Are you tired of being politically correct all the time? I hear this over and over again when I write stories about women in the geek world. One of my writers just posted a fantastic story about the “X-Men: Apocalypse” ad showing Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique being choked by Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse, and how Fox’s apology wasn’t enough. I’ve been fielding misogynist comments ever since.
“Oh, the writer must be a stupid blonde chick.” Nope. It’s a guy. “No one would care if it was Nightcrawler.” No, because he’s a guy and the statistics for violence against men isn’t exactly the same as for women. “Stupid political correctness is turning us all into p—ies.” Nope. We’re just trying to point out the entrenched misogyny that makes the epidemic of violence against women acceptable.
The same day, there was a story about a judge who gave a rapist, Brock Turner, a six-month sentence because a longer prison term “would have a severe impact on him.” His father thinks even six months is “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.” You cannot begin to tell me entrenched sexism isn’t a problem.
Between that story and the one where the newest “Ghostbusters” ads didn’t feature a single woman from the all-female main cast, I’ve been dealing with people telling me I’m imagining things — that it’s not that bad, and I’m overreacting.
Here’s the thing about being politically correct. If all things were equal, a simple scene from the film on a poster might not be a big deal. If we weren’t worrying about the rapist instead of the victim, and whether or not he gets to compete in the Olympics instead of the scars this woman will bear for the rest of her life, maybe a movie ad that erases the female leads wouldn’t be a big deal. Maybe we wouldn’t notice. Maybe if this were a perfect world, talking about this stuff wouldn't matter.
Well, it’s not a perfect world yet. And I’m not done talking.