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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

What'd You Call Me?

There’s an discussion going on at Hollywood Elsewhere in a post titled “Pussies,” in which Jeff Wells discusses Clint Eastwood’s Esquire interview where Eastwood says, in part: “We live in more of a pussy generation now, where everybody’s become used to saying, ‘Well, how do we handle it psychologically?’ In those days, you just punched the bully back and duked it out. Even if the guy was older and could push you around, at least you were respected for fighting back, and you’d be left alone from then on.
There’s an interesting side conversation in the comments now over the use of the term “pussy” in this context. Is it a sexist term? Eh. One the one hand, you can say that the derogatory use of the female sexual organ in that sense implies that to be female is to be weaker, or less than desirable. And sure, I’ve heard more than a few men use it that way on their sons, as in, “Oh, get up, son, don’t be such a pussy. Get back in that game!” And you could substitute “Nelly” or “Mary” or “girly-man” or “girlie” in there for “pussy,” and it would mean pretty much the same thing, albeit in a less overtly vulgar way.

On the other hand, I replied in the comments there that “The word “pussy” in this context obviously doesn’t refer to female anatomy, DeafBrown. I use that word all the time, as in “Jesus H, would you stop being such a whiny-ass pussy?” And, for the record, I’ve called many people “dickhead” too, although, depending on the person, “douche” or “worthless choad” may be more appropriate.”
Which is true enough, but I suppose that linguistically and logically, even in that context the word “pussy,” while meaning “weak or whiny person,” does derive that meaning from a worldview of women being weak/whiny/annoying/easy target. And I suppose that that does, to some degree, make the term inherently sexist, which I guess, given my own frequent use of it, makes me a sexist feminist. So I’m going to have to have a long talk with myself and really lay into me for being contradictory.
Where were you, T. Holly, to jump into the fray and call bullshit?
On the plus side, this all spurred a much more interesting discussion of whether men are, in fact, pussies about being sick. (Duh.)

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3 Responses to “What'd You Call Me?”

  1. T. Holly says:

    Can I call someone a gaping Oscar hole? I’m gonna do it.

  2. Kim Voynar says:

    T Holly,
    Hell, yeah. We should come up with a list of movie-centric, yet totally PC terms to use when we can no longer safely use the ones we know and love. Although, so far as I know “dumbass” and “asshole” are still gender-free and therefore safe to use. 🙂

  3. T. Holly says:

    Technically speaking it’s gender neutral like junket whore and festival slut, which reminds me how much a reflection some non-fiction award categories are of how little they mean because they’re so intent on sending a message about who they are and who’s in charge of the new ghetto.


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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon