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We’re Getting Gender Inequality In the Worldplace: The Movie

A Series of Fallopian Tubes

Lean In, this year’s bestseller/cultural phenomenon about women in the workplace, is getting the Mean Girls treatment. By which I mean it’s a nonfiction book being adapted into a fiction movie, not that author Sheryl Sandberg is going to do a dance in a plastic Santa costume.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Lean In “will not be a narrative of Sandberg’s life”—sorry for everyone who wanted the Facebook COO to get a biopic—“but rather a story based on the book’s themes,” namely gender inequality in our modern working world.

It’s a topic that we care about here at The Mary Sue because we’re, y’know, feminists. Another topic we care about is female representation in Hollywood, and I imagine that the Lean In movie will feature more than just one or two women upon whom the entire burden of representation will rest. Women who work at high-paying executive positions! Women who work minimum wage retail/food service jobs! Women who are just graduating college and are worried about their future! Not just white women of the age and body type that we see so much of in Hollywood. All women.

So I’m sure you’ll understand when I say I’m trying really, really hard to be positive about this movie. But it’s tough. The dread specter of He’s Just Not That Into You and What To Expect When You’re Expecting, both non-fiction phenomenons made into Hollywood blockbusters, is hanging over it. If the script introduces a romance subplot that overwhelms the career struggles the characters go through, so help me God. It shouldn’t, because those two books are more explicitly about relationships than Lean In is (at least from what I’ve heard—I’ve never actually read it, so feel free to correct me POLITELY if I am wrong). But every time I close my eyes I see one of those posters with approximately six different couples gazing at one another lovingly, and I get nervous.

(There’s nothing inherently wrong with romance subplots, of course. Romance happens, and having a romantic drama of one’s own—in a movie or in real life—does not in any way make one weak or lessen one’s value. But there are a lot of aspects to people’s lives, dangit, and somehow romance always manages to elbow its way to the front whenever it’s time for a movie to be made.)

Here’s hoping screenwriter Nell Scovell gives us something new and interesting. Her previous writing credits include some episodes of Charmed, Warehouse 13, and (appropriately) Murphy Brown. She was also Sabrina, The Teenage Witch’s showrunner. Seems promising. Make it more of a Mean Girls, Nell.

(via: The Hollywood Reporter)

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