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Since today is Mother’s Day – a day to celebrate the strong women in our lives – I thought this would be an appropriate infographic to share, as it is so incredibly accurate.
I’m fairly sure all of you are more than aware of the ridiculous lack of strong female characters that exist in the movies. It’s one of the reasons I studied film in school with a fleeting interest in screenwriting – I absolutely loved acting, but the roles for women were always so limited and simplistic – I wanted to help change that. I still do, but my lack of patience means I have a painfully hard time writing something as massive as a feature screenplay, despite having a constant flow of ideas I’d love to see on screen some day.
Women are complicated, crazy, fascinating people and there is no reason for the movie business to limit portrayals of half the population of the world to these one dimensional idiots we are bombarded with 99% of the time.
If you have yet to see the great documentary Miss Representation, it covers this topic brilliantly. I highly recommend checking it out. They show some incredible facts about how as little kids, girls and boys equally want to be president when they grow up, but by the preteen years that number begins to drop massively for girls as they absorb more media and never see females represented in powerful political roles. They show Paul Haggis discussing how he tries to write interesting female characters, but not being a women himself means there’s only so much he can do. Women have to push themselves into this industry and make their voices heard if this is ever going to change. A man can’t write a strong female character because he has no idea what it feels like to be a woman, and you can only write what you know.
It is absolutely shameful that women made up 14% of screenwriters and 5% of directors in Hollywood in 2011. The entertainment industry is dominated by men, and this sad fact will never change until we start raising girls to believe that they can and should fill these positions of power.
I’m thankful I have a mom that, indirectly, inspired both her daughters to dream big.