An Observation

One of the things about tokenism in films (and television shows) is that it creates an abundance of pop culture media in which we don't see women (or members of other marginalized groups who are routinely tokenized) interacting.

A long time ago, I read a piece by a male screenwriter about how he struggles to write multiple female characters because he's not good at writing women interacting. He didn't put it quite like that, but that was the gist. And so a failure to include multiple female characters becomes a self-perpetuating cycle: There aren't good examples of women interacting in film, so (many) male writers don't know how to write women interacting with each other.

Which says something not altogether kind about the creative instinct among most screenwriters, that they take their cues from other films. But it also says something about the way women are regarded culturally by (many) men: That we are mysterious, that we are an impenetrable and unrelatable monolith, that our communication and interaction with each other in real life is so inscrutable that it cannot possible be deciphered and reproduced—all the stuff of terrible sitcoms starring dudes like Jim Belushi.

And it reflects a reality that the patriarchy does not encourage (nor require) men to value engaging with women, especially women in groups. I don't imagine that the male writer who finds it difficult to write multiple women has never seen, in real life, his mother interact with her mother, or with his sister, or with his wife, or had two female friends have a conversation in front of him, or been in a professional setting with at least two female colleagues.

I just imagine he's never prioritized paying attention.

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