Scarlett’s dad’s book party is a really painful but very necessary wake-up call for her. The way her dad makes a cartoon out of Dawn in his book is exactly as mean and one-dimensional as Scarlett reducing Ashley to a bimbo stereotype in her fiction. I certainly had that moment as well, when I was around her age: I saw myself as the glasses-wearing “feminist” underdog compared with the hot, popular girls, but secretly thought I had more substance and intelligence than those “slutty, vapid girls,” which isn’t feminist at all.
In this moment, Scarlett sees that she really is more like her dad than Dawn, but also realizes it’s a super shitty thing to be—a snobby dickhead who’s particularly judgmental towards women. By looking down on girls like Ashley, Scarlett’s accidentally been perpetuating sexist behavior and mindsets… reinforced by some of the most lauded male authors of our time.