Who needs an education when you've got dat ass?
That's the logic behind GQ film critic Tom Carson's review of Paul Haggis's latest film, Third Person, in which Carson suggests that attractive women can't be writers — in fact, they don't even need to know how to read at all. Because we all know that pretty equals stupid and writing is for boys!
Musing on a sex scene between characters played by Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson (the film's only "redeeming part," according to Carson), the reviewer writes, "[Wilde is] supposed to be a writer too, but your belief in that won't outlast Wilde scampering naked through hotel corridors once Neeson playfully locks her out of his room. With that tush, who'd need to be literate? Who'd want to?"
Not even literary — literate. As in, her hotness has superseded her ability to understand written words on a page.
Image Credit: Tumblr
Not mentioned in the review, of course, is that in real life, Wilde is the daughter of two journalists and based her stage name on a literary superstar. It's safe to say she can read, and is probably very literary to boot. She has also condemned Hollywood's sexist double standards for actresses in the past, which explains why her response to Carson's review was so utterly perfect:
This goes beyond some random guy getting caught up in the merits of Wilde's "tush" (side note: ew). Carson is a two-time National Magazine Award winner and author of a New York Times notable novel. He should know better, and while he's probably being tongue-in-cheek, Carson's sentiments bolster the deeply problematic and distressingly common notion that real writing is a profession reserved for Very Serious Men.
When major literary journals still review books written primarily by male authors (and the reviewers themselves remain overwhelmingly men), books with girly covers are perceived as being of lower quality than highbrow literary (i.e., masculine) fiction and a white guy in glasses is deemed the "savior" of young adult fiction (one of the only genres that has been receptive to female authors in the first place), attitudes like Carson's, however flippant, are unacceptable. They make the old boys' club that is the publishing industry even less hospitable to women, as it reminds them that this is still not their world.
Image Credit: VIDA
This should go without saying in 2014, but women can be both pretty and smart. Sometimes they write things. Most importantly, women are people, and their worth goes well beyond how good they look scampering naked through hotel corridors.
Then again, what do I know? I'm just a girl.