The number one movie in America for two straight weeks has been the David Fincher-Aaron Sorkin collaboration The Social Network. The film chronicles the rise of the biggest social networking site in the world (Facebook) and the drama surrounding its founders, Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. The film consists of a largely male cast and features a few supporting female roles but other than that it’s mostly a boys club. This is an issue that stuck a chord with many people, who have labeled the film misogynistic. Well, screenwriter Sorkin has heard your cries and he’s decided to respond to one comment in particular…

Over on TV writer Ken Levine’s blog, a reader left a comment stating her disappointment in the lack of positive female characters present in The Social Network. Here’s the original post:

I love your blog!!

I also loved The Social Network, except for one thing– the lack of a decent portrayal of women. With the exception of 1 or 2 of them (Rashida Jones included), they were basically sex objects/stupid groupies. Even what you say here: Jesse Eisenberg is what Michael Cera aspires to be. Justin Timberlake continues to be the most talented STAR SEARCH winner ever, And Rashida Jones is just great to look at.

… kinda makes me think that Aaron Sorkin (though I love his writing) failed the women in this script. Kind of a shame considering he’s written great women characters like C.J. Cregg!

And after catching wind of that, here’s what Sorkin responded with:

This is Aaron Sorkin and I wanted to address Taraza’s comment. (Ken, I’ll get to you in and your very generous blog post in just a moment.

Tarazza–believe me, I get it. It’s not hard to understand how bright women could be appalled by what they saw in the movie but you have to understand that that was the very specific world I was writing about. Women are both prizes an equal. Mark’s blogging that we hear in voiceover as he drinks, hacks, creates Facemash and dreams of the kind of party he’s sure he’s missing, came directly from Mark’s blog. With the exception of doing some cuts and tightening (and I can promise you that nothing that I cut would have changed your perception of the people or the trajectory of the story by even an inch) I used Mark’s blog verbatim. Mark said, “Erica Albright’s a bitch” (Erica isn’t her real name–I changed three names in the movie when there was no need to embarrass anyone further), “Do you think that’s because all B.U. girls are bitches?” Facebook was born during a night of incredibly misogyny. The idea of comparing women to farm animals, and then to each other, based on their looks and then publicly ranking them. It was a revenge stunt, aimed first at the woman who’d most recently broke his heart (who should get some kind of medal for not breaking his head) and then at the entire female population of Harvard.

And this very disturbing attitude toward women isn’t just confined to the guys who can’t get dates.

I didn’t invent the “F–k Truck”, it’s real–and the men (boys) at the final clubs think it’s what they deserve for being who they are. (It’s only fair to note that the women–bussed in from other schools for the “hot” parties, wait on line to get on that bus without anyone pointing guns at their heads.)

More generally, I was writing about a very angry and deeply misogynistic group of people. These aren’t the cuddly nerds we made movies about in the 80′s. They’re very angry that the cheerleader still wants to go out with the quarterback instead of the men (boys) who are running the universe right now. The women they surround themselves with aren’t women who challenge them (and frankly, no woman who could challenge them would be interested in being anywhere near them.)

And this very disturbing attitude toward women isn’t just confined to the guys who can’t get dates.

You can read his post in its entirety on Ken’s blog.

After reading his response, you kind of get the idea of what he was going for. It wasn’t meant to be outright sexist or disrespectful but he was representing a group of people who unfortunately happened to talk and act that way. That’s fine and all but the one character in particular that grinded my gears was played by Rashida Jones. She did nothing. She did absolutely nothing to progress the story. She just sat there in awe of Zuckerberg’s talent and gave the last line in the film, which she didn’t really earn. Will this debate ever end? We doubt it.

What do you think of Sorkin’s reply?