Gentlemen of the Board (and Quota-Meeting Lady Friend),
2013 was a good year for female empowerment, according to the latest press releases written, spoken, or otherwise delivered by our publicists. Between Fighting Giants, a science fiction movie about a group of dudes and their one lady friend fighting monsters, and Titan War: The Encountering of Orks, a fantasy movie about a group of dudes and their one lady friend fighting monsters, it truly was a victory for saying we are changing representation of women in American arts and entertainment. Truly, groundbreaking, visionary work featuring characters as wide ranging as “gorgeous-yet-stoic lady friend of one of the dudes” and “gorgeous-yet-stoic Asian lady friend of one of the dudes,” which has helped combat pesky questions about why so few movies ever have women who aren’t just “the one lady friend in a group of dudes” by offering up more “one lady friends in groups of dudes”–BUT THIS TIME hyping up the lady friend as not your daddy’s (mommy’s?) lady friend in a group of dudes. “Oh, no no, this lady friend is completely different,” we said, “She’s tough…and strong, too! Real depth to this one! And she totally just wants to do everything the guys do, but doesn’t need a man’s help!”
Of course, we didn’t actually have to show the character doing much of anything on her own initiative beyond a single butt-kicking scene (because feminism means women get to punch something, right?), have a personality of any sorts (NOTE: we did add Manic Pixie Dream Bangs to suggest they’re “quirky”), or contribute anything to the movie beyond 10-20 minutes of pouting while the guys decide whether or not she should shadow them in the action scenes (conveniently allowing the masculine hero, who we hint she’s romantically attracted to, to save her). All we had to do was say she was those things, and fans would circle the wagons in defense of our couple-hundred-million-dollar-blockbuster action bonanza. That is, if some people come along to point out our new lady friends in groups of dudes aren’t really all that different from previous lady friends in groups of dudes, but this is the 2010s: no one says anything which wasn’t regurgitated twice over from someone else’s press release! Indeed, it’s been a good year for saying women are being empowered by movies starring men and being made/financed/distributed by men. We’ve even got our fans championing methods of determining a movie’s feminist credentials based entirely around our male-created lady friend characters, calling to replace ones posited by women as a critique of our previous structure! Saying women are empowered has, as I’m told the kids say, “gone viral.” “Bechdel Test,” you may ask, “Schmecdel Schmest,” I respond.
But, I ask you members of the Board: is this enough? Can we rest easy, knowing we’ve said plenty of times that we are now going to show more entertainment for boys in the age range of 13-25 which depict empowered women? Will these gains we’ve made over the last year, some to tune of hundreds of billions of dollars into our pockets so we can tell the dancers at the Slicked Poles Gentleman’s Club over on Sunset and 8th about how empowered they are–haha, only joking, Quota-Meeting Lady Member of the Board–be enough, or should we strive to do more saying we’re going to do more? I believe we’ve reached the pinnacle of what we can do in our movie divisions (for now), but I think it’s time we set our sights on our other media subsidiaries: last year, our video games and publishing divisions (both literature and comic books) were hit by a few kerfluffles. Words were said, and some thought those words were “petty” or “sexist.” It came out one man talented at talking about empowering women had been trying to convince certain women they were empowered in ways that were construed as “creepy,” “pervy,” or even “harassment.” This is unacceptable! For this behavior to become news, and even override the image of ourselves we’ve carefully been developing over the last few years, should make each of us ashamed!
Now, I’ve already taken some precautionary steps: following some of these stories going to press, I told those involved to do everything they can to appear contrite (but admit as little as possible without outright lying), and fired much of our PR staff (including some men, which will diffuse any allegations, I assure you). As an added bonus, the work the department already succeeded at doing before they were sent packing has had a better-than-expected result: entertainment journalists, online pundits, and critics from across the spectrum have been parroting what we’ve said about empowering females more than ever: overall, their exact restating of junket quotes and press releases has gone up 1003% (according to figures from my favorite intern, Gemma), with slight rephrasing at a 30-year low of 2% and major rephrasing at all-time recorded low of 0.01%. Furthermore, the number of thinkpieces, video content, blog posts, and editorials championing our products as “forward-thinking” (for conservative audiences) and “progressive” (for liberal audiences) are up, at a 10-year high of 67%! I don’t need to tell you how fantastic these results are, especially in the wake of those PR headaches.
With this much (now unpaid, cost-cutting!) writing and speaking about how more empowered we’re allowing women to become, I do believe we must go on the offensive. In addition to our movie efforts, which I’m told are proceeding at a steady clip (especially thanks to our superhero movie franchises, always reliable for one lady friend in group of dudes material), we must redouble on the video game, literature, and comic book fronts, the latter two of which certainly feed back into our movie business by packaging license deals to creators. Such synergy will only help in our efforts to say women are being empowered in the years to come! If anything, there’s enough creative types desperate for work before they become old and infirm that even the most earnest amongst them will speak about talking about female empowerment to their built-in fanbases, while interviewing members of the entertainment press who already agree to what we’ve told them, that we won’t need to hire any additional public relations staff for at least another two years (three and a half if we keep kerfluffles under 3 per year, as Gemma also assured me). All in all, exciting developments in the field of speaking about female representation in the arts and entertainment. I look forward to seeing you all at our monthly summit in Tijuana next week, where we can hammer as many details out for this bold plan of doing the same things as we will be shots from our empowered help.
William P. Blatherton III, C.O.O.