If you think that Aaron Sorkin does not know how to draw female characters, you need to take a look at a new reality show: Miss Advised.
Feminists object to Sorkin’s characters because they make women look bad. As we know, feminist ideology sees all art as propaganda, valid only to the extent that it affirms feminist prejudice.
Miss Advised is a trainwreck of a show. It's one of the most cringe-worthy shows on television. The characters elicit pity, but not sympathy.
To be honest, the show has some redeeming value as anthropology, as living proof of what happens to young women, brought up by the best of all possible parents, who choose to live their lives according to the misguided principles of feminism and the therapy culture. Or better, when they are, as the show's title puts it, mis-advised.
Julia Allison, Emily Morse, and Amy Laurent seem to be living according to rules that have been a cultural staple for years now. Clearly, they are not living the American dream. They are living the feminist nightmare.
They have dispensed with the old rules; they have liberated themselves from the constraints imposed by the patriarchy; they are living exactly as they please.
Unfortunately, it’s not working out very well for them. The three thirtysomethings all seem to be looking for husbands, but, as you watch them careen from one calamity to another, from one piece of appallingly bad behavior to another, the last four-letter word that would ever cross your mind is … WIFE.
All told they do not have any idea of what it means to be a wife. At best, they are trying out for concubine, not wife.
They might be telling themselves that they are following their bliss or living their desire, but in truth they are making a spectacle of their desperation.
They seem to believe that self-exposure is a good thing. They want to be open and upfront. Yet, it all feels so desperate that it is decidedly unattractive.
Worse yet, desperation feeds on itself. The more you show your desperation, the worse you look. The worse you look the more people will avoid you. The more people avoid you, the more desperate you become.
Like it or not, these women demonstrate that liberation is an exercise in negativity. It is not about following rules. It's about breaking rules. Two of the three make a point of saying that they do not know how to follow rules or to take advice, as though that is something to be proud of.
Of course, if your only rule is the ideological necessity to violate all the old rules, you are being defined, negatively, by the old rules. If you cannot calculate the real cost of such behavior, you are a zealot.
If the old rules told women to be demure and modest, these women are outrageously immodest.
Julia has a constitutional right to talk about blow jobs on national television, but how many men would want to introduce a woman who talks about blow jobs on national television to their mothers?
If the old rules told women to place a high value on their sexuality, these women are out there trying to give it away.
I hope I don't need to tell you, women do not become wives by giving it away.
If the old rules say that men should make the first move, these women don’t even give men a chance to make the first move. They take charge and make the first, second and third moves.
When Julia tries this new approach on a date she throws herself at a man, gets rejected and feels even more abject than before.
What’s the problem? This is easy. These women have dedicated their college years and their twenties to career building. They are all successful in one way or another.
Now they are ready to settle down and they discover that their “market value” has diminished. More importantly, their exercise in serial dating has caused them to suffer so many traumas that they are no longer capable of functioning on dates or in relationships. I would say that they are the walking wounded, but, somehow, "walking" does not quite do it justice.
When it comes to making their way through the dating scene they are barely ambulatory.
Give the show credit for honestly portraying the condition of women who decide to postpone marriage and family in favor of career.
Apparently, these three women are dating experts. Julia has been writing columns about dating for more than a decade. Amy runs a successful matchmaking service. Emily hosts a radio talk show where she talks dirty and presents herself as a sex expert.
If they are experts, they must have an audience. That implies that other women take them seriously. A frightening thought all by itself.
They hand out indifferent, but not entirely bad advice, and then fail to follow it.
How many men want to marry a woman who cannot follow rules, thus, who has no discipline and self-control?
She can be the most beautiful woman in the world, but serious character flaws will make it impossible for her to sustain a relationship.
To me the most amazing of the many frightening parts of the show is that none of these women knows how to conduct an adult conversation on a date.
Admittedly, they are having faux-dates with men who are obviously embarrassed for them, but these dating experts seem to believe that conversation involves a mix of interrogation, criticism and self-criticism.
You cannot have a successful date or a meaningful relationship if you cannot connect with another human being. These women cannot.
Half of the time it looks as though they have skipped the preliminaries and are now negotiating price. I assume that this makes them think that they are liberated.
Julia is so frenzied on her dates that she becomes overbearing and obnoxious.
She seems to have bought the feminist line that women should be upfront, straightforward and take initiatives, so she does nothing but take initiatives… to the point of making herself look like a perfect fool.
Desperate people do desperate things.
Matchmaker Amy has a great record fixing up couples. She offers dating and relationship guidelines that seem to be sane and sensible.
When it comes to following the rules herself, she recites the relevant rule and then proceeds to break it.
She dates men she knows she should not be dating and spends her time with them showing that they should not be out on a date. Then she goes home and feels badly if they haven’t called.
Emily is a sexpert, so when she goes out on a romantic date with a childhood crush, the man is drooling over the chance to test out some of her advanced sexual skills.
He is not thinking about bringing her home to mother.
When Emily and David start their first make-out session the first four letter word that pops up is… you guessed it, ANAL
How romantic is that?
To return the favor and to introduce gender parity, Emily introduces the topic of pegging.
At least, they both seem to be on the same page. Do you think that this man, a divorced father, is thinking of introducing her to his children?
Imagine the scene. His eight-year-old son or daughter blurts out: Emily, what is pegging?
Since Emily seems to like this guy and to want her sexual encounter to mean something, she will, according to the show’s previews, spend the next episode kissing other men.
As I said, these women are so pathetic that the show is painful to watch.
Why are they pathetic?
When you suffer as many romantic traumas as these women have, the net effect is that your instincts become unreliable. You switch into trauma-avoidance mode and your first priority will be to do anything in your power not to have it happen again. You are not likely to know that this is what you are doing. It is a bad habit, with a life of its own, one that is very hard to break.
If you fail to connect, you will not be hurt as much as you would have been if you had loved and lost. If you do connect you will try to find a reason to break up with him before he breaks up with you. Because you know that he will inevitably break up with you.
None are as painful to watch as Julia Allison.
In one episode she goes out with a man who seems perfectly presentable. Within seconds she announces that she does not find him to be sexually attractive.
OK, well and good. It’s her prerogative.
But then, she asks him if he might drop by the next day to help her to move into her new apartment.
He does as she requests, and naturally, asks her out afterwards. She refuses, and tells him that, after all, she has no feelings for him and will never have any feelings for him.
Translation: she was just using him, because what other purpose would he have in life but to be used by Julia Allison.
Julia is using this man to even a score against some other man who hurt her. The other man is not around, so why not punish the man who is around.
We are not talking about good character here.
And then there’s the story of Julia’s ill-fated romance with Jack McCain, son of former presidential candidate John McCain, scion of one of America’s great military families.
Apparently, the blogosphere is full of rumors about how Julia’s bad behavior caused the relationship to go sour. Many of them are chronicled in a blog called: Reblogging Donk.
On Miss Advised Julia takes serious exception to the charges. She explains that she, herself, of her own volition chose to break up with Jack McCain because being the wife of a helicopter pilot would interfere with her career, or something.
Let’s see: the scion of one of America’s great families is being reduced to just another helicopter pilot.
Then again, when she started dating Jack McCain, wasn’t he a helicopter pilot? Why did she not think about this sooner?
Keep in mind that England’s Prince William, the one who just celebrated the first anniversary of his marriage to Kate Middleton is also a helicopter pilot.
How come Kate Middleton did not bail out on Prince William because he was just a helicopter pilot?
But then, Julia also claims that she worried that being the wife of a helicopter pilot would compromise her ambition, or something.
In one sense, she’s right. If she got married, her star-spangled career as a dating columnist, would, hopefully, be over. And her career as an over-exposed internet celebrity would also be over.
But, wherever do you think she got the idea that she should put career ahead of marriage and family?
As I said, Julia and her friends are living the feminist nightmare. They are offering a cautionary tale. At the least, it’s an honest portrayal of what happens to far too many young women who get caught up in the wrong culture and take the wrong advice.