Gloria Steinem Writes NYT Op-Ed: "Women Have 'Chick Flicks.' What About Men?"

MAKER Gloria Steinem took to The New York Times Thursday morning after a long delay on an airport tarmac resulted in a free movie and a man across the aisle saying: "I don't watch chick flicks!"

Steinem defined a chick flick as "one [movie] that has more dialogue than car chases, more relationships than special effects, and whose suspense comes more from how people live than from how they get killed."

However, she began to realize as she questioned his logic that the true problem is that women are taken less seriously when they write about themselves versus when men write about themselves and "the fact that adjectives are mostly required of the less powerful."

For example, she noted female writers are dubbed "female novelists," while male writers are simply, "novelists." Even more, "gay soldiers" and "heterosexual soldiers" are labeled with adjectives when simply we could and should call soldiers, soldiers.

"As has been true forever, the person with the power takes the noun — and the norm — while the less powerful requires an adjective," she wrote.

Steinem posed the question: what if we called the opposite of "chick flicks" "prick flicks."

She joked that movie marketers would benefit and that the new label could guide confused readers. She offered optimism toward those like the man across the aisle, saying: "If that young man were to experience a derisive adjective himself, he, too, might feel limited and gradually explore beyond it."

Steinem shed light on the adjectives society labels movies with, and cites those labels as the cause for directly impacting people's perceptions.

She concluded: "Still, I am learning, and I bet the young man on the plan is learning, that seeing whole people on screen is helping us to become whole people, too."

Read Steinem’s full op-ed, here on The New York Times.

Get to know the feminist activist by watching her MAKERS story in the video player above.

NEXT: The 2017 MAKERS Conference: Gloria Steinem & Octavia Spencer »

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