Sady Doyle has a fascinating Salon post on our obsession with celebrity scandal and our limited tolerance for female trouble vs. male trouble. Excerpt:
"Still, when you compare the sins of Mel Gibson (racism, threats of violence and rape, sexism, allegedly punching his girlfriend while she held their child) to the crimes of Lindsay Lohan (doing drugs, drunk driving, being generally unprofessional) it seems clear that one of them has had to work a bit harder to become infamous."
Certainly bad boys can get away with more than bad girls and keep their careers going (Robert Downey Jr., anyone?), and Mel is getting plenty of deservedly harsh criticism for being a gigantic, gaping asshole. It'll be interesting to see if he recovers and does Passion II,Tokyo Drift or whatever.
Mel is ugly and disgusting and needs to go away permanently while Lindsay is tiresome, shallow, and self-centered but she could still grow up and overcome her incredibly stupid life choices. She's very young and frankly, sheltered while Mel is an old man who has had a half-century to learn some life lessons.
I was certainly disgusted when Hollywood rallied around Mel after his anti-semitic,misogynistic outburst during his drunk driving arrest a few years ago, not to mention his homophobic rants of the 90s. His career should have been over long ago. I haven't bought a ticket to one of his movies since that one with Tina Turner. You can forgive me for that. I will never buy another. If Lindsey bounces back and her Linda Lovelace biopic lives up to its potential (and what a great story that could be), I wouldn't mind seeing it. I don't dislike her, I'm just bored by her.
Doyle points out that convicted rapist Mike Tyson was on stage at the Golden Globes when The Hangover won Best Whatever. She goes on:
"The stories of badly behaved women, on the other hand, tend to end in obscurity or early death. The most a girl who's made some unfortunate choices can hope for, it would seem, is to become a joke, along the lines of Elizabeth Taylor."
Elizabeth Taylor is no joke in my book. Her AIDS work has earned her a place with the angels and her two Oscars earned her all the Hollywood cred anyone could hope for. She never did anything that could compare to Lindsay's drug abuse and law breaking. I think Sady needs a better analogy. Interesting article though. Worth a read.