When I first started covering the women's film beat I would introduce myself to the other mostly male critics and bloggers at screenings telling them what I did, and I was usually greeted with a strange look of sympathy and confusion. Some said, you cover films that star and/or are directed by women? How interesting (with a note of condescension thrown in).
Those types of greetings made me even more determined. One issue that seems to get glazed over is the lack of female film critics and bloggers. Blogging is not a male world as the statistics show, but film blogging seems to be, and we need to get more women's voices to be a part of the mix.
This all began when I jumped in on a conversation on the film blogosphere last week regarding this posting Two Female Leads about how few films feature two female leads. My comments became a post on Awards Daily Women in Hollywood on the Case and Sasha Stone the site editor took it a bit further with these comments:
One interesting development in media lately is that, if you buy the idea that the web has anything to do with the success of film, film sites are dominated by male personalities. Most film critics are male (almost all, frankly); the popular Hollywood buzz sites (so-called) are dominated by males. The female voices out there are few and far between and tend to be judged more on how they look, sorry but it’s true, than what they write - no one cares what the male bloggers look like. Hot and sexy women on the web draw readers in this particular fanboy generation of film coverage on the web. So, women need to shove themselves into the middle of the room and be loud about it
I find very few women infiltrating the fanboy universe — a few here and there. Even Kate Coe, one of the more interesting female voices on the web, was recently fired from Fishbowl LA because she dared to ask for more money to do extra work that wasn’t part of her job. So there’s Anne Thompson, Susan Wloszczyna, Kim Voynar, Kim Morgan - who else? The sexist terrain of the web makes it very difficult for women to rise the same way men do, unless they’re someone like the Wonkette - using a combo of wit, sex appeal, good looks, etc. Yes, it’s a double standard but it won’t change until people start making noise about it and women start getting involved.Thanks Sasha for the link and for the thoughtful comments. Maybe what we need is a clearinghouse for all the female bloggers and critics? (Update: I added a small blogroll to my site- send me more names.)