Via Grammar Police, I encountered this beautiful dialogue (that’s Susan’s recommendation: don’t say interesting when you mean beautiful) about the strict gender roles surrounding marijuana smokers, or maybe it’s just media representations of marijuana smokers. Women are rarely represented as potheads in film, and when they are their characters are usually baggage-laden or sexually charged.
It reminded me of a Slate article by Marisa Meltzer on gender divides in the slacker film genre. With the single exception of Linklater’s work, slacker films—all slacker films—portray women as the responsibility-friendly, worrying heavies who harsh the freethinking, philosophical boys’ mellows but eventually teach them at least some of the benefits of adulthood. There are many overlaps in the slacker and pot genres, but slacker films are in true form a subset of the romantic comedy genre, and as RCs slacker films just want to paint the broad strokes of our gender relations. Pot is a visual accessory, like the couch or the ski cap, and it’s there to show that men are too lazy, and women worry too much, and we need to learn from each other.
This is going to sound like an anecdote, but when my beyonce and I recently attended (required) pre-marriage counseling, every woman in our group, every one, described herself as really uptight, while her boyfriend—who rarely spoke himself—was called easygoing and laid-back. Fine. But then they all went on: “He really grounds me.” So not only do we men get to, you know, take it easy, but we get praised for it. That may be anomalous, but it implies that decades of working toward equality have just made men’s lazy lives even easier, and that’s some trick. So with that in mind I would totally support a massive feminist marijuana uprising.
As generators of most of this media imagery, I blame the Brooks-Florida Creative Class for perpetuating simplistic marijuana stereotypes. They should know better than anyone that marijuana is also a recreation and productivity tool for overly ambitious, workaholic, affluent professionals of both genders, and if they felt so inclined could wave away those outdated stoner clichés.