Lights, camera, feminism! In an industry that has long been dominated by men, women have, and continue to have to fight to make their mark. With all of the allegations that came out this year and the rise of the #MeToo movement, I would like to shed light on the powerful women who are making Hollywood a more inclusive place, where women too can have a voice.
Bigelow is the first female director to win the Academy Award for her work on The Hurt Locker in 2009. Yes, a mere nine years ago, a woman won the award for Best Director for the first time. And in 2018, she is still the only one. Bigelow has shattered many other glass ceilings in terms of awards, becoming the first woman to win the National Board of Review Award for Best Director and the first woman to win the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director twice. Here’s to trailblazing females!
Gerwig has been in the limelight a lot lately for her Oscar nominated directorial debut with Lady Bird. As a Barnard graduate who grew up in Sacramento, she pulled bits and pieces from her own life into her title character. But, as she says, “ I was only ever that way in my head” in speaking of Lady Bird’s brashness and fearlessness. In doing so, she adds another layer to what it means to be female through this character. This is an important project for women, putting the mother daughter relationship at center stage, in all its messiness and beauty. This may be her first project, but the world is ready for more.
Bechdel is an American cartoonist who is most famous for her work in her graphic novel Fun Home. The novel depicts the struggles she and her father experienced in their relationship; he as a closeted gay man and she as a lesbian woman who grows to accept her identity. The novel is critically acclaimed and deeply moving, as is the Broadway adaptation that won the Tony Award in 2015.
Bechdel also made an important contribution to the film and television world through her creation of the Bechdel Test. The test asks if a work of fiction features a relationship between two women in which they discuss something other than a man. In her creation of this test, Bechdel draws attention to the poor representation of females in film, with only about half of all films passing the test. The first step towards change is addressing that their is a problem, and Bechdel has helped tremendously in the movement towards representation for multifaceted female characters.
Ava is another hot topic name at the moment, with her film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time just opening in theaters. This monumental film marks the first time that a black woman has directed a live-action movie with a budget exceeding 100 million dollars. Ava is a prominent figure for black women in film, and uses her trailblazing success to bring other women up with her. Being in charge of this film, she chose to have Storm Reid, an actress of color, play Meg Murray. Representation is so important, and when there is more diversity in the people that are directing films, the films themselves will inherently be more inclusive. Ava brings diversity and women to the forefront in her projects, and is making a bold statement through her work about the type of world we must strive for.
Amy Sherman Palladino
ASP’s writing is quirky, genuine and heartwarming, and she creates fictional worlds that viewers feel at home in, and characters that feel like friends. Known for Gilmore Girls, Bunheads, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, ASP has created a name for herself through telling honest stories about women. She lets women be funny, be angry, be confused, be irrational, be caring, be intelligent, and, “exactly what they are.” Her work and her characters hold a special place in the hearts of women everywhere, because of their refreshing truthfulness.
The film and television industries are awakening, and women are being given more and more space. The best thing we as audiences can do is support these female based projects so that women can continue to break boundaries on the silver and small screens.