offensive and tiresome. This dull, eye-rolling, go-to dismissive interaction used to "capture" antipathy between male leads and female leads rarely adds anything to the narrative. It offers very little range for character arc. It does both male leads and female leads a disservice. It's just lazy. Unless it serves a specific story and serves it well, it really doesn't need to be there. :)

Marc Breindel

I agree, Fiona's hilarious when she writes: "You. would. wear. trainers." Sorry if I can't pull off that line as well as she does, since I don't have a British accent. And, I agree that it's largely about lazy storytelling. No stakes for crucial characters. And "sheer volume," as you say, Beth -- pardon, "SHEER VOLUME" of belittling women. Anyone who's ever been belittled (such a great word -- rivaled only by "embiggen" on "The Simpsons"), anyone who's ever been belittled will know what water torture that can be. Growing up, I had a big brother who always put me down, a constant drip of acid comments. Some people have demeaning teachers or coaches. So, when you write a "bad teacher" or "terrible boss" role, by all means, have them belittle people. But to assume it's fun to watch all women belittled by all men, and to consider that flirting (!) is just...Jurassic thinking.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Haha! Well said, Marc! :)

W. Keith Sewell

I just watch "Whiplash" this week. J.K. Simmons character is the 'epitome of the act of 'belittling and berating people.". Best movie I saw this year by far... I have to say, for Miles Teller to be overlooked by the academy for his role was baffling to me. His opposing character to J.K. Simmons matched his own in intensity. I believe that's what made Simmons performance so exhilarating. A 2nd Note on sexist and derogatory usuage in films and TV. There was a hilarious flip on 'hatred and bigotry' in an episode of South Park last night. Instead of hating 'black people', the townfolks hated on 'rich folks' taking over their town... poignant and funny.

Shane M Wheeler

Sounds like quite a bit of work, but... I might.

Laurie Ashbourne

Well, well, well. Laurie with an IE not an A, chiming in. Yes, I originally posted this on another thread with equal amounts of straw man points of view. I told Beth to have at it, after a week of travel I see I left her to the wolves, so I apologize for that. The article's headline may not be a medically correct diagnosis, Will oh, excuse me, Bill -- but it does what a headline is meant to do -- get readers. The article goes on to focus on how Fury Road was able to get over the disgusting stereotype that a lot of people on this thread, the other, and the industry in general, can't. Characters don't have to interact as sex toys when they are of opposite genders -- it's really that simple. Yes, sometimes sex toys are appropriate but unless you're in the adult film business it is lazy storytelling -- and when it becomes more common and more acceptable than mass shootings in the US it's time to take cold effin' shower and make films that don't belittle your sisters, mothers, daughters and wives. Think about that, straw men. For the record, I actually saw Jurassic World twice, the first time I cracked up the entire time for it's pure spectacle, the second time --- I picked it apart in 3D (really bad use of the technology BTW) -- and I actually related to the Bryce character more, but absolutely, her outfit was ridiculous. Honestly, I think the filmmakers were trying to do an homage to old B sic-fi movies, this is especially apparent in the T-Rex flare shot where she's silhouetted in the red light with the COLOSSAL MAN. In that regard I got it -- but fact is that's a pure testosterone driven decision, that if there were a female exec making some decisions it wouldn't and shouldn't have happened. Laura Dern worked perfectly fine in her khaki shorts in #1 and her relationship with the man who hated kids felt perfectly real and was something each gender could identify with. So that's the point of the article, give us the popcorn flicks without offending your mother, sister, wife or daughter.

Bill Costantini

Laurie, That was my mistake in mispelling your first name in a previous post, and I apologize for that. Regarding the inaccurate and misleading headline...yes, it's inaccurate and misleading, and probably for the reason you mentioned - to grab readers. As an average reader, I dislike headlines like that. Yahoo and other websites do it quite often, and many average readers complain about that in the comments sections of those stories. As a trained journalist, I detest it, for obvious reasons. My college professors at the University of Illinois-Chicago Honors English Program would give that a big fat "F". But the author goes farther than the headline, and berates the character, and it was the author who created the term "lovable misogynist" in paragraph seven, in fact. That's factually incorrect, too, from a medical standpoint, and I dislike when people can create such an inaccurate label and think "I wrote it...and published it...therefore it's true." What a hack writer, and what a hack pop psychologist. I should have known, though, that we'd be in some questionable waters when the writer began and ended paragraph three like this: "Okay, so with that out of the way, we’re going to intellectualize some stuff, so hunker down." Yeesh. Bad writing is bad thinking or lazy thinking - and sometimes a bit of both. My original thoughts that I posted in my above posts still stand, and are still much more accurate than this intelletualizer of stuff's stuff - and nobody had to hunker down to grok what I was saying then, and nobody has to hunker down to grok what I'm saying now. I admire male writers who competently portray strong female characters - and all their characters - in the right ways that are appropriate to the story they are trying to tell. I'm sure the producers of Jurassic World would tell us they thought they were successful in the characterizations of the roles in that film. Our opinions of those statements - if they came forward with such clarifications - would of course be our opinions. Mine are pretty clear on the whole issue of misogny as it relates to the Owen Grady character, and so are the opinions of others here in this thread. As an aside...tomorrow I'll be pitching "Gwen", a bio-pic about Gwen Gordy, whose contributions to Motown in its development years not only helped to make Motown a household name around most of the world , but also helped usher in a new treatment towards African-Americans, women, and race relations. Along the 20 months it took me to develop that script, I learned about three other African-American women (not Motown artists) who overcame a lot of obstacles like sexism, racism and classism in order to achieve success in America. Even though I'm primarily a comedy writer, I'll be developing those serious dramas in my future, too. I love strong women in real life, and love strong women roles in art, and do all I can in my scripts to honorably fulfill that love. I also do all I can to make male characters behave in ways that are necessary and true to my needs in telling the story I want to tell. Like I said earlier, bad writing is bad thinking or lazy thinking - and sometimes a bit of both - and I never want to be accused of either. Or both. And I'm sorry again for mispelling your first name, Laurie. I'm a guy who's had his last name misspelled my entire life - I know how that feels.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Boom. Done. Laurie nailed it. ...And, no worries. No wolves nor myself were harmed. We're good. LOL!

Emma Spurgin Hussey

Thanks for posting, Beth. It's not just women (and roles available for us) who suffer under sexism. We need male actors to strike until they get offered more interesting roles!

Stacy Gentile

Oh, how I miss John Wayne.

Gary Blencowe

Hey Laurie, well done loved the article. If I ever have trouble sleeping I will just read over Bill's rambles!! Way to go with the big words Bill!! WOW If Bill is a comedy writer I wonder when the laughs start!! I had more of a smile reading yours Lorrie or Lawry or Laureeeee or !!! :) I have made it a mission with my writing to write strong female characters, I don't think there are enough good roles out there for them or perhaps they just don't get made. It just really frustrates me that crap movies are made, being a fan of the original I was so disapointed with the latest Jurassic flick and why the hell do they make so many remakes and stuff them up!! Why do we need another Grizwalds movie, definitely wont see that one, no one can hold a candle to the original Chevy classic!

Bill Costantini

"Gary," Thanks for the laugh. I don't know what's funnier - the fact that this is "your" first post in the 14 months "you've" been a member of this site; the fact that "your" profile is blank; or the fact that "your" profile photo is "your" head photo-shopped over Joe Pesci when he won the Best Supporting Oscar for "Goodfellas." Nice try, though, whoever "you" are. I always find that people who use phony profiles to attack others on websites are funny people, and not in a "ha-ha" way. Heh-heh.

Gary Blencowe

G'day Bill, glad you had a laugh! What are you doing up so late?? Mate I live in Australia, havn't posted because I am too busy doing other stuff, will get around to my profile one day maybe, not real sure of how good the site is. Glad you liked my photo, that really is my head, was done as a joke and sent to a producer over there. So mate it is not a phony profile I am a legitimate person and more than happy to have a go at anyone who blows wind out their own a... behind!! Ladies present!! And where do you get off calling people "Hack writers anyhow?"

Laurie Ashbourne

Stop the presses, (oh they're extinct). Stop whatever you're doing and watch this short clip. It is not only relevant but it is sure to make every gender laugh. http://flavorwire.com/529255/watch-jurassic-park-high-heels-edition-box-...

David Levy

More like the "Kinky Boots" Edition

Fiona Faith Ross

That's so funny, Laurie. I loved the line, "65 million years in the making".

Gary Blencowe

That's very clever and funny, wonder what old bill comedy thinks of that one!

Laurie Ashbourne

This is a great, fast read from the female creator of Amazon's award-winning show TRANSPARENT. Maybe even worth reading twice -- or printing out and framing as a reminder to us all. I know I can completely relate, especially how she feels about waking up to what's going on: http://flavorwire.com/530140/transparent-creator-jill-soloway-on-the-all...

Sarah Gabrielle Baron

Ooh, I like this thread, although I am glad I wasn't in the heat of it 2 months ago. I guess the real question is, WHY do we keep seeing this stereotype 'loveable misogynist' in blockbuster movies? One reason, of course, is that we're STILL LIVING IN A VERY PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY. Sure, we're on the fourth wave, where we take our politics into our relationships with men around us, our brothers, our fathers, our boyfriends and husbands, but it's the hardest wave in some respects, because we kind of have to do it on our own....we can't parade together on the whitehouse lawn shouting 'my dad makes sexist jokes at the supper table'....we can't write new laws that would see a re-write of our 'his'story books telling the truth about the female holocaust (witch burnings of the middle ages)....we can collectively express our re-possession of our own sexuality (thank-you Madonna) but to take it to the fourth wave means confronting dad at the supper table, and that's really really hard. I thought the most telling line in the whole article was, "And we, the audience, lose track of the times that a female character either comes back with some whip-smart remark, or has to amp up the grrrrl power so she can prove herself to the boys, or just stays uncomfortably quiet like most of us do in the real world.". We still see the sexist statements from our Hollywood heroes, because we still keep quiet when we encounter it in the real world, daily, hourly, from the men in our lives. Now, fellas, before you get upset, I know you've all come a long way....we all have. I want to dig a little deeper though. I think the REAL answer to the question of why we're still living in a very patriarchal society, is that we still haven't recovered our sense of divine female. We're still all living in societies dominated by a male God. I think this is also the reason we are so wantonly destroying our planet (Earth is undeniably a female energy 'mother' planet). So, I don't know where else to go with this, I haven't seen 'Fury Road' yet (yes, I live 3 hours away from the nearest movie theatre), but I suspect its ability to transcend our current dilemma of sexist society/sexist heroes is because it's set in a world where our entire cosmology has been blown away. It successfully creates a world where, thanks to the survivalist needs of the characters, sexism has no place. It's so refreshing to the audience, because we want to be 'there' so much, but we just aren't. We're stuck in this patriarchal society and although we've railed against it for the past 100+ years, at least here in the west, we're still stuck. The answer to our dilemma? Yes, for sure, tell dad at the supper table just why you find his 'little jokes' offensive. But after supper, go outside and do something spiritual for Gaia, mother Earth. Plant a seed, take a walk, hum a tune with the wind, dance to the stars, give a food offering to the unseen but very felt spirits around you, and take your kids when you go.

Laurie Ashbourne

Good points, Sarah and Devon. And good timing too. It seems this topic will never go away AND IT SHOULDN'T. Just yesterday I posted an in-depth look at this issue in the animation industry where what is put up on the screen has an major correlation to how females start to think they are seen and should act from a very young age, but it really pertains to the same thing in the film industry as a whole and in our daily lives. https://www.stage32.com/lounge/animation/Gender-in-the-trenches-and-on-t...

Beth Fox Heisinger

Thanks for sharing your post, Laurie. I read the article and found it utterly depressing. It just further fueled my dislike of Disney. I am very sensitive to how females are portrayed -- in that I've always been able to see the subtext of sexism and gender bias. I've always been able to pick up on social issues in various mediums, even when I was very little. People like to think that what they see has little to do with how they see themselves and others, but nothing could be further from the truth -- especially for the young.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Thank you so much, Sarah and Devon. Great comments. :)

Laurie Ashbourne

I completely agree, Beth. First we have to retire the princess commodity that is ingrained at such a young age and then the 'loveable misogynist' will be easier to retire.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Couldn't agree more, Laurie. The princess commodity needs to be retired as well.

A. S. Templeton
Bill Costantini

Alex, "Micro-aggessions" seems to be one of the new buzz-phrases of the summer. There was a very insightful article in this month's Atlantic Magazine titled "The Coddling of the American Mind." Even liberal professors are having a hard time teaching these days without offending someone, and comics like Jerry Senfeld and Bill Maher have criticized college students for being way too faux-oversensitive. Check it out if you haven't already read it.

Laurie Ashbourne

I agree Devon, it's not about walking on eggshells trying not to offend, it's about ditching undeserved stereotypes and more to the point, the expectation and idolization of the stereotypes in the stories we tell. And thanks for the link, very funny indeed!

Bill Costantini

Alex-Devon-Laurie, I should have prefaced my thoughts with "as an aside", and wasn't talking about bad behaviors exhibited in film.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, we're talking about stereotypes, gender bias, gender informing expectations in storytelling, limiting and disparaging portrayals (female and male), the idolization of those portrayals and both their effects and reflections of society -- all subject for screenwriting. Clearly. No need to scold a forum moderator and a wonderful group of professional and amateur screenwriters on how to have an online discussion. We're doing just fine. Thanks.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Thanks for the video link, Devon. Very funny! Bill, yes, I'm aware of micro-aggression -- interesting and alarming. "Faux-oversensitive" is a great way to describe it. Thanks for sharing.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Well said, Devon. Onward! ;)

Marc Breindel

Bill, I read that "Atlantic" story, too, and I'm familiar with the micro-aggression issue. Balance is the key, imho. As that article states, it's unhealthy to get offended every time someone says (or writes) something that could indicate subtle offense. Sometimes I think someone means something one way and learn later that they really didn't, or that they just didn't understand what they were doing. When we get too caught up in perceived slights, we lose sight of the big picture (whatever that may be). On the other hand, if we let too many slights go unremarked upon, we also lose. Balance is key. Also freedom of expression. On a related topic, "Fear: The Walking Dead" has already zombified three significant African-American characters in just two episodes. None of the other characters has succumbed. Is that a micro-aggression? I'd probably skip the new term, and just call it "a little bit racist," as the song goes.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, let's return to the thread topic, please. Perhaps "Fear: The Walking Dead" (yes, it's a spin off) should have its own review post in the appropriate Lounge section. :)

Marc Breindel

Devon & Beth, I've posted a new thread topic about Zombie Land >> https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/Should-we-Fear-zombie-preju...

Marc Breindel

I hear you, Devon. And if you just want to read a thoughtful "Vanity Fair" article about "The Walking Dead" (which we won't discuss in this thread!) here it is: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/08/fear-the-walking-dead-black-...

Beth Fox Heisinger

Okay, great, thanks Marc. :) Thank you, Devon, and everyone, for contributing to this thread. Very much appreciated. :)

Gary Blencowe

I love you Americans, you make me laugh, everything has to be intellectualised and use big phrases like "Faux-oversensitive" and write big long winded rants to show off your smarts. One thing I have noticed is that even though you go to college (University here) and can recite "War and Peace" word for word for the most part Americans have not a lot of common sense when it comes to every day situations. Point being your gun laws, my god how many innocent people (especially women) have to die before there is a change. I appreciate that it is not guns that kill people its people that kill people but bloody hell why is it so damn easy for those people to get their hands on a gun!! I for one would not like to live in a society where if you look at someone the wrong way they will blow your head off! Thank god we have a government here in Australia with strict gun laws. Back to the topic I just thought I would mention a couple of things, I have 3 sons aged from 22 to 17, they are sick and tired of the over CGI'd, shoot em up, car chase, muscle bound drivel that seems to permeate (sorry trying to put some big words in, probably doesn't fit!) from Hollywood these days, in the real world men are not always the ones with the funny retort or the smartest things to say, I have many female friends who say the best one liners and can make me belly laugh (the best kind!). My sons actually want to see things that have some sort of a story! The second thing is I have written a screenplay and presented to a producer over there, it has a strong female protagonist and I was gob smacked when the reply I got was that you need to make her less angry, more real and make the male character more central!! She is a young girl who loses her father in a car accident, was raped by her abusive stepfather after he beat her mother senseless and is sent to prison after shooting him. So forgive me if I have made her a little bit angry at the start but we follow a life journey and she comes out ok in the end and why if the story is about her would I want to make the male character more central? I like to write about strong female characters so seems like I will never get past first base over there. Anyway I hope I wasn't out of line with the no common sense thing I have American relatives for goodness sake and as we say here "I love yoos all"

Laurie Ashbourne

Ha, ha. Sadly, I hear you, Gary. The response you got is a reflection of what we're chipping away to change. You won't get any disagreement from me on the guns either -- but there's only so much one girl can do. ;-)

A. S. Templeton
Gary Blencowe

Wow Alex take a chill pill and settle down mate!! If you read my comment properly you will see I love Americans, apart from you now!!. Don't even attempt to think you know what my story is about, what I have said is just to glean over the story and make a point. oh! so you are saying you cannot use a formula that has already been done but make the story different. You obviously have anger management issues going on to come back with what you have. There is no anti yank bile going on, how come Laurie can have a laugh about it and not you? Maybe you don't have any common sense?? Lighten up mate I was simply making a point about my female friends and not saying I use that for inspiration. Jeez I hope you don't own a gun!!!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Thanks again for sharing, Devon. Much appreciated. :) I do like the new James Bond. He's become a three-dimensional character, more "human" if you will.

A. S. Templeton

Tony, I am not familiar with the misandrist masquerader --could you please provide some character examples in movies or TV, and maybe cite some female writers (or producers, or directors) who might be responsible?

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