However on the arrhythmic coronary heart of the matter have been these two tales. Till very just lately, the general public most popular the one which allowed Allen to maintain making films, films during which comparatively powerless younger ladies willingly enter into relationships with older, extra highly effective males.
This previous summer time and fall, as my marriage was very quietly imploding, I spent what little free time I had jogging across the park close to my Brooklyn house, making an attempt, I assume, to determine my very own story, 3.3 miles at a time. Whereas I ran, I listened to “You’re Fallacious About,” an irreverent, stiletto-sharp podcast that usually discusses maligned ladies of the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s — Anna Nicole Smith, Tonya Harding, Janet Jackson, Monica Lewinsky, half a dozen extra.
These tales run a big-haired gamut when it comes to particular person culpability, however in each case, common tradition discovered a technique to blame the girl, usually to excuse a extra blameworthy man. Take, for instance, Janet Jackson’s Nipplegate, a scandal that by no means touched Justin Timberlake. Or Monica Lewinsky, portrayed as a slut, as if that by some means negated the outrageous energy imbalance in Invoice Clinton’s relationship together with her. This remembers one other lesson I realized from ’80s and ’90s media: The one good sufferer is an ideal sufferer. That in any other case it was most likely her fault.
This explicit narrative re-emerges within the current documentary “Framing Britney Spears.” That movie exhibits information media on the flip of the century panting to inform a narrative a couple of star appearing inappropriately, a celebration woman wilding out when she ought to have been at dwelling. “Britney: Out of Management,” learn an Us Weekly cowl. Whose management? Conveniently, the tabloid framing lays Spears’s spiral at her personal naked ft. It avoids impugning the individuals with precise energy, the journal editors and the report firm executives who formed and policed and profited from her picture.
I requested Sarah Marshall, a journalist and a number of “You’re Fallacious About,” why common tradition likes to painting ladies as complicit and deserving of contempt. “It justifies subjugating them,” she mentioned. “If ladies are randomly taken down for possessing what we see as an alarming diploma of energy, even when it isn’t, then perhaps they’ll be extra fearful about how they wield it.”