Sexism is Boring

by thethreepennyguignol

I’m bored of misogyny.

I mean, I’ve never been excited by it, to be fair. But recently, it’s been impossible to ignore, when it comes to sexism in the boundaries of storytelling, just how fucking boring it is.

I think when I criticize sexism in TV and movies, people tend to picture me fanning myself in a furious rage and retiring to my fainting couch to scream into a pillow when I’m done. And look, I’m not averse to doing that over some bad Doctor Who episode (fifteen recaps in a row), but when it comes to misogyny…

Okay, look, it does upset me. It does anger me. When I see it exercised in the real world, and often when I see it in pop culture, too, it’s just a reminder of what a mess this world is, built on an unwinnable game of gender roles that benefit nobody. I wouldn’t write about it so much on this blog if I didn’t need to hurl my feelings into the void about it, just to get it out of my head. But I want to make one thing clear: when I’m criticizing sexism in pop culture, I’m not just doing it because I am so beside myself with emotional devastation that I cannot contain my deep hurt; I’m doing it (and I want you to imagine me leaning right up to a microphone so that you can hear the movement of my lips and the spray of my spittle as I speak) BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING BORING.

As someone who spends too much of their life both inhaling and exhaling pop culture, I want to consume stories that aren’t the same vague half-twists on a tale I have heard a hundred times before. When it comes to the same cut-out stories of women and men, when it comes to the dull retellings of the tales I’ve heard a hundred times before, I’m just exhaustedly bored. Falling back on these tired old tropes is not just offensive and backing up toxic ideas about what men and women should be, it’s lazy and deeply uninteresting writing. I’m not just coming after this stuff because I find it morally objectionable, though I do: I’m coming after it because it fucking sucks, and I want to watch and read stuff that doesn’t suck, you know what I mean?

There’s not much more for me to say than that. Dear writers (including me, probably, in ways I haven’t figured out yet): stop falling back on tired, sexist tropes to tell your stories. We’re bored, and we can do better. Misogyny doesn’t just suck because it’s a system of oppression meant to keep down more people than it could ever help or benefit; it sucks because it’s making our stories worse, too. And, as your resident TV idiot, I simply cannot let it stand. 

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(header image via Vanity Fair)