Aaron Sorkin seems to give many of his female characters (especially the Intellectual Boss Women) in his different television show a nickname that could be seen as a man’s name or a first name that could be suitable for either gender. Let me note that I’m not saying this is inherently sexist, but does make you wonder:
- CJ Cregg (The West Wing): Her full name is Claudia Jean Clegg, but the nickname CJ is one that I’m sure belongs to many men. CJ is one of the most powerful female characters in The West Wing.She is a senior advisor to President Bartlet throughout his entire presidency. Cregg started off as Press Secretary, then was promoted to the Chief of Staff for the last two seasons after Leo McGarry had a heart attack. CJ Cregg is in very many ways “one of the guys” while still being beautiful, sexy and like a daughter to President.
- Joey Lucas (The West Wing): Lucas is a deaf pollster whose full name is Josephine Lucas. Joey is for sure a man’s nickname. In fact Joshua Lyman the Deputy Chief of Staff originally thought that Joey was a hearing man not a deaf woman pollster. Also Lucas’ interpreter is a man named Kenny so in some ways her voice is a male one.
- Jordan McDeere(Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) : McDeere is the first female character in the Sorkin Portfolio to actually have a name that could belong to a man or woman. Jordan is the president of the National Broadcasting System, which means she is the “head honcho” of Studio Sixty. She is supportive of the innovative edgy comedy show that is best compared to Saturday Night Live. On the show, Jordan is the youngest woman to be president of a studio on the show, which reveals how accomplished and intelligent she is. McDeere also becomes engaged to Danny Trip the programs’ director and show runner.
4. Hannah Harriet Hayes ( Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip): Harriet Hayes’ nickname is Harry. Harry is obviously a man’s name. Harriet is the star of Studio Sixty and performs in most of the sketches. She is a devout Christian, but is willing to be part of skits that make fun of Christians as long as they are hilarious. She off/on dates the other Executive Producer and Head Writer Matt Albie. Albie is an atheist who makes fun of Harriet’s beliefs, but they both love each other.Harriet and Matt make each other laugh a lot.
5. Mackenzie “Mac” McHale (The Newsroom): Mackenzie’s McHale’s nickname Mac is a masculine one. She is the Executive Producer of News Night which is anchored by Will McAvoy.(This next fact is a little bit of a spoiler) By end of the second season, her off/on again boyfriend Will McAvoy becomes her fiancé. McAvoy and McHale get married in season three. Mac is an accomplished semi-famous producer who garners respect from everybody in the office. She is somebody who you don’t want to mess with, but is very nurturing at the same time.