Well, I’ve now watched all of Veronica Mars. I have extremely mixed feelings about that show. There is a lot of misogyny baked into it… but Kristen Bell is awesome and elevates the central character even when the show consistently punishes and isolates her.
There are two big ways to express misogyny — one is to actually express the underlying contempt for women that runs through so much of society. The other is to simply leave women out.
For a long time, I found it easier to ignore the misogyny in books, movies, shows etc. that simply didn’t have women than in the ones that blatantly treated them like objects.
But pretending women don’t exist — leaving them out of stories — isn’t actually better.
So, when I call stories out on expressing the misogyny in society, sometimes those works are still doing better than the ones where the misogyny is expressed through simply excluding women.
Badly written representation can sometimes be elevated by good actors. But if there are no women on screen? Maybe it’s just not a story worth telling. Because every story — every one that’s happened in the whole history of the world — had women somewhere.
So, if you’re reading or watching a story, and there are no women involved: those women got actively excluded when the people in charge of the story chose which parts were worth telling.
Women are real. Women are people. Women are everywhere. And it’s time that our stories got included.
Every. Goddamned. Time.
Side note: I had to edit that last [paragraph], swapping “their stories” for “our stories,” because our society has done such a powerful job of othering women that I still sometimes forget I am one.
I KNOW I’m a person, but I have to actively remember that women are.
It’s time for society to do better. It’s time for women to be included in every power structure. Every level of government. Every story.
Me, asking my partner to check this [piece] before posting: “I wrote a thing.”
Him: “You sound mad.”
Me: “I’m always mad.”
Him: “That’s true.”
And people, this thread is why.