I went to a Gender Sympisoum so you didn’t have to.
No I didn’t. I totally didn’t. Geena Davis did. I mean, it was her symposium, so she had to. I would have gone, if I’d known about it and been invited. And had the day free. I’m so sorry I lied to you.
Anyway, she ‘live-Facebooked’ it on her fantastic Facebook page, and now I’m summarizing a particular part of the live-Facebooking. That’s so many levels of social media curation, I might have just turned into a hashtag.
Whatever, cue Vagina News; This comes from a panel on how women are represented, related to work, in film and television. Bearing in mind that in 2011, 47% of the workforce was comprised of women:
- Of the characters depicted with jobs in family films, 20% are female.
- Of the characters depicted with jobs in prime time entertainment, 34% are female.
- Of the characters depicted with jobs in children’s shows, 25% are female.
- Only 29% of speaking characters in G/PG movies are female.
Here’s something my husband has heard me rant about a lot of times. You know how it’s commonplace to hear someone say “are we ready for a woman president?” or “so-and-so is a woman-playwright”? That makes me INSANE, and here’s why. “Woman” is a noun, not an adjective. So on some level, your brain hears that and says, “woman president? That sounds wrong.” And it IS wrong, because it’s bad grammar. But unless you take the time to stop and think about why it’s wrong, you’ll just think “woman president” is icky somehow. We’re discriminating against professional equality linguistically.
Now, I know this might make me sound a little nutty, but here’s the proof. When we talk about men doing jobs that are traditionally performed by women, do we do the same thing? No, we don’t. We say “male nurse,” not “man nurse.” “Male cheerleader,” not “man cheerleader.” Right? So what the fuck?
I truly believe this is a form of deeply socially ingrained and profoundly impactful sexism, and I’ve made myself a one-woman army against it. I’ve also convinced my husband, so he’s in too. Join us. It’s easy. When you need an adjective for the condition of being a woman, use “female.” That’s it. Easiest form of protest ever. (If you explain it to someone else, you get a sticker.)