In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of “Final Sacrifice” Mike Nelson and Crow T. Robot take off on a tangent during the film’s closing credits. Mike is fully engaged in the persona of a powerful television producer while Crow struggles to pitch the idea of a television series based on “Final Sacrifice.” Naturally Mike goes completely off the rails and begins tossing out suggestions such as filming locations and alternate nicknames. Crow can’t keep pace and Mike continues plowing ahead with the idea that all of the characters be girls. Supposedly this is to help sell the series to the viewing public.
Some might see this as a knock against women. No, it is just comedy. The truth is that women always have and always will make more compelling literary creations than will men. My daughter just turned twenty-one yesterday, and I am as proud as I can be of her. But my daughter is a complex little monkey as difficult to decipher as a Babylonian crossword puzzle. I have known her all of my life and there is every day a new thing about her that surprises me. I will likely never figure her out. But I can spend an hour with any man and know exactly what makes them tick. I know their motivations, their goals, their weaknesses. Essentially men are stupidly easy. Male characters lack depth not because of lazy writing, but because men are just not that complicated. But a woman is immensely more difficult to write. Women have layers upon layers upon layers of motives, desires, and whatever the heck else is going on. And no, this isn’t just a man’s perspective. Women have nearly as difficult time figuring out other women. Women are just more complicated.
This is why I tend to favor female Non-Player Characters in important roles. Either as hero or enemy a woman makes a much more cunning and dangerous person than a man does. Men are straight-forward and largely predictable. Any complexity they might have is because the players are distracted by his female cohorts that are running circles around the players. A male villain might be memorable but the ones that really leave their mark are the women.
In celebration of my daughter and a lingering “huzzah” to mothers let’s take some time and remember all of those great women in books and films and television shows that made the whole thing more memorable than if they had been left out. Yes, you know exactly who I am thinking about. Sally McMillan. Also Tanya Yazzie. And we should all be in agreement on anything starring Ally Sheedy. Women are awesome. Cast them as the lead or support or have them direct but for the love of all that is good get them broads in there.