Forgive me for a moment while I gush. Yesterday ( Sunday 5th March) I had the good fortune to be asked to host the Satellite Stream, beamed live from the Sydney Opera House to the beautiful Joan, where we gathered for the All About Women event in which the keynote address was by actor Geena Davis. I have loved Geena Davis ever since her 1991 role as Thelma in the groundbreaking Thelma & Louise. For me, this movie started a fire in my belly toward where I am now regarding feminism and female empowerment. It wasn’t because of the shooting, sexual assault, running from the law and ultimate suicide but rather the transformation of the female characters especially Geena’s character Thelma, who found her voice and stepped into her power, and the light ignited in her shines through, her face lights up the screen.
For the last ten years Geena has been working in the Institute Gender in Media – See Jane, that Geena Founded. Her institute was started to advance the visibility of girls and women in the media. Today in Geena’s address, we learnt so many great things which I want to share with you all today as we focus on IWD:
In the FICTIONAL world of film and especially in family G-rated films, some of the gender depictions;
• The number one potential occupation is royalty – (tough gig to get!)
• 81% of strong lead characters are male
• Research found that the clothing worn by fictional females was the same as rated R films.
• Its always the mother or female who is killed off
• Stepmothers are always evil, rarely if ever the men.
• In a group of 127 characters, only 12 were female
• In strong leading career roles, the ratio is 13 males to 1 female
• In technology roles, the ratio is 15 males to 1 female
• In crowd scenes in animated films, for example in a village, they are nearly all males.
And lastly, the crew behind the scenes is 95% male.
The truth is that since film started in 1946, the ratio of male to female has not changed.
Geena describes herself and as an impatient optimist. At current rates of reform, it would be 700 years before we have complete gender parity. However, we can change TOMORROW parity on our screens, an equal quantity of female and male characters.
Do you know that with the strong representation of female forensic scientists on our screens, the take-up of study for forensic scientists has skyrocketed
“If she can see it, she can be it.”
I hope you will join us in Hills Hawkesbury and Katoomba this week as we celebrate International Women’s Day