Monday, September 1, 2014
tank summer at the box office. We predicted this would happen because we watch and we hope: not for industry failure, but for the money/power brokers to get that leaving women out is a bad investment. Best example this year - Hercules vs. Lucy. Dwayne Johnson is a box office winner in action films, but Scarlett Johannson ate his lunch. Industry brokers credit the dismal women numbers in leadership creative roles in a dizzyingly wrong array. Women can't carry the overseas market where pre-sales (and investment $) are paramount. Wrong. Women films don't make money. Wrong. Even Amy Pascal, a studio co-head can't come up with a good answer - because they're wrong. All wrong. Statistics prove the lies (a recent 538 article covers the data well). Frozen, with Bechdel test-passing women in the lead roles, and Jennifer Lee as co-director, and screenwriter, may make the top 10 grossing movies of all time. What we need now is a better look at the money the big studios are missing. Grandmas take kids to movies. The older crowd in this country has more loot than it's had in decades. And they're staying home in droves, and keeping the younger potential audience at home with them. Playing with their apps. Movie money is being siphoned off by women gamers. Did we hear that? Women gamers will soon be half the market. The potential movie going audience of women outnumbers male moviegoers. There are more women than men in this country and within this decade, in the world. Women writers, directors, game coders, media professionals are not just underrepresented - they're missing on purpose. What's different this year; what's exciting and encouraging, is the numbers continue to prove the lie. Women can and do direct, write, code, put out a money maker, carry a film in a leading role. And we know how to call out the falsehoods that keep us out of any industry we are qualified to be in. Will it make a difference? Maybe. A Women in Media study (pg. 38) shows that where there are women in the film industry, those women are producers, and unfortunately, the more prestigious the producer, the fewer women creatives are on board. Check The Hurt Locker. Directed/produced by Kathryn Bigelow. Everyone else in a creative role is a man. Heaping praise on the people who are showing us reality, start with Barbara O'Leary's compiled lists of women directors, cinematographers which bury the lie that women don't want to direct or photograph. People who are publicly claiming what women don't want as an excuse for excluding females won't have much cover going forward. We know the truth, and now we've got numbers to prove it.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, and she raised the bar to the stratosphere. I'm going to have to forget Breq in order to appreciate another SF story fully. Today I'm trying to find a critical anthology like Marleen Barr's Future Females, written and collected in this century. What I learned so far: utopian SF is the way women have to imagine a future that is not what we think we will live to see. There are no adventure stories featuring women because a women stepping out her door ala Bilbo Baggins will not regret she forgot her handkerchief. She will regret stepping out. No road trips, starship launches, stranger in a strange land for women. Nope. No unescorted trips to a border town on a mission of mysterious, possibly nefarious, assignment. Nope. An excellent example of this is James Tiptree Jr (Alice Sheldon) "Your Faces, O My Sisters! Your Faces Filled with Light!" Sheldon channels the exquisite joy of freedom, and then flips the illusion on its bloody head. Powerful storytelling. Utopian dystopian. We need a new genre. Freed from the criteria and criticism of male-dominated labeling. Oh hell, we need a new culture. Where's the hope in this one?
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Truth and Justice is not what our legal system is dominated by: the rights of the individual and equality are not preeminent. Sociologically women are not equal, and are portrayed as not suitable for equality, based on perceptions cemented over centuries. Throughout our lives we women coordinate activities, orchestrate workplaces, maintain calendars and events within, elevate and accentuate positive environments, keep the peace, find and share the truth, mete out justice at work and home (based on experience and research). Men do this, too. But men are credited with these skills. Women need to expect credit as well. In the roles assigned to women culturally we hone the prowess to manage large projects and the people assigned. Traits we are labeled with are precisely the traits that allow for excellent leaders. Many of the roles we are excluded from would be the exact endeavor for us to excel. Director, CEO, priest, symphony conductor, hospital administrator. Because those roles are what women do throughout a lifetime. Add to the experience, the desire to excel and succeed and there are ideal candidates left out. We're working to open the way for advancement, for ourselves, our peers, our progeny. That's what women do.