I’m teaching myself physics (long story) and I’m just now getting to Newton’s Laws of Motion. The first law is often summarized as, “an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless an outside force is exerted on it.” This isn’t only true in physics. It’s true for culture as well.
What I mean is, things just don’t change overnight. Identifying a problem doesn’t automatically make it go away. You have to do something (sort of the whole idea behind Care2 petitions). The object, in this case current culture, will keep chugging along until an outside force acts upon it. With an object as big and powerful as culture it can take a lot of external forces. But little bits coming together can make a big difference, which is why I love projects like the Bitch List.
The Bitch List, according to Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress, is an effort to get more scripts that pass the Bechdel Test made into movies. It seems to be modeled after the Black List, a compilation of the best unproduced movie scripts. The Bitch List will be a compilation of great scripts that have actual, for real, well-drawn lady characters. The challenge posed by this project is for producers to read one to three scripts off the final list, due out in January 2013.
Woo hoo! If you’ve been to the movies lately and paid any attention, you know this is desperately needed. It may not seem like much, but it’s great to be able to see people like you on film. Wouldn’t it be great to see more women who aren’t obsessed with marriage and babies and being in love? You know, actual three dimensional characters? It’s not only good for women and girls who can view their heroines in 3D. It’s good for boys and men, who can now learn that women can be superheroes and don’t need anyone’s permission to exist. It’s a win-win.
Studio producers think people won’t see those films (and by “people” they surely mean males aged 13-25). But the numbers disagree. Kristen Wiig’s movie “Bridesmaids” earned almost $300 million worldwide and Pixar’s “Brave” earned $66.7 million on its opening weekend. If you make a good movie and market it, we will come. I love going to the movies, but Hollywood, you make some crappy stuff. Try this new thing. You might like it.
Photo of Kristen Wiig: Rubenstein/flickr