Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bitter Gertrude

I was aware of the blogger called Bitter Gertrude awhile ago because I thought this post was bullshit - I haven't seen anything like what she claims in submissions to the various NYCPlaywrights calls for scripts. And anybody who knows the work of Neil Simon realizes that the reactive main character that she decided is exclusively a female failing in fact is not.

But an actor friend pointed me to the blog again and I generally agree with BG and she includes many a pro-feminist rant which of course I love.

In general BG is a much more tolerant person than I am when it comes to dealing with social media assholes. I know this because in this post she admits to having a discussion with someone she knows about the ghastly thing he posted to Facebook:
During the event, he posted a picture of a beautiful Black woman– surely another parent or relative (because who else goes to school plays?)– in a fit-and-flare leopard print dress with short sleeves, a modest neckline, and a hem that hits just above the knee. She was also wearing boots and a vintage-inspired updo. It was a secretly taken picture. She is smiling. She looks beautiful.
His comment on the picture was that her outfit is not appropriate for a “jr high play (sic),” but more appropriate for a club “or, better yet, a street corner.” He secretly took a picture of another parent at a school event, posted it online, and called her a whore. The wind was just . . . knocked out of me.
Several people called him out. The first few posts were all curious, on the order of “What? That outfit looks fine to me,” or “Why?” Mine was a little more detailed. I agreed with the other commenters that there was nothing wrong with the outfit, and that I’ve taught in similar outfits, although animal prints are not my personal style. I told him that it’s never appropriate behavior to post a secretly taken picture of a woman–a fellow parent at a school event!– that includes her face and calls her a whore, no matter what your opinion is of her outfit.
He reacted angrily. He said that my comments were “subtext crap” and refused to admit that his behavior was inappropriate in any way. He told me I needed to stop being “every females champion (sic).” He told me “If you don’t like it, that’s not my problem.” He told me, “I’m not apologizing for voicing my opinion.” He told me “I’m not going to sit here and have you ridicule me for voicing my opinion.” (Of course I wasn’t actually ridiculing him in any way, merely stating the things I’ve posted above.) He told me, “I thought you were a better friend than that.”
I kept thinking: why didn't you just block him? I mean seriously this is a hard-core asshole. She keeps insisting she wasn't ridiculing him. Well maybe that's the problem - he needs to be ridiculed because he's an asshole.

And then this well-justified complaint about Lena Dunham's just-a-little-girl-with-podiatry-issues photo, which demonstrates BG has another asshole friend on social media who needs a good blocking:
In the facebook discussion leading up to this post, I was told by an older man that my “style of criticism” was “over the top.” Whenever women speak out, whenever women claim our own power, whenever women voice an opinion without a meek “Well, it’s just my opinion,” someone is there to tell us we’re wrong for it. Often, we do it ourselves. This training runs deep.
It's possible that some of my Facebook friends hold such beliefs about my "style of criticism" and just know enough not to say anything. 

Certainly there is a social price to pay for a woman daring to criticize, as many women find out. My own personal experience includes criticizing bad independent movie director Andrew Bellware's exploitive casting practices - in return he - with the full approval of his gang of theater buddies (male and female) - attacked me personally, libeled me, and subjected me to months of search-string obscenities

None of Bellware's theater friends, as far as I have ever been able to discern, has a problem with his activities. Seriously - if you look at his Facebook profile he has lots and lots of buddies in the New York theater scene who think he's just swell. And I mean, Bellware is becoming famous as a bad movie maker. You really have to wonder what's in it for these NYC theater people to publicly support such a creep.

Although my interactions with Bellware haven't been completely negative  - his movie Angry Planet inspired the "space cowboy" mentioned in the publicity for JULIA & BUDDY. And this parody, which I admit, still cracks me up.