I saw “Godzilla” this week. So did everyone, it seems. And one moment, midway through, almost made me spill my popcorn in a fit of feminist pique. The scientists, on the trail of a gigantic primordial insect, discovered another gigantic primordial insect, bigger than the first — and realized, with horror, that it was female.
Instantly, I sensed where this was going: This lady monster would be a stereotypical villainness, Leaning In and being bossy and pushy and all, attacked with awesome force by the military brass while the male monsters went off and played golf.
I turned out to be wrong; she was just taking part in an especially destructive mating dance. But forgive me for assuming. So many news and cultural events these days get wrapped up in the same conversations, littered with the same catchphrases, that it’s hard not to get caught up. Jill Abramson gets fired from The New York Times; is it a textbook case of gender bias and pay inequity, or a complicated story about flawed individuals and the management of an industry in turmoil?
Yes, the pay gap is real (and far worse outside the rarefied realm of executive bonuses and stock options). Yes, stereotypes persist. Still, it’s depressing when every situation gets whittled down to buzzwords and generalities, like watching endless remakes of the same old movie.
And what happens when conventional wisdom turns out to be wrong?
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