Why Women Are Never Allowed to Mess Up

Why Women Are Never Allowed to Mess Up
Why Women Are Never Allowed to Mess Up

From Harper's BAZAAR

Man, do men ever get a lot of chances.

When women mess up, they are expected to disappear forever. There are no second chances. Hell, let’s look at how people respond when women make bad jokes.

I’ll spoil it for you: they get fired immediately.

Last week the comedian Kathy Griffin made a video that featured her beheading Trump. I am not overly shocked by this, because I have been to a museum, and consequently have seen about a million pictures in classical art of redheads beheading powerful men. But it was very upsetting to many people, including apparently, Barron, Trump’s 11-year-old son who mistook the head for the head of his father.

Kathy Griffin’s metaphoric head rolled as a result. She lost all her jobs and sponsorships and now fears her career is over despite a tearful video pleading for forgiveness.

The same thing happened to SNL writer Katie Rich months ago when she tweeted that Barron would be the nation’s first homeschool shooter. Shortly after she sent out another tweet saying “I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.”

She got fired.

Meanwhile, liberal comedian Bill Maher mimicked Trump having an incestuous relationship with his daughter last month. Which, while I will admit that Jamie and Cersei seem to have a supportive relationship on Game of Thrones, I still think incest is pretty obscene." That did not stop him from appearing on TV this month to a "house nigger."

He’s not going anywhere.


Ken Jennings responded to Kathy Griffin’s scandal and the way Barron seemed to be used as a political prop by tweeting “Barron Trump saw a very long necktie on a heap of expired deli meat in a dumpster. He thought it was his dad & his little heart is breaking.” Conservatives are calling for him to lose his Simon and Schuster job, but that seems very unlikely.

"There’s not going to be equality in the creative spheres until women get the same freedom to make mistakes and try again that men do."

Men don’t get fired for making dumb jokes, unless those “jokes” are endorsements of pedophilia.

Conservative heterosexual men get to make horrendous jokes and go on to be president. Hell, Donald Trump made fun of a disabled reporter on camera. His entire platform was kind of white guys should be free to punch down at disadvantaged groups the way they did in the 1950s and never be called out, ever. When he said “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters," he was probably correct, if he’d followed up the murder by shouting that people needed to stop being so damn politically correct.

Look, you may think that these jokes are all horribly offensive. You may think they’re all really, really funny. Maybe you like some and not others. But the fact is, men get to make them, and women don’t.

Men get to mess up in a lot of ways that women don’t.

And if that seems like an irritating double standard, well, it is. There’s not going to be equality in the creative spheres until women get the same freedom to make mistakes and try again that men do.

For women to get second chances, they need to be not just good, but great. You know what was pretty good? The female Ghostbusters. It got a respectable 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and was a perfectly nice summer comedy. At least, it was for those who did not believe that the original version - a comedy where a man gets a blowjob from a ghost - needed to be treated with the reverence typically extended to the shroud of Turin. This week, Dan Aykroyd, one of the executive producers announced that there will never be a sequel, either because it didn’t make enough money or because it wasn’t inclusive enough to the originators, depending on what day his comments came.

The sequel to the fantastic Fantastic Four box office bomb is still in the works, though.

And if that’s depressing, maybe seeing a movie will make you feel a little better about women’s place in the world. I recommend another showing of Wonder Woman, which had the highest opening on record for a movie directed by a woman. Which means we might get, maybe, possibly, if we’re lucky, one superhero movie starring a woman per year. That will be in addition to the dozen of superhero movies starring men.

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As Michelle Wolf on the Daily Show pointed out, “You know when we’ll feel like women are equal at the box office? When we get to make a bad superhero movie and then immediately make another bad one. Men get chance after chance to make superhero movies. No one left crappy Batman vs. Superman saying ‘well, I guess we’re done making man movies.”

They did not! And that was a movie that hinged upon the two main characters fighting until they realized their moms had the same name. My God, Suicide Squad which has a 25 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is gearing up for a sequel so we can watch more dudes in costumes shoot at each other alongside one woman in short shorts.

It's enough to make you need to go see Wonder Woman again.

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