There's Something About Critics

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

First of all, I'm happy to report that since I began my enthusiastic campaign of liking Zooey Deschanel out of spite, we are now best friends and we have superfun vegan picnics with our kitten friends at Unicorn Park every Tuesday. I know you are way too busy to be jealous, because you're spending all your time having coffee with the guest lecturer at your university, Professor James Franco, so everything is great for all of us.

image of Zooey Deschanel winking
Zooey Deschanel, actress, singer, activist, and not at all my friend,
but definitely a human being who seems pretty neato and not in a sarcastic way.


This is just a perfect story in Entertainment Weekly—and what follows is literally the entire story—about Zooey Deschanel:
Critic asks Zooey Deschanel to explain her name
by James Hibberd

[picture of Zooey Deschanel shrugging and looking perplexed]

Something about Zooey Deschanel throws off TV critics. At last year's press tour panel for her Fox hit New Girl, a reporter wanted to know when did she realize that she's "adorable."

This time at the semi-annual event, she was asked to explain her name. That was the question — can she "explain her name." Like it's a riddle. Or a trick she's pulling.

"My name?" the actress replied, confused. "My first name or my last name?"

Critic: "Both."

"My name on the show?"

The critic explained (… sort of … not really): "Zooey. Zooey Deschanel."

"I was named after [the J.D. Salinger novel] Franny and Zooey," she said. "My last name is French."

And her last name is French.

With that finally settled, her fellow panelists and other reporters applauded.
Now, obviously, James Hibberd, author of this piece, is on the side of the kitten picnics, because YES LIKE HER NAME IS A RIDDLE OR A TRICK SHE'S PULLING.

But James Hibbard! Maybe start instead with the observation that there's "something" about the dingalings who ask these dipshit questions, like the fact that they're possibly being misogynistic (I add "possibly" only because I can totally imagine that Goran Visnjic has been asked to explain his name fully one million times) and definitely being unprofessional and should never be invited to any picnics ever, except the ones with all the ants.

It might seem like a small thing, to make sure the blame for such foolery is placed squarely on the fools, but it's these small things, like the unfortunate if unintended implication that there's something Zooey Deschanel is doing to cause industry critics to condescend to her, that add up to create a culture in which women, especially women who are quirky and silly and cute, are summarily dismissed as unserious, even if they are also smart and talented and fierce.

And that the summary dismissals are their own fault.

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