12 Times Male Writers Proved Their Inability To Relate To Women

Even though Hollywood has gotten better at representing women, there are still many times it falls short. Male writers have long controlled storytelling, shaping how we see the world. However, sometimes their attempts to write about women’s experiences miss the mark. These mistakes can be funny or embarrassing, showing a lack of understanding that highlights the need for genuine representation.


Redditors have shared their thoughts online about times when male writers created unrealistic female characters. In this blog post, we’ll look at 25 examples where male writers, despite their best efforts, showed they couldn’t really relate to women. Whether you’re a reader wanting to understand these issues or a writer trying to avoid these errors, this list will be both enlightening and entertaining.


1.Florence Pugh’s character in Oppenheimer

Image source: Universal Pictures


u/kit_kat_barcalounger: 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.

Stepjam added: He’s not really great at writing characters or emotion. He generally seems more interested in broad narrative strokes and film technique.

Interstellar was his most blatantly “emotional” movie, and it kinda rang hollow for me. And when I rewatched lInception relatively recently, I was struck by how it actually managed to have some heartfelt moments (the scene where Mal’s wife jumps off the hotel ledge and the scene where Cillian’s character finds the windmill), but both scenes just needed a bit longer to really let you sit with the emotions they were evoking, but it felt like he couldn’t wait a moment more to get away from those emotions back to the plot. It kinda bummed me out.

Every director has their strengths and weaknesses, so no shame in Nolan sticking to what he’s good at, but yeah, he’s definitely got a weakness at depicting general humanity (thought I did think Oppenheimer was probably his strongest attempt yet).


2. Clark Griswold’s wife, Ellen, in National Lampoon’s Vacation

Image source: Warner Bros


Positive_Prompt_3171: 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.

TheStatMan2 added: … while the other woman simply swims off camera and presumably puts her wet clothes back on and goes back to the bar to find another complete dead beat or slips off back to her room and drinks the rest of the minibar while wondering what unacknowledged low point she’s reached where she was about to fuck a middle aged family man who’s wife she knows is on an upstairs balcony and a man who she knows has spouted utter bullshit.


3. Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

Image source: Warner Bros. Pictures


Safe_Blueberry: 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.


4. Snow White starring Kristen Stewart

Image source: Universal Pictures


sexrobotette: 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.


5. The woman in Tenet

Image source: Warner Bros. Pictures


nosayso: 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.

livestrongbelwas added: I honestly don’t now if it’s worse when he tries to write women as characters or when he just kills them to motivate the protagonist.


6. Female leads in Knocked Up

Image source: reddit.com


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.



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7. Young woman in Born a Champion

Image source: reddit.com


crappy_ninja: 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”.


8. Anne Hathaway‘s and Jessica Chastain‘s characters in Interstellar

Image source: Warner Bros. Pictures


taphead739: 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


9. Rachel McAdams in both Sherlock Holmes & Midnight in Paris

Image source: Sony Pictures Classics


A_Cyborg_Lobster: 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.


10. Megan Fox in Transformers

Image source: UIP


_kevx_91: Megan Fox in Transformers.

Martel732 added: She honestly probably would have made a better protagonist. She was given a stronger backstory and motivation than Shia.


11. Female accompaniment in most Nic Cage movies

Image source: seamanticks


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.


12. Lily James’s character in Baby Driver

Image source: Sony Pictures Releasing

sid1805: Lily James’s character in Baby Driver.
Black Widow in Age of Ultron.

Aduro95: Black Widow in Age of Ultron.

Yeah, weird how they paired her with Hulk out of nowhere with basically no chemistry, even though she already had a more interesting bond with Cap already. Not to mention comparing not being able to get pregnant to turning into a giant green guy who destroys cities.

Also kinda sucks that Widow didn’t get her own movie until she was permadead, and her death had one dude throwing a bench while Tony’s had like 300 actors at his funeral.


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