So someone I know was planning one day to see the musical Waitress. The plot:
According to the musical’s official site, Jenna Hunterson is “a waitress and expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. Faced with an unexpected pregnancy, Jenna fears she may have to abandon the dream of opening her own pie shop forever… until a baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s handsome new doctor offer her a tempting recipe for happiness. Supported by her quirky crew of fellow waitresses and loyal customers, Jenna summons the secret ingredient she’s been missing all along – courage.”
You go, grrrrrrrrrrrrrl!
“Oh” I said because I’m still not good at leaving well enough alone. “So it’s ‘A Doll’s House’ with waitresses”.
The reaction to this was not good (after all, this person did want to see the show, and isn’t an SJW). “No, no, no!” she said. “I’m pretty sure she’s being abused! It’s different!”
I rolled my eyes and said “Yeah, sure.” Fast forward to today, where I was triumphantly informed that, HA, he does slap her around! So take that!
“My mistake,” I said. “It’s just a musical about how adulterers who fuck the doctor and bring a baby into the world with no father are good people. This is all okay, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about this, because your husband is bad.” To keep context in mind here, the movie ends with the titular waitress living “Happily” as a single mother with a daughter; she don’t need no man. She has won a ludicrously high amount of money from a pie-baking contest (note the absurd contrivance needed her – she has essentially no useful skills, so in order to support herself she needs to bet it all on a pie-baking contest. This is described as heroic and courageous, not desperate and absurdly lucky).
The message couldn’t be clearer: Babies (and mothers) don’t need fathers. I mean sure, yeah, they’re nice, but need? The only real reason to keep a father around is for the cash; if you have a mom and a lot of money, then the father is like a toy – sure, you’d rather have it then not, but you can get your entertainment in other ways if pressed.
I was accused – as I also was after the terrible, awful, insulting, no-good, very bad Sherlock special – essentially of seeing things that aren’t there: “People write about real life! Abusive marriages are common enough that people can draw on them for experience a lot! Plots need conflict!”
I responded with this: “Correction: Abusive marriages happen sometimes, and we act as if it happens all the time.” After a bit more argument, I shut it down: “Look, I get it, I see this as a small part of a larger, societal problem reflected in nearly everything we see, and you see it as me jumping at ghosts. We’re not going to agree on this, so let’s move on.”
So here I am, a volunteer ghostbuster (an apt metaphor considering what the feminists are doing to the movie) living in a haunted house. Anyone want to join me?