25 Times Male Writers Proved Their Inability To Relate To Women

Published 7 months ago

Though Hollywood has made massive strides when it comes to representing women over the years, there are still times when it falls sorely short. From the recent depiction of the talented actress Florence Pugh’s character in Oppenheimer or the way Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was written in Suicide Squad compared to the much more fleshed-out version of her character in Birds of Prey, Redditors got together to share their opinions online of when a male writer created an unrealistic female character. 

Check out some of the responses on the thread started by Redditor ‘SkywalkersAlt’ who kicked off the discussion with a post on the ‘Movies’ subreddit asking folks to recall similar obvious instances of a woman’s character being written by a man. 

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Image source: kit_kat_barcalounger, Universal Pictures

After seeing Oppenheimer recently it became painfully apparent that Christopher Nolan sucks at writing women. I can’t think of a single well-rounded female character in any of his films.

u/taimychoo added:

This man really casted Florence Pugh just to give her one nude scene and 67 seconds of dialogue, all the while fawning over Oppenheimer for no real reason


Image source: Positive_Prompt_3171, Warner Bros.

Clark Griswold’s wife, Ellen, in *National Lampoon’s Vacation*. She catches her husband in the act of cheating on her, blames herself, and immediately rewards him by recreating the infidelity with herself in the other woman’s place.


Image source: Safe_Blueberry, Warner Bros. Pictures

Harley Quinn in *Suicide Squad* (2016) was very clearly written and created/dressed by a man.

In her solo movie, *Birds of Prey: …Harley Quinn*, she is very obviously written and created/dressed by a woman.

In the reboot/sequel *The Suicide Squad* (2021), I believe that Margot Robbie and the director James Gunn coordinated when it came to Harley Quinn’s outfit and makeup, but that James Gunn still wrote her dialogue, although her characterization has more in common with Christina Hodson’s writing than David Ayer’s.


Image source: sexrobotette, Universal Pictures

I watched Snow White starring Kristen Stewart recently and was not surprised to find out that it was written and directed by men. For a leading role, she hardly had any lines at all, it seemed her sole purpose was to look scared and sexy


Image source: camilopezo, Miramax Films

The classic, the obviously pretty actress “hides” her beauty by wearing glasses.


Image source: Nervous_Ad_918, Paramount Pictures

I feel like any of the Manic Pixie Chicks fit the bill as the are specifically written to advance the male antagonists self discovery. In some cases it boarders on meta, but it turns the female lead into a device instead of a character.


Image source: nosayso, Warner Bros. Pictures

No one under-writes a female role like Christopher Nolan! The woman in Tenet is a real standout, they’re explaining what they’re up against and say “if this happens all of existence will be undone” and her response is “including my son!”. Because “mom” is exactly as far as the character goes.


Image source: rachface636

Judd Apatow himself has come out and said the female leads in Knocked Up weren’t great. Very real male perspective on display for a film mostly about a woman going through an unexpected pregnancy.

Electrical-Tiger-536 added:

The scene where they’re grabbing multiple pregnancy tests, omg. I don’t believe there are many women out there who didn’t watch that and think “Those things are like $25 each!” Nobody spends hundreds of dollars on pregnancy tests in a single sitting.


Image source: reddit.com

There’s a movie called Born a Champion. There’s a great scene where our middle aged, bleach blond haired MMA fighter hero is talking to a young woman (who later falls in love with him because what hot woman doesn’t love wrinkles). She says the line every 40+ year old man with a pony tail and samurai sword wants to hear. I can’t remember the exact quote but it was roughly:

“I work as a paralegal and I’m a part time model, but what I really want is to be a housewife and have kids”.


Image source: Islandgirl1444, Paramount Network

The TV series Yellowstone is the worst writings pertaining to women.


Image source: taphead739, Warner Bros. Pictures

While not among the worst, it’s pretty obvious with Anne Hathaway‘s and Jessica Chastain‘s characters in Interstellar. There‘s a hilarious skit on Youtube about the writing of those characters


Image source: karateema, Eon Productions

90% of Bond girls


All the “born sexy yesterday” women. Has to be one of my least favorite tropes.

u/Censius explained:

For those that don’t know “born sexy yesterday” is a trope where a fully mature woman is created, seems to have incredible skill/power/intelligence, but lacks knowledge of the world. Think Fifth Element or Tron Legacy. They often fall in love with a happless dude, since they seem impressively knowledgeable about things, but really they’re just some guy.

Image source: Syn7axError


Image source: A_Cyborg_Lobster, Sony Pictures Classics

Rachel McAdams in both Sherlock Holmes and in Midnight in Paris is honestly just hard to watch. I am a bit biased as I don’t like her acting at all, but especially Midnight in Paris the dialogue is so bad for her character that it’s hard to blame her for the role. It’s hard to make something believable when there is no reality a woman would have her character’s dialogue to begin with.


I do think the Honor Blackman pilot in Goldfinger is probably the worst offender.

Pretty enough to be desirable, but not interested in men.

She’ll say yes if you beat her up!

Note- this is just as creepy as it sounds. This is not advice of any kind!!!!!!

Image source: MastermindorHero


Image source: _kevx_91, UIP

Megan Fox in Transformers.


Image source: Tsjjgj, 20th Century Fox

Working Girl. “I’ve got a mind for business and a bod for sin.” Yeah, no.


Image source: pewpass, 20th Century Fox

I just rewatched Edward Scissorhands. As a teenager I was absolutely enthralled but looking back Kim has pretty lackluster writing. She’s pretty much only valued for her looks, is a jerk otherwise but that’s overlooked because beautiful. Her final line is still about her appearance “I want him to remember me as I was”.


Most biopic/brand pic movies have the archetypical “wife” character who’s just there to imbue conflict and have like one argument scene

Image source: FrickinNormie2


Donna in the Mamma Mia sequel, i remember thinking the movie had a weird vibe and as soon as the scene of her jumping into the sea with denim shorts came on i went “this s**t was 100% directed by a man”, looked it up and confirmed it lol.

Image source: teenage-wildlife


Image source: FandomMenace, 20th Century Fox

Uhh Padme pretending that Anakin’s game was working on her.


Image source: kmjulian, Marvel Studios

I hated that so much.

“You, a radioactive rage-controlled superhuman. Me, a woman who can’t procreate. We’re both monsters :(“


Image source: seamanticks

The female accompaniment in most Nic Cage movies are dead set on falling for him regardless of the red flag t-shirt his characters seem to wear.

I do enjoy the majority of NC’s filmography for his “professionally chaotic” energy, but I cannot understand the *romantic appeal* at all.


Splash is a great example of this. As a kid I was like “yay, mermaids!” But as an adult it’s so cringe. She’s beautiful, naked a lot, wants to have sex with Tom hanks all the time, AND she’s ignorant about the world.

Image source: MrsValentine86


Image source: sid1805, Sony Pictures Releasing

Lily James’s character in Baby Driver.

Black Widow in Age of Ultron.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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entertainment, fails, female characters, Hollywood, male writers, men, movies, poor writing, tv shows, women
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