Shit People Say To Women Directors takes a stand against sexism in the film industry, one anonymous post at a time
Female directors are a rare breed in film. Just search for “best directors” online and the only ones Google suggests are male. A study earlier this year found that women directed only 7 per cent of the top 250 grossing films in 2014. The film industry has always been notoriously sexist, making it hard for female talent to break through. But thanks to this new Tumblr, things could start to change.
Shit People Say To Women Directors encourages women in the industry to anonymously come forward with their stories of discrimination and harassment. The site, which began on April 23, has already gained a lot of attention in the industry with more and more women submitting their stories each day. The accounts vary from casual sexist comments to full on disturbing misogyny – all of them giving a depressing look into the world of being a female film maker.
The anonymous creators of the Tumblr state on their page: “It’s a crazy business, especially for women. Until now, we haven’t had a platform to share some of the let’s call them 'unusual' things people have said to us while working. This is for catharsis and to expose some of the absurd barriers women face in the entertainment business. Open to all women in film. Please feel free to submit stories, quotes, images, gifs, whatever, to the curators. We’d love to share your story.”
The Tumblr hopes to raise awareness of sexism in the industry and taps into more recent reports showing (what we already knew) that women in film are extremely under-represented. One survey, conducted by by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute, found that “men outnumbered women 23-to-1 as directors of the 1,300 top-grossing films since 2002”.
Cathy Schulman, the president of Women In Film Los Angeles, told Deadline: “Having completed this three-year study, we now know that female filmmakers face deep-rooted presumptions from the film industry about their creative qualifications, sensibilities, tendencies and ambitions.” Even at this year’s Tribeca festival, only 33% of the directors in the competition were women.
If the page continues to get the types of submissions it already has, hopefully the industry will finally start putting females first. If you’re not up to scratch on your female directors see our dA-Zed guide to the essential female film makers or read about the female directors taking action.