When we first got word that Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn were going to be in the movie Bad Moms together, we were thrilled. After all, they are three of our favorite working comediennes! And we’ll admit, the trailer suggests filmgoers are in for a good time:
Yet, we must admit some concern. While this movie brings up a lot of good points–chief among them, the societal pressure to be a “perfect mom”—we were concerned when we realized that the two writers of Bad Moms were men. Yes, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are super talented comedy writers: they’re the masterminds behind The Hangover. But what really do these men know about the pressures of motherhood? To be fair, Hollywood will often hire multiple writers to do a pass on a script and oftentimes those writers are not credited, which means that female writers could have been involved in some ancillary part of the re-writing process. But the fact that the credited writers, meaning, the writers who did the bulk of heavy lifting on the script and conceived of the idea are two men – has us like:
We aren’t the first to comment on the Bad Moms’ gender conundrum. As Maggie Pehanick noted on Pop Sugar:
Yet, while the character choices may be earned, that doesn’t mean the male writers’ knowledge is.
Of course, this isn’t the first time this has happened in Hollywood. It seems not a week goes by when there isn’t some article about the massive gender gap in Tinsel Town. Women in Hollywood are still paid less than their male counterparts, and according to Variety, only 7% of the top 250 films of 2014 were directed by women. Seven-freaking-percent? That’s depressing.
And it seems that despite the press, the situation for women in Hollywood is getting worse, not better. As Brent Lang writes in a separate article for Variety:
Dr. Martha Lauzen, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, adds:
This is especially upsetting when you consider the fact that women make up over 50% of movie audiences. We should have more of a voice, considering how important we are to a film’s success!
And yet, women’s roles continue to be written by men. Bad Moms isn’t the only new film to fall into this conundrum. The new Wonder Woman film, which, we admit, looks freaking awesome, is at least directed by a badass woman named Patty Jenkins… but, you guessed it, the film was still written by a group of men.
As Carolyn Cox commented on The Mary Sue:
We agree. With movies like Wonder Woman and Bad Moms advertising themselves as feminist, or at least as films that feature strong female leads, we wish the team behind the lens also could boast the same.