Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aaron Sorkin and Misogyny and Facebook

     In my previous post about the movie The Social Network, I commented on how the movie made me wonder if our society has gone back three leaps in how it regards women. The observation was prompted by what I perceived to be quite a bit of misogyny in the movie. I liked the movie a lot, just not all its characters.
     I wasn't the only one who felt that way. The outcry has been loud enough that the movie's screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has responded, posting an answer to a comment in comedy writer Ken Levine's blog. You can read it here: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2010/10/aaron-sorkin-responds-to-commenter-in.html
     I liked Sorkin's response. What I mean is I like Sorkin's honesty and the tone of his response, and I don't think he personally is misogynystic. The world depicted in his screenplay is, he says, and I think that's probably true. To quote from his response:  "Facebook was born during a night of incredibly misogyny. The idea of comparing women to farm animals, and then to each other, based on their looks and then publicly ranking them. It was a revenge stunt, aimed first at the woman who'd most recently broke his heart (who should get some kind of medal for not breaking his head) and then at the entire female population of Harvard."
      So my beef is not with him.
      What I find disturbing is that misogyny finds fertile ground among the most intelligent, best educated and highly privileged, which is what Harvard is. It's disturbing because these are people who will  lead organizations and corporations and call the shots in so many ways. We've come a long way baby, but, unfortunately, the reality is that misogyny keeps creeping up, and I'm afraid that in a post-feminism era, it goes largely unchecked.
     I wonder what would happen if all women decided to de-activate their Facebook pages. Could Mark Zuckerberg have created the ultimate comeback for women to make a powerful statement against  misogyny?

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