Twitter account exposes awful ways women are introduced in movie scripts

Lea Seydoux in SPECTRE. (Sony Pictures)

Ross Putman is a Hollywood producer who is required to read a whole lot of movie scripts … and began to notice an absurdly sexist pattern. The ways female characters are introduced, he found, were focused on their appearance in such an unnecessary, over-the-top manner, that it became almost comical. While he initially saved the offending paragraphs in a Word doc, to joke around with friends, on Tuesday he decided to start a Twitter account called @femscriptintros, changing the name of the character to “Jane” in every tweet.  At the time of this writing had amassed more than 39,000 followers. The descriptions often sound like something out of a trashy soft-erotica novel: “JANE, 28, athletic but sexy. A natural beauty. Most days she wears jeans, and she makes them look good” or “JANE pours her gorgeous figure into a tight dress, slips into her stiletto-heeled f***-me shoes, and checks herself in the dresser mirror.”

Putman told The Washington Post that while it’s funny to point to the ridiculous ones that are overtly sexual, “I think it’s more interesting to me to see how many of these have subtle misogyny in them.” How else to describe a character description as “his wife JANE is making dinner and watching CNN on a small TV. She was model pretty once, but living an actual life has taken its toll”?

While the producer was surprised by the quick success of the account, he says he hopes writers will start creating more complicated, three-dimensional characters — and he has a suggestion to accomplish this: “We need more women writing scripts and directing movies,” he said. “Because any women reading these scripts would be appalled.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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