I’ve gotten a couple of very interesting emails recently, none of which I have time (or am likely to have time in the next few months) to address in the depth they deserve. But you guys can, in the comments!
A common theme of spam email is to offer penis enlargement – which is mostly just annoying, but today crossed the line into truly offensive. The subject line was “Terrorise her with 9 massive inches.”
I’m being offered plastic surgery to apparently make me more terrifying to women. Whether they really mean terror, or it’s another yet conflation of sex with violence, the only difference is the exact flavour of the sick.
No kidding. Ironically, I wrote about misogynistic spam (subject line: “Loving means ramming”) on my LiveJournal recently, in which I concluded:
Spammers are trying to sell a product. They are marketers, and some of them make very big money. Because they’re not accountable like TV or print advertisers, not constrained by the marketplace’s need to balance sales to some viewers against offending other valuable viewers, they’re free to say what they most believe the audience really wants to hear.
This is what they think men want to hear: “hurt her, and you’ll finally feel significant.”
Nialla sent this link from the Globe & Mail which talks about the uprise of both women screenwriters in Canadian TV and the – gasp – growing recognition that the female audience member has money and spends it, a fact leading business journals have been unable to press on Hollywood for over a decade:
In the last 10 years, female screenwriters in Canada have made huge strides, muscling their way onto TV screens, leaving an indelible stamp on comedy, drama, and action series across network schedules. In fact, while women used to be a distinct minority in writing rooms, their numbers are now on par with men, who typically used to be hired to write action and comedy, while women were relegated to handle emotional and romantic scenes that required that “female touch.”
But while women writers are making their mark in part by conquering territory once claimed almost exclusively by men, it hasn’t hurt, either, that Canadian networks are hungry for female viewers, especially those 25 and older, a coveted demographic for advertisers.
“We were both in our 20s, in our little black dresses, in a sea of men,” recalls the 38-year-old Chellas, laughing. “It felt strange, but there was no one else in the room like us. That’s utterly changed now. I know so many women running shows, writing television and movies. There are a huge number of exciting women’s voices out there. Now if it were only the same for female directors.”
The news is mixed, of course. Women are being brought in as writers, not directors, because the execs want shows that appeal to women, which presumes that all women think alike. Women should have been brought in because they can write. I mean, we’ll take what we can get, but Canadian women writers are still in the position of “proving” themselves to their male overlords, or else they’re all out on the street the minute female viewers become less enticing. A decline in male viewership, conversely, doesn’t threaten male screenwriting jobs. Nope, men are the default and women are still a niche. That thinking has to change before there will be lasting security for women in film and TV. And you’ll notice they still aren’t “letting” us direct.