Things Aaron Sorkin Forgot to Tell Me: Career Women Edition

By the way, if you dropped by hoping this will not be a rant about how Aaron Sorkin can’t write complex female characters, turn around and go back to Jezebel. I’ll catch you there later and we can talk about James Franco.

When I moved to DC, I had no idea how to be a career woman; I had never had a career. Well, unless you count my short-lived “careers” as a barista, Gap employee, pre-school teacher and sarcastic girl at the bar. But I was pretty sure none of those skills were going to help me in an office environment. Unless my job required, I play with bubbles, while reenacting Gap’s West Side Story commercials, drinking coffee and engaging in Sorkinesque banter. By the way, if anyone finds that job please let me know. It sounds kind of awesome.

Many years and many episodes of Sorkin shows later, I think I might have a handle on this whole career women thing. I’ve got some things down pat, like sometimes you have to make up a fake award on your first day of work or that a public proclamation of love can be dangerous in the era of smartphones. But all joking aside, the women of The West Wing and Newsroom are smart, dedicated and accomplished. They kick major ass. They also use birth control. And unlike pretty much everything else I’ve ever learned about being a career woman, I didn’t learn about the awesomeness of birth control from Sorkin.

Now for those of you who read that last sentence and are wondering just how far from the pack I’ve strayed that I’m filling in the blanks of the sex lives of fictional people, hear me out. I promise it won’t get that weird. Though it may walk pretty close to the ‘shipping line. Excuse me for a moment while I channel my inner Lt. Daniel Kaffee and if you got that joke we should totally be friends.

In the case of Stefanie v. Aaron Sorkin – or, as I like to call it, Tuesday – the prosecution will present evidence that Sorkin’s women did indeed use birth control.

Exhibit A: CJ Cregg is the White House Press Secretary.  She has a master’s degree from Berkley and will one day (circa Season 6) become the White House Chief of Staff. She also once shouted “I’m great in bed!” on the veranda at the Kennedy Center and I’m gonna take the goodwoman at her word. Last time I checked she didn’t have any extremely tall, fast talking, preschoolers running around the White House. Why? She used birth control.

Exhibit B: Sloan Sabbith has a Ph.D. in Economics, is an adjunct professor at Columbia, and is a constant source of awkward hilarity at ACN. Much to the chagrin of Don, she has dated a New York Giants player, a publicist, and a douchebag financier. How do I know she is on birth control? She doesn’t have a baby. And have you seen her? Who wouldn’t want to sleep with that woman? She is smart and hot.

Exhibit C: Amy Gardner was the First Lady’s Chief of Staff, Director of the Women’s Leadership Coalition, Director for the National Organization for Women, Political Director of EMILY’s List, and founder of the Democratic Women’s Forum. She has being a career women locked down. Now, as much as I would love a little wonky Lyman-Gardner offspring running around throwing toy cellphones in soup and making the other children line up for roll call votes that never happened. On second thought, that kid might be kind of obnoxious.

I rest my case.

It may not be in Sorkin’s editorial wheelhouse to have characters having a walk and talk on contraception, but it’s squarely in mine. I’m taking to the ‘book, twitter-verse, and all of my other social media accounts on November 12th to give my thanks to all that birth control makes possible for career women. I can’t speak for Maestro Sorkin, but I bet that if CJ, Sloan and Amy had social media accounts, they, too, would show some love to what allows them to kick-ass at their jobs, serve up the snark on a silver platter and look so awesome while not worrying about an unplanned pregnancy. Say it with me now:  #ThxBirthControl!

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