On quitting film

After I told my story of quitting screenwriting, I realized I could write a book on my experiences. I’ve distilled a few important additions I want to make to that article and put them into this post.

I was never the only one

The film industry is far from devoid of people who want to write better roles for women and other “minorities.” I was never the only one arguing for change. Not only students but employed writers, producers and directors at every level of the game want change, and they will tell you so if you discuss your desire for change. But then they tell you why change can’t happen, and it’s always the same tired arguments that don’t really stand. It once took me a year to get a producer to understand that if the industry has never made mainstream movies featuring female leads that got promoted the same way as the movies featuring men, you cannot claim the audience doesn’t like them. It’s like saying “We offered them apples and apples. They chose apples. Therefore, they don’t like oranges.”

And he was one of the ones who wanted change. He just believed all the usual arguments about how the audience wouldn’t tolerate change. You know, the arguments about how the “right” audience wouldn’t go see a fantastic suspense/sci-fi thriller if it starred Sigourney Weaver instead of some dude, and so on and so forth. You know the examples we’ve all named that prove the dominant theories imperfect, at the very least. They were always dismissed as non-recurring phenomena.

This is, in fact, why I left. If all these people – no, it’s not just Joss Whedon, though he’s one of the few even attempting to walk the walk – at various levels of power in the industry couldn’t change it, how many sell-out scripts would I have to sell (damaging my own credibility) to acquire enough power to make the films I believe to this day the audience wants to see? Could it even be done? I didn’t see how. Conversely, what if I started running websites and became a millionaire – something screenwriters rarely become? I could become a financier and call the shots on how a movie I funded gets made and marketed. That was how to get the power to change things: not by climbing up a ladder with all the Old Guard on higher rungs dropping bricks on your head every step of the way, but by accruing power outside the system and eventually meeting them at the top of the ladder with something they very much want in tow.

I wouldn’t have left if there weren’t so many other people already working within the system for change. I figured they needed someone on the outside with the same agenda. This site is my contribution to raising the audience’s awareness of how it’s being manipulated, and why change isn’t happening.

Screenwriting: almost as much power as the janitor

When Stephen King writes a women-friendly book, it stays women-friendly throughout the editing process. You can be sure that what Stephen King writes represents his own thinking processes. When a lowly screenwriter pens a women-friendly script, however, it gets rewritten and there is nothing she can do about it.

One of the first things you learn when you start reading about selling scripts is that when you sell a script, you can try to negotiate a contract that specifies you get to do the rewrites. But if you refuse to put in that sex scene they want that totally throws off your story, they’ll just hire someone else to do it. If you refuse to make your black characters white or your women characters men or to reduce your developed not-white-male characters into vague supporters of your white male lead’s agenda, they’ll just hire someone else to do it. And your name will end up attached to a piece of shit that possibly even violates your personal ethics. There is no guaranteed way to avoid this. Not one.

Even at this stage in his career, Joss Whedon has to play ball with the people who make the rules. He’s chosen his battles very carefully – otherwise, he’d have accomplished even fewer steps in the right directions than he’s managed so far. If he didn’t give them some of what they want, they’d just have found someone else to rewrite him.

Writers really don’t have enough power to affect change on their own. Therefore, many of them try to become producers and directors, only to find that now they’re responsible for the success of a movie on which the entire hard-working crew is depending. Suddenly, not only do you feel pressured to play it a bit more safe for their sake, but you realize the studio won’t back you up with a good marketing campaign if they don’t see the brilliance of this new direction you’re headin. Without marketing, most any movie or TV show will tank… and be added to the list entitled “Movies That Prove People Only Want Stories About White Men.” Not only might your crusading harm the income of people depending on you; you might even harm your cause.

If all Hollywood needed were more people who think like you and me, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. There are plenty of Hollywood insiders (including white men) who want change, who want to make movies about fascinating people who aren’t white men. The problem is that too many people involved in the very collaborative process of film buy into the belief that the audience won’t accept anything but white men’s stories, and there’s a vicious cycle preventing the industry from taking the next step.

“But I think they’re right…”

I believe there are enough “exceptions” to prove audiences are more tolerant of non-white-male leads than Hollywood thinks. This is not to say audiences are less sexist or racist than Hollywood thinks; see Hyperphonics’ eloquent comment on that. My argument is simply that I perceive proof among all these “exceptions” that such movies can be profitable. Why does that matter?

Because if you make enough movies featuring people other than white men doing the same interesting things white men have been allowed to do in film, those movies become normal, and then the idea that people other than white men can be interesting becomes normal. Yes, some of the audience will be seeing the movie for the same ugly reasons that virulent white racists enjoy watching African-American sports figures or misogynists enjoy screwing women, but eventually you’ll have a whole generation of kids who doesn’t remember when only white men had stories. What will that generation produce in its art and its politics? What will its women and “minorities” achieve? Bigotry will never go away completely – I’m afraid humans are inherently xenophobic assholes aspiring to be something better and often failing – but at least we can render some expressions of it abnormal. We can saturate a market dominated by one viewpoint with many other viewpoints, without everyone losing their shirts. Ideals and profit are not mutually exclusive.


  1. says

    Thank you so much for this post, and for always writing so openly about your experience in the film industry.

    I studied theatre in college and got into screenwriting by a stroke of sheer luck — being commissioned to adapt a story for a major director’s company. Since then, I have been doing all the back work of learning about the industry, and indeed, much of the advice I’ve gotten has been disheartening and completely white-male-middle-class-centric.

    I’m intrigued by the potential of no- and low-budget films to skyrocket past the limited stories Hollywood and (often) Indiewood gives us. I see the same demographics in the no- and low-budget circles, but there’s the possibility for more access for new storytellers. This isn’t a new idea, of course, but it’s one that I’m willing to work for. TV and film are just too boring otherwise.

    Also, imagining this moment:

    …eventually you’ll have a whole generation of kids who doesn’t remember when only white men had stories.

    opens my lungs for a little more air, and gives me hope. I believe this time will come, too, especially because of writers like yourself who are keeping their eagle eyes on the industry and talking about where it could do so much better.

  2. says

    Jennifer, I think the internet could also play a major role in opening new doors. There are so many emerging non-traditional ways to make a movie and earn money from people who watch it. Some of them are going to prove cheap enough to risk non-traditional stories, and if they profit, the new guard in HW will use the evidence to turn out the old guard and start making what audiences really want to see instead of telling us what they want to see.

    I think there’s so much hope, or I wouldn’t bother with this site. I believe things are going to change and someday this site will be a record of what a sad, primitive time the late 20th and early 21st were. 😉

  3. Patrick says

    I really do think that the internet as a medium for distribution will be fundamental to the rise of viable alternatives to the Hollywood mainstream.

  4. Emma says

    I work in story at a feature animation studio, and while I’m not in a position to be in the meetings where an exec would say ‘make that character white, make that character male,’ it seems to me – at least at this particular studio – that the characters who are white and male are that way because the director and story crew are white and male, and default to that when there’s no plot point for making a character female or non-white.

    It seems to me to be a problem that will solve itself if more women and non-white people get into positions where they are making entertainment. Indie films and shorts seem to be a great way to build cred, and really a film is about the CHARACTERS – I want to see people put their money where their mouth is, write a script they want to see that they believe in, and make it.

    I’m working on a couple of stories as comics, which is nice because it’s LIKE a movie, in that it’s visual storytelling, but because I can write and draw it’s a crew of one – I get to be director and screenwriter and DP, and sweat, hard work, and time are the only price I have to pay to see the story I want to tell be realized. It’s a labor of love, and of course I’m going to pitch these projects to publishers. They may or may not be shot down by publishers’ desire to see mainstream work, but that won’t affect whether I finish and distribute them or not – it only affects how much I stand to make off of it.

    If it’s a labor of love, you can figure out ways to do what you want to do. It’s only when the pesky bit about paying rent comes in that you run into trouble.

    Anyway – I appreciate these posts, for a long time I felt vaguely guilty about almost exclusively wanting to write stories about girls… I’m realizing now that even if everything I ever make has a woman as a lead, it’d never make a dent in all the stuff that doesn’t… so why not go for it?

  5. Gategrrl says

    There was a major animation movie release back in 2004 called Shark Tales starring Will Smith as the lead fish character’s voice. I didn’t go see it, nor did I take my children to see it, nor have I ever rented it. Why would I, when the advertisements for it emphasized a poor attempt at parody of Italian Gangster movies complete with sexualized femme fatale fish and little hustling Black men trying to get ahead? Will Smith or not, gangster does not mean charm.

    Too bad, too. It had a ton of stunt casting in it that should have done well.

  6. Jennifer Kesler says

    Emma, people keep making the comment you’re making – that if someone really really wanted to make a movie that broke the mold, why, they’d somehow just find the money, miraculously avoid starving to death while making the movie, and get that sucker made. (The implication, in many instances when this comes up, being if they’re not willing to do whatever it takes, they’re not serious.)

    Even the Blair Witch Project cost $22k to make. Its economies would not be practical for the vast majority of films. It was shot in 8 days by a small crew, but the vast, vast majority of projects like you’re describing would require a small crew to work unpaid for several weeks. At the very, very least.

    If a person doesn’t have a source for 5-6 figures needed to make the movie, plus an income source or generous benefactor to keep them housed and fed while they make it, plus a number of dedicated volunteers willing to work on it free and not take paying jobs that come along while it’s being shot, how exactly do you propose they would find a way to make it happen?

    And heaven forbid the filmmaker be disabled in some way, perhaps tossing in added living expenses for her or limitations on her contribution to the film.

    Your assertion that “if it’s a labor of love, you can figure out ways to do what you want to do. It’s only when the pesky bit about paying rent comes in that you run into trouble” seems to come from a place of privilege where one is not living hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck. Where a person has family and friends who believe in them and are in a position to contribute. Where a person who doesn’t have those things has the time and/or social skills to network with people who will happily give them to her. Those may be things many people can afford to take for granted, but not everyone has them, and without them willpower alone doesn’t cut it. Especially when you’re trying to accomplish a collaborative project that traditional wisdom says won’t amount to anything.

  7. says

    “if it’s a labor of love, you can figure out ways to do what you want to do. It’s only when the pesky bit about paying rent comes in that you run into trouble”

    Yeah, being homeless is so “pesky.” Living without electricity or phone for weeks on end (while working two jobs to avoid being homeless) is so “pesky.” Living on ramen and rice for so many months on end that your menstrual cycles go haywire and your clothes start hanging off you like flags at halfmast is “pesky.” Having to beg money to go to the doctor or take your cat to the vet is so “pesky.” Trying to figure out how to get to an internet cafe to try to look for jobs when you can’t afford a connection is so “pesky.” But whipping up $20K+ and being creative in the midst of all this? No problem!

    Gee, Emma, it must be nice to have the Money Fairy as your BFF and just able to wave her little Cash Wand and have rent money and food money fall out of the air in showers of sparkles. Wish I knew what it was like!

    I’m betting my next – and possibly last for a while – paycheck that you have not once known what it was like to go *involuntarily* without food for an unpredictable length of time, or to go contest an eviction notice while fighting to get your 401k released from a lazy-ass former employer, or walked until you’ve got blisters the size of quarters because you can’t afford either a car or new boots and the bus doesn’t go where you need it to go when you need it to go…

    Place of privilege indeed. (FWIW, it’s not just having time and social skills – it’s also a matter of *knowing* anybody who also has money in excess. Most of the people I am friends with are in the same boat as I am, living on the edge, and certainly don’t have the kind of money to donate to fund an indy movie.)

  8. says

    There are really clear reasons why people who work in film tend to underestimate their privilege. I feel bad that all the ire’s getting heaped on Emma, when I’ve heard much worse from dozens of others. But here’s what many people just don’t realize.

    When you start in film, and you want to be a director or producer, you very frequently have to be willing to work unpaid. I’m not just talking unpaid internships, a few hours a week here and there that you can work another job around. I’m talking about being a full-fledged crew member working your regular hours (which do not leave a lot of room of flexibility for other jobs) for free. Who can afford this, but people who have an income source other than “do job, get paid”?

    How many Americans have that? Income that doesn’t come from working a job regularly?

    So you end up with the upper-middle and upper classes disproportionately represented in film – because the lower classes simply can’t afford to be income-free until they build up their CV enough to get real jobs. This is where a significant portion of the bullshit attitudes in film are coming from – privileged people who don’t know they’re privileged.

    They think they know people who came into film with “nothing” because they know someone who had no money, had to live on a friend’s couch for months, had to subsist on ramen noodles, etc., to break in. Got news for you: possession of a friend who will lend you a couch for months is “something.” The ability to pay for ramen noodles is “something.” The ability to live on ramen noodles without developing serious health issues is “something” (btw, something like 10% of women have insulin-related disorders where a high-carb diet wreaks havoc on their endocrine systems, as Bellatrys described). They think you can make it in film with nothing but a dream and sheer willpower because they don’t know what nothing is.

    The responsibility for change simply cannot be shifted onto women and “minorities.” The barriers for entry are simply too huge. The existing people in film have to be open to change; they have to be willing to see the profit in it; they have to be willing to realize their “traditional wisdom” isn’t getting questioned as deeply as it needs to.

  9. says

    Jennifer, your follow-up comments on this thread are priceless. I had a knee-jerk “Wait…” reaction to Emma’s comment, but couldn’t articulate the nugget of my response, so thank you for doing so.

    I’ve had countless conversations with well-meaning film people who have given me advice very much along the lines of, “Well, just hire someone to help you” or “Just raise the money from friends and family” etc. etc. Sometimes, it’s taken me a few days to overcome my disappointment and see the invisible privilege wrapped tightly around their words. Maybe the leading word “just” might be a tip-off for me in the future. (As well as a hint for myself that I might be giving advice based in my own able-bodied, fluent English-speaking, middle-class, white privilege.)

    Also, it’s just occurred to me that your title “On Quitting Film” implies that you no longer make contributions to the film industry. Although you might not be making movies right this second, your thoughts and dialogue here are definitely contributing to the film industry and any of your readers who are trying to make movies, theirs or others. So, thank you again.

  10. says

    Jennifer, I waited so long to respond because I was having a knee-jerk reaction, too, and needed time to articulate my problems with Emma’s (I believe) well-intentioned yet problematic remarks.

    Geez, all the books on getting into screenwriting assume you have people to mooch off of! I read one book by a prominent screenwriter that insisted EVERYONE is within 6 degrees of knowing a Hollywood insider who can help them get a job, and if you just think about it hard enough, you’ll find your nepotist! Los Angeloonies tend to assume life everywhere else in the US – including tiny rural towns – is pretty much like it is here in the city because they are constantly seeing their city and its surrounding areas stand in for every location in America from big cities down to Mayberry, USA. It’s funny – people assume small towners are ignorant of life outside their little world, but they have TV to show them Big Cities. It’s amazing how ignorant people in the big cities can be, since they only ever see their experience reflected back at them.

    Hollywood is hopelessly out of touch with reality, and it perpetuates its own ignorance by wrapping its insiders in a soft blanket that prevents them from realizing people in very different circumstances even exist.

    Thanks for your last paragraph. It’s good to know my contribution is appreciated. :)

  11. says

    It isn’t just film, Jennifer – the arts are *rife* with it. That “just follow your DREAM and everything will be OKAY!” rainbows-and-ponies mentality is common from bourgie kids online and off, and housewives whose 9-to-5 husbands subsidize their careers or freelancers whose 9-to-5 wives subsidize their graphic design businesses. If I only had a dollar for every time I’d heard that sort of airy-fairy childish drivel, I could probably pay next month’s rent and to spare.

    (Also hobbies – I had a former coworker INSIST to me repeatedly that OF COURSE I could afford to pay “a little bit more” and buy a decent graphics/gaming computer and subscribe to Warcraft and join their guild, even tho’ he knew what we were all getting paid in our department. After I finally lost it pointed out to him that, unlike him, I did not have a) a wife with a full-time job that paid pretty well and provided benefits, b) was not dowered with a condo by my inlaws, and thus c) had to pay all my rent/food/insurance out of my even-smaller-than-his paycheck, he grudgingly conceded that no, an entire month’s salary wasn’t “just a little bit” and I really couldn’t afford either – at which point he officiously and without asking me started looking to move me into a smaller, cheaper – and entirely impracticable – apartment so I’d be able to have the money to buy a WoW-capable computer and play, causing much awkwardness and embarrassment as I had to break of his unsanctioned negotiations. Patriarchal privilege from liberal hipsters is FUN!)

    But this mindset is *dangerous* as well as insulting: it leads to the “compassionate conservativism” voters who believe that EVERYONE can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and thus there should be no social safety net, no school aid, no artist grants or anything, and thanks to their privilege and cluelessness, don’t understand that having people to mooch off of for years to “follow their dreams” is NOT bootstraps, but counts as *subsidization* – and have no clue that frex, no, it’s actually NOT possible to get a house loan (or even a car loan) if you’re a single mom working a part-time job in a low-paying sector without any rich relatives to cosign, like a certain famous romance novelist (who’s never actually *had* a job besides writing novels about a real life she’s never experienced) believes and preaches.

    Oh, hey, I also forgot politics! The whole political world – D as well as R, and also the nonpartisan groups of social change activists – depend on unpaid interns and volunteers, people who can actually take weeks off without finding all their belongings on the street, or passing out from not eating, and still pay gas to drive around the country preaching and teaching and so on. And *they* tend to insultingly and cluelessly tell us that we can ALL do all the things they do, too. (Gods & little fishes, the woman on Daily Kos who kept telling us poor folks to go to Mexico to get our dental work done, that way we could get it cheap AND have a nice vacation, too! Brought my Inner Madame DeFarge to life, she did.)

  12. says

    One last thing: I don’t find this kind of thing to be “well-meaning,” either – I find it a “nice”, sweet, polite silencing tactic, telling people that if they aren’t in a position to go out and take over the world by force of arms and remake it to our own satisfaction, then we should shut up and stop complaining about the Way Things Are, peasant – whether it’s political (“Well, if you don’t like the current crop of politicians, you should RUN FOR OFFICE! If you won’t, then stop complaining!” And we just won’t mention the fact that now as in ancient Rome, you have to be a member of the landed gentry to be able to DO that, we’ll just go on blithering that in America, ANYBODY can become ANYTHING because we’re a Classless Society™) or artistic (“Don’t like the movies/books out there? Then just go take over Hollywood/the publishing industry and MAKE the works you want to see!” We’ll just ignore how much money it costs to make things – and how difficult it is to get *distribution* once you have it made, how many worthy indy films have never been seen by 99% of the population because, well, nobody will subsidize showing them.)

    The outcome of such speeches is always (surprise!) to validate the status quo and silence anyone who tries to point out that it’s an ugly and unjust one, and that the gatekeepers are preventing it being changed – even if it *sounds* chirpy and affirmatively-positive.

  13. says

    Great points, Bellatrys. The comparison with politics and its ludicrous silencing tactic of “Why don’t you run for office if you’re so unhappy” is especially apt. And you’re right about it being all the arts.

    I’ve resisted making this point for fear it would be interpreted as hyperbole, but I think we’ve established the context. Film isn’t the only big industry California rules. We also have huge stakes in illegal substances, legal and illegal porn, and L.A. regularly imports fresh young female faces for prostitution (there are national prostitution rings that can get a truckload of new young women out here overnight whenever they’re needed). If you think Californa’s state government is not complicit in these industries, consider the fact that California charges an unheard-of $800 yearly fee to incorporate (no other state charges anything like that), and what you get for that money is: no one looking into your business.

    The amount of competition for even the shittiest job/role in all of film at the moment is staggering. People always think they can imagine this, but… okay, imagine your school’s grade level is trying out for a swim team. There are only 150 kids in your grade, and they don’t all swim. You get to the tryouts, and there are 5k kids. They’ve been bussed in from other schools. Some of them are twice or half your age. You’re all “WTF? This was just supposed to be MY class!” Doesn’t matter. This is what it’s like day after day. The lousiest agent in Hollywood gets dozens of headshots and query letters every day. The shittiest audition/job application gets dozens of applicants. Anything half-decent gets hundreds.

    Oh, and 75% of the time, you get turned away because within the first 30 applicants, they found what they were looking for. You don’t even get a chance to test.

    This is where you realize just showing up and doing your best does not cut it, so if you can afford to, you take the unpaid internship. You need to be on the OTHER end of all the query letters/headshots/etc. to see how the system works, and maybe meet someone who will give you a job because they know you.

    But if you can’t afford to work unpaid, here’s your dilemna. Those table waiting jobs aren’t so easy to come by – they’re already filled by all the OTHER people you’re competing with who had the same idea. So now you’re waiting for the opportunity to wait tables so you seek film jobs on your days off. You maybe go into retail, which pays shit. You borrow from family if you can. You and 4 other wannabes cram into a tiny, scary apartment so you can split the rent. Even that’s not enough after a while – a car breaks down (without which you can’t make your film appointments, because L.A. public transportation is deliberately awful because this is an oil town, and we want people burning oil in their SUVs, baby), the rent escalates, the owner sells the building, a relative gets sick, you get sick.

    Life happens, in other words.

    And then you get a really interesting choice. Your friend who’s vague about how s/he makes ends meet takes pity on you and intimates that they can get you a job running drugs or turning tricks (no, these are not gender specific around here). Are you in?

    Well, gosh. If you were really serious about making it in film, I guess you’d better be willing to work in one of California’s other great industries to get there, right?


    No one ever thinks when they say “You’d do whatever it takes to make it…” they’re suggesting people get into drug trafficking or turning tricks. But that’s because they have the privilege not to realize this goes on.

    Actually, it’s hard to fathom they don’t know if goes on. Does anyone not know that some clubs blur the line between erotic stage acts and erotic acts in the back room? And even I was savvy enough to wonder why there were so many really cute guys who seemed to just loiter all day at one of the really upscale malls here: they’re prostitutes hoping to blow someone in film capable of launching a career.

    That’s what kind of a town Los Angeles is, folks. What kind of a state California is. And these are the sorts of things people are (inadvertently or not) suggesting we should be willing to do if we really want to break into film.

  14. sbg says

    No one ever thinks when they say “You’d do whatever it takes to make it…” they’re suggesting people get into drug trafficking or turning tricks. But that’s because they have the privilege not to realize this goes on.

    Oh, my. I’m nowhere near the entertainment industry and I’ve had the turning tricks things suggsted to me when I mentioned difficulty paying rent. It was a serious suggestion, too. That whole “I’m positive you’d make a lot of money out there!” comment made me extremely uneasy.

    I will do what it takes to survive. But to me, surviving means never reaching the point I have no recourse but to sell my body to do it. I can think of no dreams worth that cost.

  15. says

    If you think Californa’s state government is not complicit in these industries, consider the fact that California charges an unheard-of $800 yearly fee to incorporate (no other state charges anything like that), and what you get for that money is: no one looking into your business.

    It’s amazing how things just *happen* to work in ways that benefit the status quo, isn’t it? Synergistic, amazing!

    Kind of the way that the “fiscal conservative” anti-union, anti-environmentalist, anti-safety-regulation think tanks also are – almost to an outfit – funded by the same funders of the “social conservative” anti-women-working, anti-contraception, anti-gay, anti-public-education, xenophobic “Judeo-Christian” punditry – you’d almost think that these paymasters stood to benefit equally from a society of fearful, curtain-peeping undereducated multitudes with more children than they can easily feed, divided amongst themselves by ethnoreligious bigotry and sexism and bound in subservience by the terror of the Foreign Invader of the Hour – that the corporations learned their lessons in the wake of the days of “Bread & Roses” and have done their best to create the ideal climate for unlimited mill- and cannonfodder… Why else, at least, would the same gas-oil-and-metal tycoons who pay Cato Institute and Reason mag’s power bills be sponsoring the likes of Phyllis Schlafly and Dr. Dobson?

    But that’s *my* bailiwick, not yours – it just becomes really, really interesting, the coincidences you find, when you follow various money trails into alleys and down the drains…

    No one ever thinks when they say “You’d do whatever it takes to make it…” they’re suggesting people get into drug trafficking or turning tricks. But that’s because they have the privilege not to realize this goes on.

    Actually, it’s hard to fathom they don’t know if goes on. Does anyone not know that some clubs blur the line between erotic stage acts and erotic acts in the back room? And even I was savvy enough to wonder why there were so many really cute guys who seemed to just loiter all day at one of the really upscale malls here: they’re prostitutes hoping to blow someone in film capable of launching a career.

    That’s what kind of a town Los Angeles is, folks. What kind of a state California is. And these are the sorts of things people are (inadvertently or not) suggesting we should be willing to do if we really want to break into film.

    The faux-naivete of those who really DON’T WANT TO KNOW is impressive. (Above-mentioned famous lady novelist got very very indignant online when criticized for her claims that ANY woman could bootstrap up just by being strong and tough and hardworking (at least until Prince Charming comes along!) altho’ it’s clear that she knows absolutely diddly about any job she’s written about – two of which I’ve held, & a third I know people who do it, none of whom live off it solely – and evidently thinks research is for chumps.)

    Then again, the number of nice, decent, middle-class women who coyly acknowledge that they regard marriage as the legalized prostitution Mary Wollstonecraft tagged it as – while being indignant at any suggestion of the same! – whom I’ve met IRL or read mainstream articles by, is kind of staggering. Moi? That sort of woman? How DARE you! Just because I said we *all* of course trade blowjobs for new kitchen cabinets or dresses or painting classes at the local community college! Out upon you!

    Oh, and *my* reason for dropping ramen was that it was causing me irregular heartbeat and fluctuating blood pressure – still not sure if it was the sodium or the MSG, but with a family history of heart conditions I figured I better pay the extra 85 cents for a package of real spaghetti! 😉


  1. […] In May, a compelling discussion developed over two posts about why catcalling is not flattering (and why men shouldn’t think harassment is flattering). Also, starting in May, and continuing throughout June, July, and August, more excellent film and television industry posts, considering demographics, the false idol of the edgy independent filmmaker, screenwriters and the all-important Bechdel test, the disconnect between discrimination and profit, how it’s all about the money, on surviving the film community as a feminist, and Jennifer’s personal account of quitting film. […]

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