Note to Hollywood: Speak More Spanglish
|by Allen Thornburgh|
My wife and I rented The Break-Up last night. I guess it was fine enough. But it reminded me how tired I am of Hollywood's formula for comedic depictions of relationships: Selfish, Idiotic Man + Brilliant, Hard-Working Woman = Instant Hijinx and Hilarity. [Cue Ron Popeil: Presto! With the Ronco-matic Cinemizer, it's that easy!!]
Yawn. Really, that's so old. And what's even more tired is the fact that to reverse those roles -- presenting a pathetic woman who is lucky to have a wonderful man -- seems to be verboten in both movies and TV sitcoms.
Is this 2006 or 1976? Can we finally admit that women now enjoy all of the same opportunities and successes that men do? A great illustration of this reality is the fact that women make up a greater percentage of college students than men. These days, you have to look awfully hard to find evidence that women are not equally treated in an American institution. That's worth celebrating, for sure, but too many of today's feminists seem to be unsatisfied; it's no longer about rights but about raw, cultural power.
That's why I found Spanglish to be so refreshing. In that Adam Sandler (of all people) movie, you had a wonderful husband and father putting up with, and (gasp!) staying with, a rotten, cheating buffoon of a woman, to whom he had the extreme misfortune of being married. A little more such equity in relational depictions would go a long way toward true sexual equality in entertainment.
This morning, I was again reminded of this when I read this observation from Anthony Esolen in the Quodlibet section of the newest issue of Touchstone magazine (titled "Winning Unlovely"):
Women are beautiful, and men are necessary. It has been the great victory of the feminist movement to make women unlovely by persuading them that men are not needed.
Indeed. Much of the feminist movement was important. Sadly, what it has become in recent years is an anti-male cultural wrecking ball.