So I saw a statistic tweeted from Women in Film & TV by Jill Nicholls and decided to share it (@s removed):
Wonder why you don’t hear much about women filmmakers? Only 18% of online reviewers are female wftv.org.uk/news/new-us-st…
— Rose-Anna Bleasdale May 28, 2013
and received this reply:
As one of that 18% I review films I think are worth reviewing, irrespective of filmmaker gender
— Carol Allen May 28, 2013
My reply just wouldn’t fit into 140 characters, so I’ve written it here:
Well, good for you. That’s the ideal right?
The implication, (which you may not have intended at all, but I’m addressing it anyway!), is that it’s not a problem that only 18% of online film reviewers are women because reviewers are gender-blind in their review choices. Therefore, if women film-makers are poorly represented, it must be for some other reason, such as because there are fewer of them (this is very likely – I’m sure women experience barriers to this work, but that’s another topic) or their films are not as good or interesting.
But, wouldn’t you agree that women are more likely to make films centring on women, and that men are less likely to be interested in these stories? I think there’s a pretty powerful heteronormative (or cisnormative) pressure on men to stay away from them. It’s very rare to see a man reading a book marketed as ‘chick lit’ or even, say Jane Austen. This is rooted in misogyny, the denigration of the female, and behaviour associated with the feminine. It leads to the marginalisation of women in culture – ‘women’s culture’ is a special interest and the universal is masculine. Because the masculine is universal or positive, it’s fine for women to be interested in ‘male’ interests or stories, but not vice versa.
So, your lack of gender bias is commendable, but unlikely to be shared by the majority of your male colleagues.