What happened
Manohla Dargis’ article “Is There a Real Woman in This Mulitplex?” which ran in Sunday’s issue of The New York Times, has launched a new debate about the role of women in Hollywood.

What the commentators said
“Iron Man, Batman, Big Angry Green Man,” said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times, “to judge from the new popcorn season it seems as if Hollywood has realized that the best way to deal with its female troubles is to not have any, women, that is.” Summer is “the ultimate boy’s club”: “Look at the movies themselves—at the decorative blondes and brunettes smiling and simpering at the edge of the frame—to see just how irrelevant we have become.”

What about Baby Mama? said Brad Brevet in the blog Rope of Silicon. “Tina Fey is a very big draw right now,” and it’s “because she is female, she is funny, and she is smart. All of this attracts both genders. Women see her as a strong independent woman and men are attracted instantly to an intelligent and equally funny female. Fey is never sold on sex appeal—she is sold on talent.”

“In these supposedly progressive times,” said Eric Kohn in the blog Cinematical, “gender equality is one of those touchy issues relegated to the last paragraph of a trend piece nobody reads.” But consider Anna Faris in the upcoming movie The House Bunny: “While her performance as a rejected Playboy mansion inhabitant” does seem “like a confirmation of Dargis’ dour thesis, at least it allows a woman to step into the limelight of the big screen.”