Kit Steinkellner
May 05, 2015 12:11 pm

If you want a brutally honest look at gender bias in the film industry, look no further than the Tumblr “Sh*t People Say to Women Directors (and Other Women in Film).” It’s an anonymous “collective diary” of the overwhelmingly horrifying (and every once in a while horrifying AND hilarious) instances of sexism and misogyny women experience in the film industry.

The Tumblr was started anonymously and all contributors remain anonymous because, as the blog-runners state, “Women have been cowed into silence over these issues for fear of being further shut out, marginalized and denied networking opportunities after being labeled ‘whistle blowers’ or ‘difficult’ . . . We knew that virtually no one would participate openly. The fear of retaliation is severe.”

The Tumblr sees itself as “a kind of crisis intervention” dealing with the “enormous chasm” in “opportunity and earnings.” Indeed, though, for years now, the number of male and female graduates coming out of film school has been 50/50, women only make up 14% of all working directors in television and only 9% in film.

The Tumblr calls itself a space that is “designed for catharsis” and intends to be “a safe house where we [can] all share a laugh about how challenging the business really is for us.” So far it seems the Tumblr has been successful in its goals.

Quietly launched on April 30th, the creators ended up receiving, as their site states, “a year’s worth of content literally overnight” and “more than two years worth of content in a week’s time.”

It is terribly sad that in 2015 there is still so much rampant sexism and misogyny in Hollywood. That said, it’s heartening that this Tumblr exists, to provide community and solidarity for women working in the film and television industry, and to educate everyone re: the unacceptable gender bias practices in this industry that must change immediately.

Here’s a sampling of some of the “Sh*t People Say to Women Directors” posts. We highly recommend checking out the Tumblr itself. It’ll make your jaw drop, it’ll get your blood boiling, and then it will make you want to stand up and take action. We love that these women are standing up, sharing experiences, and taking action together.

These types stories are pervasive in many more industries than film, and as upsetting as they are we are heartened to see this sisterhood solidarity. The only way things will change is if we stand up.

Check out the whole Tumblr here.

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