Estelle Getty passed away on Tuesday. I am so damned sad.
The news set off another one of those conversations the SO and I have every now and then about just how bloody brilliant Golden Girls was. Talk about Bechdel’s Law, this was a show about four women living together, being human-fucking-beings, and not spending at least four lunchtimes a week discussing fucking.
Yes, SATC, I’m looking at you. One of my best friends started rewatching the series some months back in preparation for the movie, and related how much it really bugged her how a few episodes in, Miranda (of course) gets exasperated with the other three. “We’re intelligent, successful women! Why do we spend all our time focused on men?” Cue approximately five minutes of thoughtful internal monologue, and then straight back into however-many seasons … focusing on men.
I have a theory, folks. In decades to come, our kids will be watching True Hollywood Story specials on SATC and Golden Girls, and they’re going to turn around and say, “Wow, Mum, look how far things have come! In your lifetime, women on TV have gone from being superficial stereotyped clotheshorses into witty and multi-levelled personalities!”
And then I’ll have to break their little hearts by pointing out it was the other way around.
So it’s a particularly appropriate week for me to stumble upon this post at The Hathor Legacy.
I had to understand that the audience only wanted white, straight, male leads. I was assured that as long as I made the white, straight men in my scripts prominent, I could still offer groundbreaking characters of other descriptions (fascinating, significant women, men of color, etc.) – as long as they didn’t distract the audience from the white men they really paid their money to see.
BetaCandy raises a damned good point – how can this bullshit still fly in a post-Ripley,* post-Sarah Connor world?
How does Warner Bros honestly say, “Well clearly it’s a problem of people not liking female leads, not us not making good movies with female leads”?
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the Angry Dome.