I know this is not a popular point of view, but I hated Bridesmaids. Everyone I know who saw the movie, including people I respect and admire and listen to assiduously, said it was laugh-out-loud funny, poignant, great fun. I found it tiresome, pedestrian, contemptible.
I think the thing I hated most was the way it depicted the women’s relationships, which rang absolutely true and was entirely unamusing. I am not entertained anymore by the way we women find it so difficult to support one another, by the way in which we seek to undercut our sisters’ best efforts. The schadenfreude women have for other women is stultifying, and, in this day of diminishing women’s’ rights, or what Sarah Silverman adroitly (if with somewhat ill-advised timing) calls the Real War on Women, we should be doing all we can to give one another a boost whenever we can.
Or perhaps it hearkens back to an attitude I developed in my youth when I was the oldest of a large family of misbehavers. We were all wont to fight among ourselves, and we were often hyper critical of one another. But if anyone on the outside was looking in, we banned together and sang one another’s praises.
Women don’t do that. They allow politicians to call their co-genderists unthinkable names (Remember how Hillary was treated during the pre-nomination campaign? Notice how anyone who decries the erosion of our rights is assailed? Are you hearing the kinds of names Sarah Silverman, Anne Roiphe, et al., have been labeled with by so-called feminists lately?), and they put up with discrimination at every level of our society.
Back in 1969, a month before Stonewall, my roommate and best friend attempted suicide. It was a gruesome experience, and I won’t detail it here. Suffice it to say that when he came out of his stupor and took a look at the world around him, what caught his attention and ultimately made him fight his way back to sanity was the Stonewall Uprising. I have a vivid mental picture of his telling me, as he lay in his bed in the psychiatric ward at St. Vincent’s, “If the gay community is willing to stand with me, why should I lay down and die?”
Had my friend been female, I believe he would have died. We women never had a Stonewall. And more often than not, I feel like my sisters would prefer I lay down and die rather than stand next to them and make them feel diminished by me. Or threatened or embarrassed by me.
And all the while, the glass ceiling turns acrylic and indestructible and our dominions over our bodies is diminished and our sense of empowerment is undermined. And we let ourselves be led by people who don’t have our best interests at heart, who want to see us walk down the aisle to self-destruction and live unhappily-ever-after.
It’s not funny.