‘Carthage must be destroyed’

Did you know that women, who are equal to men, get the short end of the stick when it comes to writing American television? Why, a mere one-quarter of U.S. TV series have a woman on staff. Clearly this amounts to systemic discrimination. And, equally clearly, we’re all worse off, because women, who, again, are equal to men, are actually better in “the room,” according to a writer who is so equal it would be superfluous to own her own byline.

“A balanced writers’ room is like a balanced world. Everyone thrives, good work gets done, people like each other and the show is better for it,” said an experienced female writer who did not want to be named (let’s call her Writer A). “Women keep the room moving. They’re great at multitasking and getting along with others. They don’t procrastinate and they open up with lots of personal anecdotes that make for great stories on the show and great character beats. They tend to smell good.”

The situation is so bad in the United States that obviously it has to be just as bad in Canada, a sovereign nation with its own distinct culture. We are assured of such equivalence in a feature article by a woman writer with a secure newspaper job and a history of snagging journalism fellowships.

Her colleague at the same paper – a male writer, obviously equal but, just as obviously, not as good in the room – pointed out the unique Canadian television series created by and written by a woman. (The head writer there is a gay male. He is obviously and incontrovertibly completely equal to any woman, women would admit. He may potentially turn out to be more or less equal to other men, those other men might, if pressed, reluctantly concede.)

But then a male curmudgeon – not a writer, but the equal of any female curmudgeon, the latter of which surely work better in the room – had the temerity to note that all the popular English-language Canadian TV shows were created by and/or are written or run by women.

It is, however, accepted by everyone that the plight of women, equal yet superior yet oppressed, urgently needs feature-length discussion and redress. Writing for TV is a desirable job held by men, so it just stands to reason that women deserve half those jobs – and that has to happen immediately if not sooner. Other groups whose members never get any chance whatsoever to write for TV, like persons with disabilities, will simply have to wait until women hold half the jobs. Then we’ll all be equal and then we can start talking about some other subject.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2011.10.23 13:33. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2011/10/23/wymmynz/

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