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Old 08-21-2015, 12:55 PM   #61
UnequalProductions
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
The VERY first post in this thread talked about: "The hoopla over her being a stripper." Since the stripper's job is to be attractive, I don't think it's blasphemous to make a comment about how good looks factor in.
A stripper's job is a lot more than being attractive. And a stripper's life is a lot different than just an attractive woman's life. Those differences (and her skill at writing about it) are what made Cody's story so compelling.

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Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
The problem is, Geoff never said any of these things. You did. And you pushed the hyperbole button with the "less than perfect" line. As a woman, I can also say, in my experience, what men find attractive is a lot broader than "perfect."
That wasn't a response to Geoff. That was off another comment.
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Old 08-21-2015, 01:01 PM   #62
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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In summary, I have to say that I found it literally incomprehensible to the point of being ludicrous that anyone who lives as a human being on planet Earth in 2015 could possibly argue or try to advance the notion that a person's physical appearance doesn't impact their prospects in life.

I am pretty much one hundred percent certain that, if you sent a script out to ten companies, and followed it up with meetings with two different writers claiming to have written that same script, and one looked like Megan Fox and one looked like oh, I don't know, an American woman of average appearance, the one that looked like Megan Fox would end up with a lot more follow up. If people find my pointing that out to be somehow offensive, well, too bad.

And I even think that, if the Megan Fox script were maybe not quite as good, well, people would be biased towards wanting to work with her, even though they wouldn't admit it or recognize it.

And, I also think this even extends to female executives, that the bias is so deeply ingrained in our culture that even they would tilt towards the more "attractive" woman.

As I said in my other post, it not being relevant to discuss that is ridiculous, it's a bias based on physical appearance which could easily be extended to ethnicity, people in wheelchairs, essentially, anyone who doesn't fall within the set of physical characteristics which is preferred by the dominant culture.

Oh, yeah, and by the way, we are talking about Hollywood, which has been constructing and exporting a totally superficial and normed standard of beauty successfully for, oh the past hundred and twenty years or so. So the notion that this bias wouldn't probably be more prevalent here than, er, anywhere on the planet is beyond laughable.
I have not once argued that someone's physical appearance does not affect their job prospects. I have continually asked why do we, as members of a screenwriting forum, need to bring up the physical attractiveness of writers.

Even in your comment above, the first step is getting the meeting off a script. Everything after that is beyond the writer's control. Even attractiveness is incredibly subjective. And what if these women are going into a meeting with female executives? Gay executives? Even more irrelevant.

We should be able to have a conversation about Diablo Cody that focuses on her life experiences, writing style, and talent in the room. Physical appearance doesn't need to come up at all.
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Old 08-21-2015, 01:35 PM   #63
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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Originally Posted by UnequalProductions View Post
A stripper's job is a lot more than being attractive. And a stripper's life is a lot different than just an attractive woman's life. Those differences (and her skill at writing about it) are what made Cody's story so compelling.
Sheesh. Discussing this with you is like taking a swim in the La Brea tar pits. I'm out.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:44 PM   #64
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

I'm a bit confused at how this thread turned out, but not altogether surprised. The first page is a pretty simple discussion: "Does having a strong and press-worthy persona like Diablo Cody or Max Landis help or hurt your career? Would Cody and Landis have the careers they have without that persona?"

And then out of nowhere comes this kind of confusing post from Geoff that doesn't really seem to be in response to anything anyone else was saying...

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Originally Posted by Geoff Alexander View Post
And yet, I will say, without any data to back this up, that I think female screenwriters are more attractive than male screenwriters. Not saying they are succeeding because of their looks but even there, a bias may be at work.
...and if anyone else had posted that, the entire thread would have heaved a collective, confused "here we go again" sigh. But instead it just got weirder. Unequal read the comment the same way I did: "I'm not saying these women are succeeding because of their looks, but they basically are."

And it took Geoff three more posts trying to explain that original off-hand comment before I could understand what he was trying to say. But somehow Unequal is the one with the "ridiculous approach" to this discussion, and he's the one being hyperbolic?

This entire discussion has become irrelevant under its own weight. But watching from the sidelines, I find it interesting how people have flocked to support Geoff's points, however confusing and left-field they've been, and to attack Unequal, who has so far come across very rationally here. It reminds me of how everyone would support anything that "MysteryExec" would say on Twitter, because they all thought he was a pro. I remember there were a few things M.E. would post that wouldn't seem accurate or logical, but when someone would call him out on it, a horde of his followers (some of them legit pros/semi-pros) would hit back in full defense of this anonymous "Hollywood executive" because they all got caught up in his air of legitimacy. No one wanted to tell the Emperor he had no clothes.

So while Geoff's comments eventually leap-frogged their way into not being an off-hand sexist remark about women's looks helping them succeed, I'm really not surprised that the people who would usually attack someone for that initial remark actually came out in defense of it simply because of the source. Maybe looks aren't the only thing that invoke a bias in this industry...
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:09 PM   #65
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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Originally Posted by Eric Boellner View Post

... So while Geoff's comments eventually leap-frogged their way into not being an off-hand sexist remark about women's looks helping them succeed, I'm really not surprised that the people who would usually attack someone for that initial remark actually came out in defense of it simply because of the source. Maybe looks aren't the only thing that invoke a bias in this industry...
Okay, since I think you're talking about me being one of Geoff's bootlickers,* I'll rejoin.

I am a woman who will jump on a sexist remark. With a vengeance. And I have never cared who uttered the remark -- if it's sexist I'll call it out.

I simply don't think it was "sexist" of Geoff to point out the fact that looks factor in when women are hired.

Not only do women have to be at the top of their game to be in the running (I know this as a result of a lifetime as a professional woman), but if they're easy on the eyes they have a slight edge over another woman who possess the same skills yet stands lower on the attractiveness scale.

This is a reality in our society. Is it fair? No. But it simply is.

The reason I piped in taking Geoff's side is that I saw a lot of "kill the messenger" going on in the many posts that severely mischaracterized what he said.

I'll say it again -- there was a whole lot of 'kill the messenger' outrage going on. And I have to wonder if the outrage would have been the same if a woman had had made the same observation.

*For the record -- in the decade I've been posting here, I have never PMed Geoff, emailed Geoff, discussed anything with Geoff off site or asked Geoff to read my work. Never. Ever. And, since I'm now focused on writing a novel, odds are my lack of communication with the guy will continue indefinitely.
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Last edited by sc111 : 08-22-2015 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:36 PM   #66
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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Okay, since I think you're talking about me being one of Geoff's bootlickers,* I'll rejoin.

I am a woman who will jump on a sexist remark. With a vengeance. And I have never cared who uttered the remark -- if it's sexist I'll call it out.

I simply don't think it was "sexist" of Geoff to point out the fact that looks factor in when women are hired.

Not only do women have to be at the top of their game to be in the running (I know this as a result of a lifetime as a professional woman), but if they're easy on the eyes they have a slight edge over another women who possess the same skills yet stand lower on the attractiveness scale.

This is a reality in our society. Is it fair? No. But it simply is.

The reason I piped in taking Geoff's side is that I saw a lot of "kill the messenger" going on in the many posts that severely mischaracterized what he said.

*For the record -- in the decade I've been posting here, I have never PMed Geoff, emailed Geoff, discussed annthing with Geoff or asked Geoff to read my work. Never. Ever. And, since I'm now focused on writing a novel, odds are my lack of communication with the guy will continue.
There's no new angle from which I can read Geoff's original comment and not, based solely on that comment and not on his subsequent attempts to explain it, come to the conclusion that his original comment, as worded, makes claims that women screenwriters are succeeding because they're attractive. In the context of the thread up to the point of his original comment, that would mean Diablo Cody.

What's funny is that we all agree here. My understanding from Unequal's posts is that he knows there's an unfair bias against unattractive women. Geoff said that, you said that, I've said that elsewhere.

But because Geoff's original post was confusing to the point of being nonsensical if "These women screenwriters are succeeding because of their looks" wasn't his point, it became an argument. But instead of you or anyone else saying, Hey Geoff, I get what you're saying - that unattractive women are at an unfair disadvantage - but you've gotta understand that your original post clearly doesn't communicate that, and so you really can't say that UnequalProductions is being 'ridiculous' in his response., instead you're following along in what is essentially a non-argument.

Literally the only difference between the two "sides" in this thread that I can see from the sidelines is that Unequal doesn't think we should focus on the negative effects of a bias, and instead focus on creating work that succeeds in spite of that bias.

But that bias wasn't the original topic, which seems to be why Unequal has had such a hard time understanding why Geoff brought it up. The original topic was having a public persona as a screenwriter.

For the record, yes, you were one of the people I was talking about. For the record, I don't have a dog in the race here either - I don't know Geoff or Unequal.

I'm just disappointed no one else stepped in to point out that Unequal's "misunderstanding" of Geoff's original post was actually a very fair interpretation based on what was written. You'd have to be predisposed to agree with Geoff to not have read his comment that way. For myself, I knew from Geoff's posts elsewhere that he couldn't have meant what he said the way that he said it, so I waited for clarification. It took a few posts, but it eventually came. Unfortunately, so did a lot of harsh and unnecessary rhetoric against Unequal, who took the comment at face value.

And I don't think that's a fair response when the fault was in the original communication, not the interpretation of it.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:46 PM   #67
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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Sure. But... she wrote a book about being a stripper and it was published the same year Juno came out -- so the stripper angle was hers to begin with -- it's not like it was a secret, she used it as a marketing tool.
Which was smart on her part. Sometimes you have to work with what you've got, and that goes for anyone.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:50 PM   #68
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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You can go from any background to screenwriter, that's the beauty of it. There are barriers at every point, but there's no sign at the door that disqualifies you on the basis of something other than your work. That being said, personally, I wouldn't advertise the stripper element of your BG, or even the acting BG, but I could be totally wrong about that.
True, very true!

My stripping background is pretty much out in the open, since my writing is about...well...a stripper. And the folks helping me are aware of what I do for a living. Sometimes it can serve you well, other times, it can screw you. Luckily I'm involved with people who were open minded enough to learn my story and not judge me.

Ms. Cody had an interesting, non-vanilla job that she used to her advantage. But she also had the talent.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:36 PM   #69
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

Yeah I think the problems began when someone stated the obvious and tried to make out as though they stated something profound. And others in the group were kind scratching there heads like, what?

You get that sort of thing from people who are trying to project an image that they are much more important/intelligent than they actually are. So they say something that is so obvious and applies in nearly all situations, and the rational thinkers are left wondering how something so universal as 'attractiveness being a benefit for getting jobs' applies directly to screenwriting? It doesn't and might as well be left unsaid.

But this is the person who wants to project superiority and thinks they have just made a profound statement by stating the obvious and then attempts to defend the statement like they're really proving a point to all these lesser beings.

This sort of thing happens especially from people whose livelihood depends on creating a false need for their important insider knowledge that everyone else has access to with minimal effort. In worst case scenarios they'll restate the obvious, pretend they made a profound statement and then have their hand out for a huge commission because their profound knowledge (stating something obvious) has pushed a project to the next level. Don't fall for the snow job like many in this thread did withe the exception of Unequal and Boellner.

This thread has been interesting to watch.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:36 PM   #70
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Default Re: Diablo Cody article

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I agree the discussion went off the rails around page 2.

Though, I think the Fempire article in which four "pretty" female screenwriters are photographed together on a bed and quoted as saying things like: "We've all seen each other naked," DOES enter the discussion of public persona AND bias.

Because if your public persona is that you are hot and sexually free -- does that help or hurt you as a writer in the long run? Does that create a favorable bias that gets you opportunities for work or does it create an unfavorable bias that destroys opportunities for work?

I can't fathom how any version of male screenwriters posing together on a bed and/or saying they've seen each other naked would be a plus. But if you are a woman... is that a good thing, to put that out there? BUT because of articles like that/and her persona everyone does know who Diablo is -- and that's got to help her get work. Or does it?

I now concede there is no right or wrong answer to my question. Maybe just be yourself and give the press something between everything and nothing at all, and you'll be fine.
I think if you're a woman, everything you do is far more highly scrutinized than if you're a man. The evidence is all around, the most notable recent entry being when a female author penned an opinion piece on the Guardian and, under the guise of fighting the patriarchy, actually just furthered its grip, telling women how they ought to behave, dress, and now speak.

I don't disagree that the Fempire piece is tangentially related to the original topic, I just think when a confusing post was made by Geoff (without that initial connection to either the Fempire article or the original topic to begin with) and interpreted with a predictable level of WTF, the response (which was essentially, "You misunderstood my post, the fault must be with you, you're an idiot.") was out of line, and it only snowballed from there.

I think I've said more than enough on that, though.

You made some good points in your post, particularly about the way the four women of the Fempire piece portray themselves and how that portrayal is viewed. I think there's a broad group of women who are attempting to reclaim their sexuality by not allowing men's perception of them to stop them from being sexual (i.e., "We've all seen each other naked,") but I think that because of how our society works, that movement has backfired as much as it's succeeded. In part because while women deserve the right to be sexual, they also deserve the right to not be sexualized. And in a world full of testosterone, it's a double-edged sword.

If a woman poses naked because she's not afraid to bare herself, that's often considered a victory for feminism. But at the same time, there are men who will use that for other purposes. And so a woman being beautiful and independent and brave can be just another body for men to rate and compare and objectify.

It doesn't work that way in reverse. Channing Tatum grinding the floor in a movie may be eye candy for women (and men), but it doesn't get scrutinized and judged and categorized the way that an actress would for the same role.
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