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Sorkin On The Social Network‘s Sexism

One of the few criticisms leveled at Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher’s exceptional The Social Network is about the movie’s treatment of women, and it turns out that it’s a criticism Sorkin is prepared to respond to, saying “I wish I could go door to door and make this explanation/apology to any woman offended by the things… pointed out.”

The Wrap noticed that the screenwriter for the movie responded to a complaint about the perceived misogyny in the picture on writer/producer/director Ken Levine’s blog. Noting that “Facebook was born during a night of incredibly misogyny,” Sorkin went on to say,

More generally, I was writing about a very angry and deeply misogynistic group of people. These aren’t the cuddly nerds we made movies about in the 80’s. They’re very angry that the cheerleader still wants to go out with the quarterback instead of the men (boys) who are running the universe right now. The women they surround themselves with aren’t women who challenge them (and frankly, no woman who could challenge them would be interested in being anywhere near them.)

And this very disturbing attitude toward women isn’t just confined to the guys who can’t get dates.

I didn’t invent the “F–k Truck”, it’s real–and the men (boys) at the final clubs think it’s what they deserve for being who they are. (It’s only fair to note that the women–bussed in from other schools for the “hot” parties, wait on line to get on that bus without anyone pointing guns at their heads.)

These women–whether it’s the girls who are happy to take their clothes off and dance for the boys or Eduardo’s psycho-girlfriend are real. I mean REALLY real.

He continues, mentioning the fictions he invented in the service of the greater truth in the movie – Erica Albright isn’t the real name of Mark Zuckerberg’s ex, neither Rashida Jones’ character or Eduardo Sanchez’ lawyer actually exist, Eduardo’s girlfriend Christy is a fictional composite of two real people – before concluding, “I wish I could go door to door and make this explanation/apology to any woman offended by the things you’ve pointed out but obviously that’s unrealistic so I thought the least I could do was speak directly to [the person making complaints at the blog].”

The whole thing is interesting – not least because I’m not sure “But, hey! They’re really misogynistic!” is a strong defense – and worth reading. Go see the whole thing.

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Comments

  • Hamburgerjustice

    Spot on.

  • Michael P

    He's got a point. Guys, and gals, like that do exist. Not having seen the movie, though, I wonder what his take on them is (i.e., does he consider them good people or bad people). That, to me, would be the key to deciding whether the film itself is or is not misogynist.