A Correction

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By Claire

As a feminist, and a recent one at that, I am constantly learning. After years of living in this gosh darn patriarchal society, as a woman I have learnt to think in a certain male-dominated point of view, especially when it comes to careers. Girls are too often taught that we are lesser beings, and for that we have to work harder to achieve our goals, to be recognised and respected.

Even as I write this, I think about how CRAZY INSANE this all is. Women are lesser than men? For no valid reason at all? Who the hell decided that, and what kind of dystopian world are we living in? 

Firstly, we need to stop ingraining in girl's minds that being a girl makes you less of a person, that men are strong and powerful and it is our job to support them, to take a step back so they can stride ahead. And this is all subconscious. We aren't fully aware that we do all of these things, have all of these thoughts that leave women with the desire to prove ourselves, whereas men do not. Popular culture and the media do play a major part in this, but everyone is learning. Women are waking up out of the patriarchal haze once again, and this time we will get more change. 

A couple of weeks ago at a Women in Film panel I had the pleasure to attend, the discussion of actions and quotas were discussed. Fueled by passion, anger at this damn patriarchal industry/world, and I will admit, tiredness, I raised my hand and argued something that I, at the time, thought was perfectly logical: quota's in the film industry to have a 50/50% divide of male and female led films/productions would not be effective, because in order to fill the quota you may be forced to take on a project that fails. 

I thought that while men make bad films all the time, as an emerging group, no matter how many great female-led films there are, one bad film by a women may be used as an argument on why women shouldn't make films. 

At the time I couldn't understand why the argument was received badly, as I thought to myself: I need to learn to stop apologising and stick to my beliefs. 

However, I am apologising and retracting this statement today, but this is because I have seen the errors of my ways. On Friday I attended another Women in Film panel with Rebecca Harkins-Cross (film editor of The Big Issue) and Brodie Lancaster (founding editor of Filmme Fatales), and they made me realise how stupid I was being.

Here's the thing:

WHO CARES IF WOMEN MAKE BAD FILMS FROM TIME TO TIME? Who cares if a women filmmaker has a flop, or "fails" once in a while? We (Women in film activists, I guess you could say) are not in the business of supporting women to make films, only if their good. It's about increasing the amount of women who are given a chance to make films.

Full stop. 

Male filmmakers do not have the pressure to make stunning film after film. If a male filmmaker approaches a producer and says "I want to make this film", more often than not, they will get their funding. There will definitely be another Transformers movie, but it is harder for female-led projects to be taken on board. This is because female filmmakers are seen as too risky to invest in. 

To risky?! 

Women have so much pressure placed on them to constantly be doing good. And if they make a good film, it's even harder for them to e trusted again. Case in point: at the panel on Friday, Brodie Lancaster pointed out that Catherine Hardwicke directed the first Twilight movie, but the rest of them were done by men: Chris Weitz, David Slade and Bill Condon. This gives the impression that women are not to be trusted, especially with large-grossing blockbuster film franchises. 

Salma Hayek said at a talk held by The Hollywood Reporter at Cannes that for female productions to be taken on, we must "show them the money."  Show these executives that female made productions will sell, will be consumed, because women are powerful consumers and will watch this content. But does it really have to come to that?

In short, I now understand why my first statement was so wrong. It shouldn't matter if quotas may or may not mean the occasional bad film by a woman is made: As long as films by women are being made. The closer we can get to a 50/50 divide, the better. 

Hopefully one day, this can occur without a quota even being needed.

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