I believe in women’s rights, I believe in fair pay for women and men. I believe women should be treated as equals, as persons at all times, I also believe that Tim Horton’s and Bridgehead make the best coffee there is so that’s the proverbial coffee cup I drink from. Am I wrong? Do any or all of these beliefs make me a feminist? Honestly, I’m indifferent to it all.
Apparently the fact that I was naturally born a female is an issue for a lot of people in the screenwriting industry, a male dominated field where all too often, there are more male directors and producers than female and then, of course, there are the screenwriters. Apparently, women are underrepresented in the film industry, especially when it comes to the percentage of females who are selling their scripts, especially whether or not they are selling their scripts with the same sale tag their male competitors might receive.
Whether or not women are getting fair market value for their work is another important matter. Personally, I will haggle over the cost of my writing services simply because I think my writing skills are equal to my male and female counterparts. That is to say, if you are human, if you are writing scripts, articles, short stories or what have you, if I think I can get the contract first and I want it enough, I will go after it. It’s not often I’ll write for free, so if I do, you’d better believe I think you’ve got potential or understand that I’m spending my downtime entertaining the muse.
Yes, there are as*holes in the industry who will not pay people what they are worth, never mind whether their price tag was determined by what is or isn’t dangling between the screenwriter’s/director’s/make-up artist’s/writer’s legs.
Women in general need to demand their value in the industry for the work they do and not settle for less. If it means we have to do the productions on our own, isn’t it worth it in the end? At the same time, I wonder, is there really power in all-female film crews? What are we telling younger women? That they can’t work alongside their male counterparts because they won’t be valued? What are we doing to change those beliefs by creating all women’s networks? Are we empowering ourselves, the next generation, or are we creating a gap in the progress we are making working together as persons? Are we contradicting ourselves by doing both simultaneously?
I am grateful for the women who fought for women’s rights to vote, the stay at home mothers in war times who took on roles as working women and mothers. I am thankful for the modern day women who deliberately choose (when they are able to) to stay home rearing their kids over chasing a career in the fast lanes. Just the same, I hold an equal amount of admiration for women who pay the bills in their home while working from or out of their home and for women whose lives revolve around their careers. Society needs people like these to set the example for the future generations of screenwriters, actors, producers and directors that will follow and for humanity as a race in general.
I enjoy networking with all people in the film industry from all background so that I can learn from different people. That means learning from the a**holes too. Somewhere along the way our social networking skills help us to tolerate and learn from people who don’t have the aptitude to treat other people with dignity or to show respect or proper acknowledgement for their hard work and accomplishments.
Women are no longer an entirely dependent group of people. We are the hunters, the gatherers, the lovers, the artists. We are the educated, righteous, skilled and determined. We are that we are because we are people. We are part of the human race.
I am tired of the strong woman, the needy woman, the helpless woman. I am tired of the fighting over women that should have won awards in film because they were female and wrote/produced/directed a great script compared to the guy who also wrote a great script and won.
Absolutely there have been hits and misses over whom should have been awarded and who left with the gold. We spend energy recklessly, I think, by investing our time in what should have happened, who should have won, what could be done to change things in the industry. The shakers and movers of the screenwriting industry, the lead actresses, recognised directors and so forth, these ladies are out there and they are making these changes happen not by groaning over what is wrong but by being the change needed in the industry and they are mentoring the multitudes one and two and ten at a time.
It’s time to stop looking at how things should have been in the film industry in this, the 21st century and instead just make these things happen for ourselves and other women, for our daughters and their daughters and their daughters’ girlfriends, our colleagues and so forth. Not because we are women, because we are people. Because. We. Are. People.
We are the shakers. We are the movers. We are the writers. We are the screenwriters. We are the actors, film crews, directors and producers. The time to act is now. If you look hard enough, and with both feet firmly standing, you will see these shakers and movers, these people are all around us.
All that just to say that as a new screenwriter to the industry, but not new to how the industry works, I’m hoping to sell a few scripts this year and shake things up a little or a lot. All for the better, of course.