Tomorrow I get on a plane to shoot my second short film in NYC. I love directing my own writing. It feels wonderful to be able to put together a team and create a vision that feels authentic after many years of serving other people’s vision. I feel joy when I make these stories, and have many stored up from years of jotting down notes and ideas about things that matter to me. I don’t think of myself as a “female filmmaker” I’m just a creative artist, making work. Painting, writing, making music, directing… it’s all the same at a certain level.
This is not to say that I don’t realize how much the world of film can be a “man’s world” or a “boy’s club,” I simply choose to ignore it. Perhaps it’s all my years of being an actress, but I think I have quite possibly have heard and chose to ignore some pretty heinous comments: from burps as useless as “Nice ass” to lovely sentences like “Keep your bimbo emails to yourself.” That and much much worse. Smart ass comments about my being a woman are something I loathe, frankly.
But I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to contemplate the possibility that I am being constantly judged differently because of my sex. As Kimberly Pierce mentions in this article in the NY Times, it is just the same as telling a black person they weren’t invited to a party because it was an all white event. Call it racism or sexism, it’s all a form of bullying, really. Bullying based on fear and ignorance. Not only that, but thinking about such meanness in the world can actually stop a person from creating great work, work that deserves to be out there.
If I spend a lot of time thinking about the daunting power of “the boy’s club’s” or believe that I will never be anything more than second fiddle to a man, then that’s what I will be. And I refuse to live that way. I am a person. I like to work. I have ideas. I am of worth. Furthermore, I refuse to believe that a man can’t write a woman’s story, or that a woman can’t write a man’s story. I choose to believe that deep down, under the skin and beyond the genitalia, that we are far more similar than we are different.
It may be a fact that it’s tougher out there for women, but it’s a fact I’d like to live in denial of, thank you very much. And denial has been working for me, so far.
I make my little stories for the people who “get” them. Who realize that I am not talking to their bodies, I am talking to their hearts. I make them so we don’t have to think about why we are so awful to one another, but so we can keep remembering our shared humanity.