Lady Problems is a weekly column that looks at how the entertainment industry — and its corresponding culture and constituents — is treating women in a given week. (Hint: It will almost always be “poorly.”) Every Thursday we’ll review the week's most significant woman-centric conflicts, then provide a brilliant solution to each problem that nobody in Hollywood will ever listen to or enforce.
The Lady Problem: Four days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion, and one day after our burnt-sienna skin suit zipped up over a pile of dying worms reinstated a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions (or even provide info on the option of abortion), and two days after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and one day before the EPA was ordered to remove scientific climate change research information from its website and banned from communicating directly with the public, and the same week in which 10 states proposed bills that would criminalize peaceful protesting (one of which would allow drivers to literally plow people over in the streets if they were obstructing traffic), and the same week in which nobody in the country could agree on whether it was acceptable to punch a neo-Nazi, and two days after reports surfaced that Republicans had introduced a bill that would remove the U.S. from the United Nations, and the same week in which Congress quietly moved to devalue and privatize our national parks so that they could be legally drilled and fracked to shit, and one day before our overflowing industrial bucket of radioactive waste vowed to investigate a categorically false claim of voter fraud, and one day after the creators of a comic-book villain praised our fire-damaged sack of potatoes for plagiarizing said comic-book villain in his inauguration speech, and one day before our caved-in sandcastle prepared to sign an executive order barring entry to refugees from seven war-torn countries and impelling the construction of a pile of concrete separating Mexico from the United States, the Oscar nominations were revealed!
This year's nominees were slightly less horrifying and blanket-Caucasian than last year's (... good job not being completely awful, I guess?). But, naturally, the Academy did not hesitate to bestow nominations on two men who, among other things, have abused women physically, verbally, and sexually. First up, we've got Mel Gibson, a man who hit his girlfriend in the face, told her she deserved to be raped "by a pack of niggers," called one of his Latino staffers a "wetback," believes that Jews are "responsible for all the wars in the world," and told the LGBTQ community to "fuck off." Gibson's film, Hacksaw Ridge, which I have not seen and firmly believe is about two best friends fighting a hacksaws-only war, is nominated six times, including for Best Picture and Best Director. Great!!!!!
Next, we've got our old pal Casey Affleck, who, as you'll recall, was accused of sexually harassing not one but two women who worked for him, then bullying them into submission. Among (many) other things, Affleck allegedly “ordered a crew member to take off his pants and show [producer Amanda White] his penis," “repeatedly referred to women as ‘cows,’" and crawled into bed with another producer, who was then subject to “a nearly daily barrage of sexual comments, innuendo, and unwelcome advances by crew members, within the presence and with the active encouragement of Affleck" when she refused his advances.
The Solution: Culture trickles down. The same America that willingly elected a wildly racist sexual predator into our highest office is unapologetically celebrating wildly racist sexual predator "artists." ACADEMY, YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING COOL THIS TIME. Now is the time to Lysistrata the fuck out of all of America. Do not fuck Trump voters. Do not fuck Republicans. Do not even fuck the wait-and-see Republicans who didn't vote for Trump but are like, "Let's give him a chance." Do not fuck Chuck Schumer, who has been voting yes on Trump's Cabinet picks. Do not fuck Bane's creators. Do not fuck any member of the Academy who decided, "Sure, sexual assault, but these movies about white men crying and beating each other up are awesome!" Do not fuck Casey Affleck. Do not fuck Mel Gibson. Do not fuck anything. Do not fuck a hacksaw.
DO: Consider protesting the Oscars à la the brave women of France, who launched a petition against the César Awards for inviting child-rapist Roman Polanski to preside over the ceremony. (Polanski is "profoundly saddened," which, IDK, sounds kinda better than being drugged and raped by an adult man.) Go ahead and fuck your fellow activists if you feel like it!
The Lady Problem: The good news: One of the first feature films that appears to be a direct rebuke/response to the Trump administration is officially in the works. It's called Little America, and it's apparently set in a dystopian future, "where a Donald Trump–like president has bankrupted America and China has called in its debts," meaning that "the Asian giant now owns the U.S., and many Americans have emigrated to China looking for work." Same.
The bad news: This shit is being directed by Michael Bay.
It is also being described by "sources" as a “sci-fun” story rather than “sci-fi."
It is also being described by "sources" (me) as "fuck."
The Solution: Dost thou have no sympathy, universe? No decency? Why must Michael Bay — a man whose main conception of human interaction is "explode" and who disagrees with the controversial idea that women are people — be one of the first directors charged with synthesizing the horrors unleashed on our country by this superglued pile of rotten ham hocks? Why did somebody say the word "sci-fun"? When did God die? Why is a crumbling, haunted basketball the last thing we'll all have to answer to before we are hurled directly into the roiling sea? Sorry, is this not a solution?