By Tiffany Antone
Oh wow – who watched the Super Bowl on Sunday? I’ve got to admit, I was less invested this year because the “Defending title team VS a team embroiled in controversy over deflated balls” narrative wasn’t especially gripping. I did, however, get totally into the commercials (as I usually do), and want to talk for a moment about Always’ #LikeAGirl commercial.
I loved this commercial. I think Always struck just the right balance between messaging and emotion, on top of totally owning its brand. Twitter lit up with the #LikeAGirl hashtag afterwards… and then some ass hat self-proclaimed “Meninest” decided that the commercial, by encouraging 50% of the population, was exclusive and unfair to men and started a competing hashtag, #LikeABoy.
I mean, let’s ignore for a moment that the entire freaking Super Bowl is basically penis Mecca—what do these people honestly expect from a company that sells feminine products?
And what does it say about them that a commercial encouraging girls to be awesome would be so threatening that they felt the need to immediately attack it…
I just can’t even.
Except, I produce a female playwrights festival called the ONSTAGE Project, and this year – for the first time – I received submissions from men. At first I thought *maybe* the gents simply hadn’t read the submission details thoroughly enough to understand that by using the words “Female Playwrights Festival” in the event name, we meant this festival is for FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS.
Until one of them signed his submission email with the following:
P.S. Yes, I am male, but isn’t it about the story and not the gender of the author?
I was gobsmacked. Gobsmacked, I tell you.
And more than a little furious.
Furious because his email not only communicated a total disregard for our company’s mission statement, but a complete disregard for female playwrights’ gender parity struggle at large. Also, it’s a pretty dick move to tell a female playwright that writing a woman character basically negates the need for female writers.
I’m still feeling incredibly growlsome about it.
But isn’t this why we’re talking about gender parity? Isn’t this very issue one of the reasons the LAFPI exists? It’s certainly part of my motivation to increase production opportunities for female playwrights. So I can sit and stew, or I can turn this particular Twitter turn into further grist for the “Get shit done!” mill…
Because I write #LikeAGirl and I’m not afraid to admit it.