The New York Film Academy created an eye-opening infographic that may or may not enrage you.
One commenter compares the info-graphics shown here, which depict the dominance of male leaders to female leaders in the film industry, with the preference of blacks to whites in the NBA. To this I say- comparing PHYSICAL ability, with sports, is a VISUAL and nearly factual comparison. You either make it in the hoop or you don’t. People from all over the world have different body types; to answer your question, there aren’t an equal amount of Asian-Americans to African-Americans in the NBA because they are genetically different races with different predominant physical characteristics. A fact that can be measured. In. scientific. units.
ART, on the other hand is - although highly moving and capable of some truly wonderful works that have touched millions world-wide and throughout time - is ENTIRELY SUBJUNCTIVE. Allow me to clarify: yes, I know that emotional reaction is real. It can be felt. Like faith, it’s something that doesn’t need to be proven, because it’s unique and real to each individual. And when millions of individuals connect on the same work of art, it’s beautiful.
But when a movie gets brought to the Academy Awards, this is not what the movie is based on. Not at all. Instead there are LAYERS upon LAYERS that determine a film’s success (success defined as such to even be considered in these polls - the top 250 movies of each year). Firstly, let’s start with the Academy whose members vote for which films receive awards. Of these 6000 or so voters, only about xx are female. This already creates an issue as you have xxx male voters voting for movies from a male perspective, as opposed to the xxx female voters voting from a female perspective. And this is an issue because THE MALE PERSPECTIVE WILL WIN NEARLY EVERY TIME. Now let me stop you right there before you even think about saying something along the line of, “well that’s just because men are better directors/screenwriters/etc. etc.” I know where you’re coming from, and YES, you are right- right now, there are more men who are recognized for their talents then females. But this does NOT mean that this is “just the way things are.”
No, this means two things. Firstly, it means that the male members of the Academy recognize more male screenwriters (and directors, and composers, etc. etc.) because they share a male-minded perspective. But secondly, and more importantly than that- and what these statistics don’t touch, unfortunately - is that the bias in all of these statistics isn’t actually SOLELY the fault of the Academy at all. Fixing the ratio of female to male voters is not going to cure the issue, because the issue isn’t the top 250 movies; it’s all of them.
To me, what this article paints a very clear picture that shows some pretty terrifying statistics; but it paints a subjunctive picture, pointing to both a small group of individuals (the men at the Academy) and a larger group (all men) as the culprits. Well, I don’t think that these men are the only ones to blame, or that the academy is full of a bunch of misogynist ass-holes (although some may or may not be); I think that what this article doesn’t show is that there are simply more male screenwriters/directors etc. in the overall pool to choose from.
Now again - let me stop you right there. “But that’s just because there are more male screenwriters/etc. than females.” Here, I beg, BEG of you to ask yourself: WHY? This might be a fact, but WHY is it a fact? By comparing this issue to one of physical stature (you know, the one proven by genetics?), are you suggesting that the fact that there are more males dominating the film industry than females is a matter of inherent ability?
Allow me to correct you: women are not a scientifically proven weaker species of imagination or creation; of writing or poetry, sciences or math or anything that the brain can do or think up - We are intellectual and creative equals. This is not an issue that can be dismissed because “it’s just the way things are,” because it’s not JUST the way things are; it’s the way we create them to be. What we have created is an issue of UPBRINGING and PERCEIVED GENDER ROLES. And what needs to change going forward is the way that we raise our children. In the way that we give a starter camera and director’s kit to our eleven years-old son, while giving new clothes and various dolls to our daughters.* In the ways that we encourage our sons to be successful in whichever field they will have the most financial success in, while pressuring our daughters to get married and have children before their biological clock is up.
What this article is lacking is a solution. I see a solution in the future. We have the power to change the future by encouraging our children to follow their dreams, and never to impress a certain identity upon themselves because it’s what is culturally “accepted.”
*Sidenote: i would be willing to bet that this is why today there are about an equal number of male and female actors. because both are encouraged to dress-up and play pretend at a young age, even if just on halloween).
i just needed you gone for a little while.
you better fucking chew on your fear, baby. cause it ain’t gonna go away til you swallow it.
-jenny lewis ie sara, don’s plum 2001
"if someone wins a giant-ass panda on your watch you should just go home cause you’re fired, okay."