That Hollywood is often sexist isn’t news to anybody who’s, er, seen its product. There’s so much sexism in film, there are multiple tests crafted specifically to measure it. But the sexism, like everything else in movies, doesn’t start with the marketing and studios–no, it starts in the imagination of a screenwriter, who’s desperate to tell a story in which a female character who is sexy/pretty/leggy/gorgeous/attractive/beautiful appears, usually in relation to the man the movie is actually about.
Those first appearances, in the scripts of so many screenwriters with a dream and a very limited understanding of how to describe a woman, are now being shared by producer Ross Putnam on the Twitter account @FemScriptIntros. Putnam, whose credits include the indies The Young Kieslowski and First Girl I Loved, is collecting a number of the least inspiring introductions of female characters, almost all of whom are defined primarily by their attractiveness. (All excerpts are verbatim, Putnam explains, but all character names are changed to “Jane,” presumably out of mercy for the writers.)
Some of the scripts attempt to use some poetic language in describing how hot their ladies are, couching the entire thing in metaphor:
Others, meanwhile, are more explicit:
Some note that, in addition to their lithe legginess, the character is expected to possess other qualities:
While others suggest that the person who wrote it was just pretty hungry at the time he–we’re confident it was a “he”–was typing:
There are scripts in which the sexy scientist eschews her own hotness, or attempts to, but in which it shines through first thing anyway:
And there are scripts in which the beauty is fading, tragically–much like Putnam’s interest in pursuing the project appears to have been:
Ultimately, this account–and its runaway success (in the 19 hours since its first tweet, it’s attracted 15,000 followers)–highlights a few things: First, the appetite for chronicling sexism in film remains high, and second, that if you’re writing a script and need to introduce a female character, maybe you ought to save your description of how she looks for the places where it really, really matters. It’s Hollywood–they don’t tend to cast too many actresses who are funny-looking to wear the tight-dress and stiletto-heeled “fuck-me” shoes.