Just got off the air, and have an appointment with the doctor in 45 minutes, so this will be quick.
In the aftermath of the shooting and stabbings committed by the miscreant (who will remain un-named) in California, fingers are being pointed at the usual suspects, as is only natural after such happenings; guns and lack of gun control laws, lack of mental health resources, and even video games. First of all, the shooter obtained the weapons legally, and California, like Connecticut, and Chicago, has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Secondly, the creep was the son of wealthy parents, and so I would suspect that if he needed help, he could have received it, and in fact, he was. As for video games- been there, done that.
Fortunately, there are those willing to think outside the box. People such as Washington Post film critic, Ann Hornaday, who offers yet another root cause for such violence; a lack of women directors and writers in Hollywood. Witness the brilliance:
For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny). [Elliot] Rodger’s rampage may be a function of his own profound distress, but it also shows how a sexist movie monoculture can be toxic for women and men alike.
How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like “Neighbors” and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of “sex and fun and pleasure”? How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, “It’s not fair”?
But as they say on late night infomercials….wait! There’s more!
Even if 51 percent of our movies were made by women, Elliot Rodger still would have been seriously ill. But it’s worth examining who gets to be represented on screen, and how. It makes sense to ask, as cartoonist Alison Bechdel does in her eponymous Bechdel Test, whether a movie features (1) at least two named female characters who (2) talk to each other about (3) something besides a man. And it bears taking a hard look at whether we’re doing more subtle damage to our psyches and society by so drastically limiting our collective imagination. As Rodger himself made so grievously clear, we’re only as strong as the stories we tell ourselves.
So there you have it. The problems in California, the United States, and the entire world for that matter, may be due to a lack of female executives in Hollywood.
So might that sad state of affairs apply in the following case?
A pregnant woman was stoned to death Tuesday by her own family outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city of Lahore for marrying the man she loved.
The woman was killed while on her way to court to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. Her father was promptly arrested on murder charges, police investigator Rana Mujahid said, adding that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this “heinous crime.”
Perhaps instead of lamenting the sad state of affairs in Planet Hollywood, perhaps Ms. Hornaday and others who view the world through the prism of gender equality exclusively (when all you have a hammer, everything is a nail) ought to be more concerned with stories like this. I suspect the actions of Farzana Paveen’s murderers were informed by something other than the lack of high-powered women in Hollywood.