Hinton's publisher suggested she use her initials instead of her first name so that male reviewers would not ignore the novel for having been written by a female.
So, why do you write these strong women characters?
Because equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity, we need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and women who’s confronted with it. We need equality, kinda now.
I'm not at all invested in BSG (I think it's meant to justify right-wing post-9/11 paranoia, and I won't participate in that)
the million dollar question remains, as one of my writing students asked after reading two of my scripts: "Why are these scripts not made? What better scripts could people possibly be reading?" . . . Little hints of this invisible blockade pop up on occasion: a male student of mine with a fraction of my experience gets hired to direct a feature film; the manager who couldn't get my script out of his head tells me that he can't sell the script because the lead is a girl; an executive won't read my road movie because it's an ensemble with three female leads and, according to this executive, "women on the road has already been done." One producer urged me to pass my script to another director since I haven't made a feature before; this conversation took place while her husband was line-producing a $7M movie starring Bruce Willis, directed by a first-time male director. . . .
I teach screenwriting and consistently notice the different regard that I feel for my male and female students. No matter how "enlightened" I think I am, I find myself having higher expectations of the guys. I just assume that they have more experience, more confidence, more intelligence...? I've recently noticed that when I receive quality work from a woman, I feel a sense of surprise. When I see amateur work from a man, I think "hmm... for some reason I had him pegged as an experienced writer." For some reason.
So if I, a woman filmmaker, the liberated one who's not afraid to use the word "feminism" in a sentence, if I myself carry misinformation about women that has me question our competence and intelligence, what thoughts do other people carry? What "feelings", stemming from centuries of fear and prejudice, and mistaken for intuition, dictate their decisions? What do the well-intended producers, executives, agents, managers and investors, feel when my script comes across their desk? With what concern do they thumb through my script, the one with the name "Ela" on it, the one with a female in the leading role?
If they're anything like me, enlightened and all, they glance at the script and expect amateur work. If they get as far as reading a few pages, they're pleasantly surprised that I can write. If they get as far as reading it entirely, if they get past the fact that the lead is female (unlikely), if they get far enough to even consider packaging or selling or producing my film as an even remote possibility - and I'm happy to say many have gotten that far - then they have to muster up the confidence that I, a first time female director, could complete a meaningful, powerful and - profitable - movie. Beware of glass panes. . . .
Unfortunately, there are no bad guys to blame. Men are good and caring people; my own husband is my greatest ally in the world. Women are intelligent and powerful. But all of us carry the scars of centuries of misinformation, and we all make decisions, often without awareness, that stem from a sordid history. [emphasis mine]
So now what? Given the reality in which I exist, what do I need to do to move forward? Statistically, I have twenty times less of a chance to get a film made than my male colleagues. But this doesn't mean that my goal is impossible, it just means that I have to work twenty times harder. So I will.
« Older The Secret History: Can Leon Panetta move the C.I.... | The Cornell Historical Math Mo... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt