The problem with “picky”: Iliza Shlesinger explains why women are vilified for having standards


Iliza Shlesinger‘s new movie, Good on Paper, is not only based on her real-life dating horror story — it’s also a commentary on women being vilified for having standards.

In the Netflix comedy, Iliza’s character, Andrea Singer, meets a seemingly decent man that she’s neither physically nor sexually attracted to, but she succumbs to the pressure to “give him a chance.”  She learns soon after their relationship is built on a web of his lies.

Shlesinger tells ABC Audio that society frowns upon women who turn down prospective suitors.

“It’s easy to vilify women because our voices have been so underrepresented… It’s easy to make us into the enemy,” she said. “Women are supposed to be grateful and we’re supposed to just like whatever we’re given.”

Shlesinger continued, “Only in our society do we say to women, ‘Give him a chance, he’s nice to you.’ You never hear a mother say to her son, ‘Give this hideous girl a chance. I know you find her repulsive, but if you could just put your mouth on hers…’  It’s a power dynamic.”

The stand-up comic also delved into why women are sometimes deemed “picky.”

“It’s code for — God forbid — a woman knows what she wants. It’s just an attempt to make women doubt themselves,” Shlesinger expressed, noting that cultural mentality emphasizes the so-called “societal shelf-life women are told that they have.”

Good on Paper is a prime example of Shlesinger’s comedy, which tackles hot-button relationship issues while conducting “some real sociological digging.”

“I believe whatever you go through, you can make fun of,” she explained. “It all comes from an analytical place. But, more importantly, it comes from a funny place because — if it’s not funny, it’s just a TED talk.”

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