Now that 'The Social Network's hype is in full bloom -- until Oscar season officially starts, anyway -- critics have come out against the way women have been portrayed in the film. I'll be the first to admit I'm torn on the issue, but I'd also wager that the majority of the criticism boils down to the flashiest pull quote in 'The Social Network's ad campaign. Naturally, it's from Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, who declares, "The Social Network' also defines the decade." Naturally, this led to an outcry of people who didn't want to be lumped in with Travers' generalization -- especially women who protest both the disparity between fact and fiction in 'The Social Network' and the overall portrayal of women in the movie, which is poor to say the least. (Here's David Ehrlich's take on why 'The Social Network' doesn't define a generation.)
The women in this film are "prizes," according to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who was quizzed about the role of women in 'The Social Network' by Stephen Colbert. They're "just the people who are populating this story." The Daily Beast's Rebecca Davis O'Brien rebuts this claim, writing that these "are less prizes than they are props, buxom extras literally bussed in to fill the roles of doting groupies, vengeful sluts, or dumpy, feminist killjoys. They are foils for the male characters, who in turn are cruel or indifferent to them."