Like it or not … the entertainment industry does play a rather significant role with regard to our attitudes <and some behavior>.
The one attitude discussion that always gets me … in fact … aggravates me … is the whole discussion surrounding ‘strong roles for women.’
And what aggravates me is that we even talk about the fact there are strong roles for women. Why should it even be a discussion? Why isn’t it just something that just “is”?
As in something like the fact we breathe to live. Or as Joss Whedon says… “Equality is not a concept, not something we should be striving for, equality is like gravity … misogyny is life out of balance and it sucks something out of the soul of every man and women confronted with it.”
I find it aggravating that we still spotlight women in shows like Homeland, The Closer, Covert Affairs, NCIS, Bones and others as remarkable partly because they are women and not simply interesting characters.
I find it aggravating that in this day and age we have to discuss ‘women can be whatever they want’ in high schools and yet are challenged by these same young women we are encouraging with regard to what role models they should be following <among the few> … and at the same time you get the questions from the young women you can scan the young men in the room and they are snickering or joking about ‘stay at home’ or ‘cooking & cleaning’ <of which you know that if even a splinter of truth is within the snickers there is a significantly larger issue at hand>.
I find it aggravating that we still not only suggest it is the differences between a woman and a man as an excuse for how things are … but an actual REASON for how things are.
I find it aggravating that we still refer to strong women in male terms <characteristics> as if someone needs male characteristics to be strong and, conversely, a female characteristic is ‘weak’ <or softer>.
I find it aggravating that we assign gender tags when a leader is a leader … strong is strong … and being good at what you do is being good at what you do … and none of those things are driven by your gender.
What I don’t find aggravating is a speech Joss Whedon gave in 2006 at the Equality Now Conference.
Whedon imagines himself at an imaginary press conference answering the same “dumb question” he is asked “400 times” by reporters … why does he write strong women characters?
Starting off with the anodyne answer that it was due to his “strong mother”, his “engaged father”, the fact that female characters are allowed emotions, or just because “women are hot”, Whedon finally shouts: “Why aren’t you asking the 100 other guys why they don’t write strong female characters?”
I am including Joss speaking … the short version is absolutely fabulous … almost extraordinary in the world of speech making in terms of its concise ability to make the point of which is aggravating me.
The fabulous short version < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqsIFlTVoXQ >
The full speech <8 minutes>: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoEZQfTaaEA
It all aggravates me because I know too many strong women to name in this post.
In fact … I cannot name one ‘not strong woman.’ Every woman I know either externally exhibits whatever we want to deem ‘strong’ …. or internally … at her core … has the strength of however many men you want to line up and judge their strength.
We confuse strength as a definition.
Confuse it with muscles and ability to move tangible objects.
And it aggravates me that we do that.
Creating strong roles for women? The whole idea that we have to talk about it aggravates me.
The real discussion should be <to quote Sheryl Crow> … “are you man enough to be my man?”
Are we men strong enough to play that frickin’ role?