Feminism Before Fatherhood (And Everything Else) [Kevin D. Williamson]
Writing in Slate about the anti-Juno backlash, Dana Stevens delivers this gem:
Jim DeRogatis, music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, gives a blunter assessment in a review of the soundtrack that quickly spirals into an anti-Juno screed: "As an unapologetically old-school feminist, the father of a soon-to-be-teenage daughter, a reporter who regularly talks to actual teens as part of his beat and a plain old moviegoer, I hated, hated, hated this movie."
Setting aside the absurd self-importance of the quote, notice that this particular journalistic specimen puts "unapologetically old-school feminist" before everything else?
But why would a feminist (even an "unapologetically old-school" he-feminist) hate, hate, hate Juno? It's a pro-choice movie—but she chooses to have the baby. Rush Limbaugh made a famous distinction between feminists and the women he labels "feminazis," with the latter being those who seek to maximize the number of abortions performed, period, as though each abortion were good in and of itself. So maybe Mr. DeRogatis is actually an "unapologetically old-school" feminazi. Either way, that he puts his politics before his journalism (and fatherhood) is telling.
But the humorless (and, oddly enough, simultaneously humourous) DeRogatis goes further:
The notion that kids — even smart and sarcastic ones — talk like Juno is a lie only thirtysomething filmmakers and fiftysomething movie critics could buy. You want accurate wisecracking high-school dialog? Go back to MTV's animated "Daria" or Sara Gilbert's Darlene on "Roseanne."
"Roseanne!" Talk about unapologetically old-school! Watch in wonderment as ye olde media greybeard argues that a young filmmaker is out-of-step with the kids and then cites a Reagan-era TV comedy as proof. Praytell, what are the hepcats watching today, daddy-o? Egad.
But really, do we want movies where the kids talk like actual kids? Where, "And then I was all like ... " means "I said..."? I think not. I've spent most of my life in newspapers and never met anybody who talks like Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday" or the cast of "The Front Page," but that doesn't mean that I don't want movies to be wittier and more interesting than real life. (Unfortunately, many of the people I've known in newspapers talk like Jim DeRogatis, U.O-S.F.)
02/08 03:50 PMShare