As a woman in hopes of someday working in the film or TV industry, women and media (both their roles within the story-world and behind the camera) have interested me for many years. Now that I’ve graduated, it has become even more important.
As I continue to read about film, TV, and upcoming premieres, I can’t help but notice that women are completely underrepresented. Every movie I’m looking forward to seeing this fall is about men, starring men, written by men, and directed by men. And most TV shows follow suit. What’s unfortunate is that women are outnumbered in significant roles both on-screen and off, from the make-up chairs to the editing suits. Though there are amazingly talented women within the industry, the playing field is far from equal.
Ever since the 1970s, the gap between how many women attend college in the US and how many men do has continued to grow in favor of the women. But despite the fact that more women pursue higher education than their male counterparts, we have yet to elect a female president. The Academy Awards have been in existence for 85 years, yet Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to have ever won the Oscar for Best Director, and not until 2010. Of the many comedies released each year, Bridesmaids is the only successful one starring an ensemble of women. As few as female comedians in film and TV are, the amount of female directors in comedy is even less. In fact, I can’t think of a single comedy film directed by a woman. (Please correct me if I’m wrong and comment below if you know of any! I don’t consider The Kids Are Alright as a real die-hard comedy.) Female characters are usually written by men and molded by male producers, having their performances then shaped by male directors. But why aren’t women (who are just as talented, creative, and intelligent) hired to tell their own stories?
In the future I will be writing more about women in media, specifically those who are paving the way for the rest of us. Until then we must stick together and believe in our abilities as creators, innovators, and business women.