It's impressive how much eccentric bullshit people will put up with from male auteurs, and how much they'd be shoved into an ash closet if they were female. (An ash closet is a closet where you put ashes; this might be a thing and it might not be a thing.) As a fun thought exercise, here are how these unilateral geniuses would be given the boot if they were of the more "difficult" gender.
"Yeah, listen Alejandra, we love this idea for a movie where the first shot is a beat-to-shit Michael Keaton in his underwear levitating, and it's all one take. But this is just ... I mean, you see how my hands are tied, right? I mean, leaving the washed-up star with magical powers out of it, you really want to try to shoot a large-scale feature all in one take? That is very hard on the crew, and is gonna cost a fortune in post. And also, it's just weird; all of it is weird. You see how this is all weird, right? We made several suggestions to you about what kind of edits we think would help tell the story, since maybe you just don't know about editing? You really made it hard for us when you doubled down on your own idea again. That's just being difficult. Even the craft services PA sent you some feedback about an idea he had for 'BANG!' 'POW!' comic book flashes in between each take, which I understand you rudely rejected? He's got some great ideas!"
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"I mean, you just want to do what you want to do. All of this we could excuse, but this whole 'Leo vs. bear' movie really pushed this over the edge. I mean, you waited for the exact right natural light, only shot for a few hours a day, wouldn't shoot if it was cloudy, cost us millions of dollars, and as I understand it, the bear felt your tone was 'grating'? I'm sorry, but this just isn't working. Have you considered film school?"
"To be frank, we're concerned that you didn't share credit with the Winklevoss Twins, who assisted you with creating the site. You just don't seem like a team player, which is an important quality for businessgals to have. We do think you'd be an expert at content aggregation, if you're interested in a role as senior social engagement officer!"
"Cool, so just sort of as a global note, your findings are mostly about dicks and butts and mom-fucking. Is this a joke? We were hoping you'd be able to analyze people in a more individual and compassionate way, but apparently the only things you've been working on are 'ladies want dicks,' 'dicks want moms,' 'moms want their dads' dicks' ... just, really not the sort of stuff we want to hear from a respected woman of academia. This all feels like more of a 'you' thing, to be honest. Like, you seem to have a lot of anxiety about dicks."
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"And the cigar thing is not helping."
"Your patients have been complaining that you make them lie down and make them tell you all your secrets, which is pretty pushy, but then this whole thing about 'all of them want to fuck their mom' is just crass. We'd like for you to take some time off, and maybe think about freezing your eggs. You're not getting any younger!"
"Hey Philippa, we're all really excited about next week's stunt where you'll walk across a wire strung between the towers of the World Trade Center, but we've all been thinking that sending you out there just isn't the right thing to do. I mean, you could get hurt! We can't be a part of something where a lady is in danger; that would be anti-feminist! Plus, it just seems like the female body has too many ... shall we say, parts ... that could throw off your balance up there. And if you get your period next week, you could be attacked midair by bloodthirsty birds. We've decided that Jean-Claude should be the one to take the lead on this project. Sure, he doesn't have much wire-walking experience and is usually pretty tanked on rose, but we all really love his attitude and can-do spirit, and feel that he's better-suited to a leadership role. We think you'd be happier in the position of executive office manager. Our equipment shed is a mess!"
"Look, we warned you about birds when you first got your license. You wanna fly with the big dogs, you gotta be ready for birds. Ceding them the sky is not a good look for mankind. Did you have your period or something? Is that why the birds flew into the engines?"
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"Are you menstruating now? Step away from the president."
"This whole thing is insane, and we're shutting it down. You can't jump that high over a canyon! What if you get your period up high and the birds come attack you?"
"Hi, excuse me, ma'am? Could you keep it down? I know you have your little self-help conference in here, but we're having a real business meeting in the conference room next door, and your voice is just so loud. All you're doing is yelling at these poor folks about how to live their lives. Why so pushy? I mean, Christ. You think you can make a career out of taking people's money, just to tell them how successful you got by taking people's money?"
"What the fuck is this?"
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"Maybe Pottery 101 was a little advanced for you."
"Yeah, it's just like ... Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who doesn't 'get' woman-made art. And I know you've been working on this church ceiling forever, so I don't want you to feel 'bad,' per se. Like, I hate to be the bad guy here, but ... there are just ... For me, at least? There are a lot of dicks. In terms of how many dicks we wanted, the number was closer to zero, and there are about hundreds of dicks. You know this is a church, right? Like, the Vatican is mostly churches. Did you not read the one-sheet for this?"
"It has come to our attention that you have been sending used condoms and dead animals to your Suicide Squad costars. You thought we'd support this? You're fired, and you're not getting paid, and you have to go live in the desert forever. And not even a nice desert with ample shrubs. Just a regular, no-shrub desert."
"We love the painting, we really do. It's just that we're not totally loving how the clocks are looking. Maybe you didn't know this, but clocks and other timepieces are usually round or square, not all floppy. Also, the desert setting is pinging for us. We've never seen a clock in the desert. A sundial, maybe. We'd love to give you the opportunity to redo the piece with more relatable clocks."
Charles Hewitt/Picture Post/Getty Images
"We left one on the ... okay, now you are just being difficult."
"This whole 'Moon' thing is frankly off-putting."
"There's no other way to put it: You're just unkempt. We need someone who can follow dress code. We're not saying to put on a dancing dress, but Christ, would it kill you to put on a little lipstick?"
"We would so love to help you enact this genocide against Native Americans, but it turns out you are property, so please go have several children instead. This was a crazy mistake on our part."
"Hi, ma'am. I'm sorry, but these bathrooms are for customers only. Is there someone we can call?"
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"Now look. We're not saying a female director can't tell the story of a male alien, but we are concerned about making this story relatable for everyone; not just female viewers. We just thought maybe you'd be more comfortable working on another project that's a little closer to who you are. It's about a tampon who gets lost in space."
"Sweetheart, do you need a lozenge? None of this is usable."
"We're gonna just not sell right now. We want to consult with some real estate experts, if you know what we mean!"
"Sorry, last season was amazing and everything, but without Chevy Chase, this thing just isn't going anywhere. This is not the sort of show that can just be less-special for several years before gaining public appeal again slowly over time. Not gonna happen. We did put in a good word for you with the NBC page program, though, so fingers crossed!
Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
"You look fetching in the official jacket, and isn't that what really matters? You'll land a husband in no time."
"Sweetie pie, you've taken too much Klonopin or Xanax or something. Is there someone we can call? We're taking you off the assignment indefinitely, because no one can write a Rolling Stone article on drugs."
See the challenges women in comedy face in 4 Ways We're Programmed to Think Women Aren't Funny, and learn the terrifying heights a tall woman must go through to make it in this world in 4 Reasons Being a Tall Woman Can Be Worse Than a Short Man.
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