In my life, I’ve written plays, movies, magazine articles, stories, poems, speeches, a musical comedy, travel essays, program notes, limericks, movie reviews, book reviews, comic book reviews, humor pieces, a book, skits, radio commentaries, and of course endless numbers of jokes, japes, and fakes for a particular radio show.
And none of that has gotten anywhere near the response inspired by a three minute rant I wrote last Monday night instead of working on my taxes.
I’ve received 50+ personal emails, plus the comments you see here, plus more letters sent to Wait Wait, plus even more sent to All Things Considered. It inspired 400+ comments on a post on Jezebel, and even a news article. I guess by the standards of the modern Internet blogstorm that’s not much, but I’m still stunned.
There’s no way I can write back to everyone personally, and still have time to, you know, spend time with my daughters, so if you’ll allow me, a few general comments here.
First, I am grateful and humbled by all the people who wrote to tell me that they were cheered or encouraged or amused or moved by what I had to say. It means a tremendous amount to me that you took the time to let me know, and I thank you.
Second, I do know that there are a lot of wonderful stories, and even movies, featuring strong women in the central role. My kids know and love the Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films, and I’m looking forward to showing them “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” when they get older. Much older. And our copy of “The Paperbag Princess” is well worn, believe me.
Third, many of you approvingly called me a “feminist,” and while I guess that’s true, in the old bumper sticker sense that I believe women are people too, I have a feeling that if we talked at any length, you’d find I have opinions and attitudes that committed feminists would find appalling. For me, this wasn’t about politics or gender theory, and it wasn’t about righting historical wrongs. It was about a movie, and my reaction to it as a father of daughters.
Fourth, I was particularly struck by how many women wrote to me to say how emotionally powerful it was for them to hear a father stand up for his daughters. It makes me sad, I must admit, to think that such a thing is so unusual in so many lives.
And lastly, I know, I know, it’s just a kid’s movie. And maybe I should lighten up about it. But it’s hard at this point not to be glad I didn’t.
Thank you all again, for a remarkable week. If you had never heard of me before, may I recommend taking a listen to my radio show, which this week won a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, and also my book, available in bookstores now, or the usual online retailers.