I have never been physically assaulted by a man in my industry, never been harassed to the point where I worried for my safety (not since I’ve been a critic, anyway; we all have a story somewhere). But I am reminded, every day, that I work within a system largely made by and for men like this. Where female performers are primarily regarded as eye candy and afterthoughts, as damsels in distress, not heroes. (The box-office success of Wonder Woman and Charlize Theron’s emergence as one of film’s reigning action leads are undeniably paving the way for progress, but they are still outliers.) And it is communicated to me on a regular basis that calling attention to the sexist status quo in my reviews is unnecessary and unwanted, with responses ranging from my reviews being irrelevant to that I should just die already.
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