Stunning on the Streets, Stunning in the [Script] Sheets
For the times when nothing but a horrified lol will do - we suggest you head on over to Twitter, to check out Hollywood producer Ross Putman’s bad-but-brilliant exposé account.
If a slightly horrified lol is what you’re after, we suggest you pop over to Twitter and take a look at @femscriptintros.
The account belongs to Hollywood producer Ross Putman, who after reading close to 4,000 scripts over the past eight years, felt compelled to share his terrible-yet-not-overly-surprising findings about how female characters are described with the world.
Sometimes strong, sometimes smart, sometimes sassy, sympathetic or sad...but mainly sexy. Or attractive. Or hot. With fuck me eyes. Or pretty, if she tried even a little bit. Or stunning - even for her age.
As Putman told Jezebel; “Women are first and foremost described as “beautiful,” “attractive,” or—my personal blow-my-brains-out-favorite, “stunning.” They’re always “stunning” in a certain dress or “stunning” despite being covered in dirt because they’re a paleontologist—or whatever.”
In all of his tweets, Putman changes the characters’ names to ‘Jane’. He does this partly to hide their identity (and the identities of the scriptwriters), but also partly to cast light on the frustratingly one-dimensional approach Hollywood has regarding the characters of women. Putman is not trying to call-out individual screenwriters, as he strongly believes the problem is systemic (not a ground-breaking claim, but still valid), and is instead highlighting the glaringly obvious point that the industry as a whole needs to get with the times.
Putman launched the account in 2016 on a Tuesday - and by that Thursday afternoon had clocked up 26 tweets and close to 45,000 followers. Phwooar.
Websites, articles and spin-off accounts were quick to follow, with one Slate article in particular adding an element of lol to the conversation, as it describes well-known male characters (like Harry Potter’s Hagrid, below) in the same way as Putman’s gorgeous gals.
“With a boom and a thud befitting of his sinewy legs for days, enter the sparkly-eyed, pink-lipped RUBEUS HAGRID. He was once a sought-after sex god, but his many years as groundskeeper of a large boarding school have taken their toll. Nevertheless, his capable manhood hasn’t shrunk a bit.”
Other, slightly more serious, discussions have surfaced - many regarding females who have been doing this exact thing for longer than Ross Putman (for example, Miss L.’s tumblr account; Casting Call Woe) - but without the same level of overnight fame and international recognition.
The Mary Sue talks about how people continue to sit up straighter and listen a little better when a male talks about feminism. Sigh.
“When women speak, it’s not considered enough. Society is still designed to value what a man says over what a woman says, even about things that concern women. That’s what Patriarchy looks like, folks.”
But, they’re not knocking our guy Ross - his account is genuinely funny and does a great job at exposing a frustratingly predictable element that still exists in the world of acting.