Something I’ve heard a lot, especially after coming to LA, is the notion that Men can’t write women characters because they don't understand how women think.
This is like the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Let me tell you why.
Fragments of my eye. A double exposure I took many years ago that today gets to represent the many pieces that make me into who I am. I know, super cliché but also quite awesome, right?
It’s mostly men who say this in an attempt to explain why there aren’t as many complex female characters in movies as there are male (why they don’t go out of their way to hire more female writers then is a another question).
The men who say this, men working in various departments in the film business, but also men who are nowhere near the film business, seem to think that women are so completely different from men that they can't possible understand ”how women think”.
Do you know what their problem is?
They believe that every single thought that comes from a woman must be driven by the fact that she is a woman. Not that she is a person.
When a man in a film responds to something happening to him he does so as a human being first, but when a woman responds to the very same thing she has to react as a woman only.
Every female character written by a man who believes women are fundamentally different from men, will be portrayed like that.
She will be driven by motherhood, her menstrual cycle, her longing for a family, her clinginess, her need to ”talk things through”.
All things stereotypically female traits that (if even true?) aren’t everything that makes up a woman. Or a person.
This is why there are so few women in the movies because ever time you have a woman in it she must be all about those feminine things, like getting all mushy when a baby pops into view (Like Scarlet Johansen in the last X-men movie), or being home waiting for their men without doing anything else except waiting (and taking care of family) while their men are doing important things (like in every single action/thriller/adventure movie ever made).
Of course that is boring! But that’s not really how Every Woman is, right?
My (very revolutionary idea) is that if men would write women characters the Exact Same Way as they write men we wouldn't have this problem.
Women wouldn't feel like they were misrepresented in the movies, and men would KNOW how to write female characters.
Because we’re really not that different.
There are more differences between individual people than there are between men/women.
I can honestly say that I rarely think about the fact that I am a woman in my every day life and thoughts. If it’s not pointed out to me like when I’m being exposed to sexism (which happens a lot when I come in contact with the world). Society wants me to remember that I am primarily a woman and not a person, but in my head, in my life I am a Human Being first.
The facts that I am a Swede, that I’m white, are huge parts in making me who I am. Just like it’s important that I have lived a very secure life in a wealthy country with free healthcare. It affects me that I was bullied when I was a kid, that I love theatre and acting, that I’m crap at maths, that I enjoy singing and talking to myself, that I have a half sister that I didn’t live with growing up but still see as my ”real” sister, I’m terrified of bees, that I am a bit scared of doing things wrong even if it’s the first time I try something.
That I am a woman in a world who treats women like we’re not worth the same amount of respect as men.
These are some of the million components that make me who I am and what makes me act in certain ways. Things that make me into a person.
Male writers who believe that they ”must know how women think” to be able to write women into their movies should not be allowed to write scripts.
Because if you see your female characters as caricatures instead of complex persons, then you are worthless in your job as a writer. And you have crappy imagination.
(Also: Women writers have successfully written male characters throughout the history. Is this more proof that there should be more female writers because men are worthless at imagination?)
When I was a child I had my very own kingdom.
It was next to a little stream in the fishing village where my family spent our summers.
On one side of the stream there was a small path leading down to the ocean, and on the other side was my kingdom. Underneath huge ferns I could lie down and not be seen by a single person walking by with towels under their arms, ready to go for a swim.
I remember feeling so safe there. And very very sneaky. I probably giggled a lot. And there were most likely at least a couple of grownups who did see me but was nice enough to let me believe I was completely invisible.
When I told my parents about my Kingdom they asked if I didn't mean I was the queen. In Swedish we have a word for a country lead by a king and one word for a country lead my a queen.
I remember thinking that the queen is not as high in rank as a king so I said No, I'm the best, so therefore I'm the king.
Kind of sad to realize how gender roles form us so early on, but at the same time I really like how I didn't feel limited by my gender. King was at the top. Queen was next in line. The gender of the person being King or Queen didn't matter at all.
So I was the King of my Kingdom of Ferns.
I still search for Kingdoms to rule.
Where we live now there's a tree with a magical portal in its branches.
I noticed it one afternoon on my way home. I walked with my head in the clouds and all of a sudden I was standing right underneath it.
I stopped. And stared.
It felt almost the exact same way as when I found my Kingdom of Ferns. In my mind a place no one has ever seen before.
The branches had formed a circle, a portal to another space and time in its foliage. I snapped this photo and had trouble to move forward. I just wanted to stay there, on the sidewalk, looking straight up into the greenness.
The other day when I was on my way to the grocery store I walked underneath the tree again. I tilted my head back and dreamed I could transport myself through the portal and exist in a magical place bathed in green light for a little while. My Kingdom.
My Kingdom of the Magical Tree Portal.
Here is the much overhyped blog post about my walk over the hills!
There was a point when I thought I would just give up on ever showing you this, but NO I'm not a quitter! That's not who I am!
So, even if these photos might be more interesting for me, I really love them and I want them to be on this blog as a part of this whole LA adventure I'm on right now.
OKAY! Stop talking!
I had heard about a cute outdoor café in Griffith Park that was a 40 min walk away from where we live right now. There was a boring route and a swirly twirly one over the hills so I obviously chose the last one. GOOD CHOICE, LOTTA!
These flowers grow on a huge tree on our street. Its like a massive pink cloud greeting me every day. So pretty!
I really like to use google maps when I'm out walking because it makes me more brave, and I get to see places I wouldn't find otherwise. And this day google took me past houses with cactuses standing in line...
...and the perfect house hiding up on a hill behind a plank.
Cactus and Agave. I love desert plants in gardens soon much!
So cute! I found like a million streets and houses that made me exclaim I WANT TO LIVE HERE! out loud.
Google brought me to a dead end street where I just stood and stared for the longest time. Where do I go from here?! Then, I found a secret staircase hiding behind two houses. It felt like I was walking straight into someones garden.
Walked the wrong way for a little while but that was okay because all of a sudden the Hollywood sign peeked out behind the houses.
So green and lush! (Probably due to a loooot of watering despite the drought).
I was the only person out walking in these neighborhoods and it was so quiet. Made me feel like I was snooping around.
Pretty details everywhere!
It was super warm (around 35 celsius degrees) and the hills are really steep so I was so sweaty and tired when I finally saw the sign for the café.
Cute ladies infront of me in line.
When I saw they had granola with fruit and yoghurt it felt like that was The Exact Thing that I craved in that moment. I love when that happens. When you don't yet know what you want but then you see it and it feels like an angel choir is singing in your head.
It was perfect! Shade under the trees, great lemonade. I sat there for quite a while.
Then I took the easier route back. It started off really fairytale pretty.
Fluffy, fluffy flower that I still kinda think is an animal.
Old man stretching.
And then I got out of Griffith Park and walked home.
When I got home I was shaking from exhaustion. I'm not used to walking this long in such heat and in steep hills, so I don't know how my body will react. I can walk quite fast and long but when I stop it's like I realize then and there how hard I've pushed my body.
Since this day I've walked here three more times, I just love it so much.
Hope you liked to tag along on my walk over the hills.
Have a lovely weekend dear friends and readers!
It's been one of those days when everything is strange in a dream like way. Not a very good dream though. Just strange.
Just a self portrait in a staircase in my speech coach's garage.
It started at 7.15 when we woke up by a beeping sound. Not the alarm clock. No, it was a fire alarm running out of battery. There's one right over the bed so we took that apart. But it kept beeping. Oh, there's another fire alarm in the hallway. That's the one!
Okay, problem solved. And we started off the day feeling a little bit like Phoebe in Friends when she's failing to get the fire alarm to stop beeping.
One of my plans for the day was to finally blog the photos from the walk over the hills. The other day I told you about my problems with making the photos smaller and YOU KNOW WHAT!? I still have that stupid problem.
But after asking for help on Facebook, and getting so many great and helpful tips the problem remained. Someone mentioned it might be my new fancy retina screen that makes the photos look blurry. Okay, so everybody with retina screens will see my photos blurry but everyone with regular screens will see them perfectly unblurry? That is just weird.
I feel tired and angry with it all right now. Bluörgh.
So, I decided to go for a walk to clear my head a little bit. On my way down the stairs I managed to throw my right knee into a sharp edge of a chair. (Last week I hit my left knee on a sharp corner in the staircase. My knees obviously hate me.) It hurt SO MUCH I had to lie down for a while.
Later, when I was doing the dishes after my lunch, our landlady came by with a security dude. "Did something happen with your fire alarms this morning?"
Apparently, when we touched the first fire alarm the security system went off. When they couldn't get a hold of our landlady they called Every Single Person on her emergency contact list telling them something was wrong.
That Phoebe moment really went a little bit overboard.
So now my plan is to go for a walk again. We'll see if that happens.
(Oh, and the very over hyped blog post about the walk over the hills? I don't really feel like posting it today. I'm mad at those photos. We are not friends right now. Maybe some other day. )
Talk to you soon!