Some debate is happening regarding female filmmakers in Hollywood. Witness a recent blog article on Women and Hollywood.com called How Can We Get More Women In Power As Directors? Written by Martha Coolidge. The article mentions various problems and solutions regarding the lack of female directors in Hollywood. Yet, the real debate occurred after one commenter claimed the reason for the lack of female directors was because women are unwilling to take risks. In this article we will explore these claims plus how female consumers are potentially contributing to their own demise.
Do women seek security by nature or nurture? Women still earn less than men in the workplace so it’s plausible to see why some women might shy away from taking unnecessary risks. Sure women have come along way but it seems the idea of seeing women in powerful positions is very hard for our society as well as women to imagine. The recent explosion and popularity of the E.L. James trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey made me wonder if the commenter who claimed women aren’t risk takers had a point? Do women today feel entitled to have positions of authority they have not earned? Here’s what author E.L. James stated about her own writing.
“In a pleasant surprise, author E.L. James told NBC interviewer Michelle Kosinski that she had no particular plan when writing the book, was an undisciplined writer, and knew it wasn’t “great writing.“
Are female consumers contributing to their own demise by supporting this writer? This may sound far fetched but if women are supporting mediocrity then what are they saying about themselves? Women deserve respect and should treat themselves with dignity. Sure we can look at the bigger picture and say Fifty Shades of Grey is about women embracing their sexuality. However, the problem with this new movement is the weak foundation it’s being built on is doomed to failure. In Martha Coolidge article she mentions nine things society can do to get more powerful female directors. They include:
“1. Men and women would have to learn to identify with female heroes and leaders. Why? Aside from opening up all the genres to women, we need to collectively imagine a woman as the ‘wunderkind’, the “girl wonder,” a director who tells stories the mass audience wants to see.
2. Young women would have to believe this was within their reach.
3. Thousands of women would have to train for directing careers and hone their craft.
4. Producers and studios would need to hire many more women than they do now and believe one of them could be “it”. They would need to judge women on the strength of their ideas and work, not on their sex appeal.
5. Producers couldn’t limit women to lower budget films, and should expect them to handle big crews, big budgets, big ideas and big stars.
6. All of us, parents and teachers starting in childhood, and later men in the business, would have to take women seriously and never ask them to play into gender based feminine behavior.
7. Competitive women in particular would have to want success as a director before anything else, like finding a man, or having a family. Successful directors are workaholics who define themselves by their careers and seek the company of their creative colleagues.
8. These women would have to feel secure with power, employing and delegating to others and making decisions alone. They should be encouraged to produce, write and direct, love competition, push past boundaries, and welcome any opportunity to overcome failure.
9. We all would have to embrace women in command, and accept eccentric behavior, and even tantrums; frequently caused by extreme pressure – not desirable, but tolerated in men. Most women directors learn to walk a delicate line between not being bitchy and not being wimpy to keep their jobs. Male directors don’t waste time or energy on this.”
Given the popularity of the E.L. James trilogy do you think women are ready to take these risks?
Please join us for a discussion on this topic Tuesday 10/2/2012@7pmE/12UTC