by Shelt Garner
I’m beginning to wonder if, by definition, a man writing a story involving women is “problematic.” I say this as someone you is center-Left and extremely empathetic to many Leftist causes.
It’s just when I see that there are actual people who like crap like “Booksmart” it makes me wonder if I just have to suck it up and do whatever the fuck I want with my novel, damn the consequences. I hated Booksmart with a white hot rage for a number of reasons. One was out Olivia Wilde went way, way, way out of her way to make sure her heroine was a plain Jane. I felt this selection was an insult to the audience.
We go see movies — or novel — for escape. We want to see hot people do hot things that make us laugh, or cry, or have personal catharsis. When someone who is hot like Olivia Wilde specifically picks a plain person in an effort to prove a point about Hollywood and beauty it really fucking grates on my nerves
Hollywood is an industry. “Doubledees, doubledees” as the old SNL skit goes. Or, to put another way, sex sells. I really like Olivia Wilde. She’s smart, attractive and talented woman. But give me a break, lady, you could not possibly have been so naïve as to think the moment you started your career in Hollywood it wouldn’t be more about T&A at some points than your acting ability.
The reason for the above rant is the novel I’m working on. I just want to entertain people. I just want to give them a thought-provoking, allegorical thriller that wallows in Trump Era tropes. But I often find myself mulling some pretty dumb things. Like, why can’t I have a hot heroine? Why can’t she be sex positive? How do I have a really interesting woman without haters at VOX simply telling me I’ve created a thinking man’s “sexy slutty assassin?”
Ugh. Fuck Vox. They’re why we can’t have nice things.
It’s very frustrating. I just can’t win because I’m a member of the patriarchy. Or, put another way, I’m self-aware enough and look at enough Twitter to know that even if I do what I want to do — create strong, interesting female characters — that because I’m a man who hasn’t — uh — lived my life according to the media narrative that I’m inevitably going to be “canceled” for some bullshit reason.
And, yet, all that’s just me venting. I’m really sensitive at times, especially when it comes to my art. I know I’ve come up with a great, great pop-lit novel. If that means I have to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous woke fortune, so be it.
Subscribe to my Soundcloud. Thanks for attending my TEDx Talk.