Shit People Say to Women Directors Tumblr shows why we need to talk about what it's like to be a female director in Hollywood.

This Great Tumblr Shows Why We Need to Talk About What It’s Like to Be a Female Director

This Great Tumblr Shows Why We Need to Talk About What It’s Like to Be a Female Director

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Slate's Culture Blog
April 28 2015 2:41 PM

This Great Tumblr Shows Why We Need to Talk About What It’s Like to Be a Female Director

How many of these things has Ava Duvernay experienced on her ride to the top?

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

While at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, my colleague Forrest Wickman and I interviewed a few up-and-coming female directors about their experiences in and perspectives on working in a male-dominated industry. It was fascinating to hear Kris Swanberg (Unexpected), Crystal Moselle (The Wolfpack), and Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me) discuss the hurdles and benefits of being a female director. Yet truthfully, convening such panels can be tricky—something we were made very aware of—because female directors are undoubtedly asked all the time to talk about being female directors, in a way that male directors never are. (And, understandably, this can get old: Part of being in an underrepresented demographic of any kind—a woman, a person of color, a gay person, etc.—is balancing the desire to speak out against such marginalization while also seeking to be treated just like anyone else.)

These conflicting feelings are part of why I was excited to stumble upon the Tumblr “Shit People Say to Women Directors,” which is exactly what the title suggests, and nicely captures the complicated experience of being a female director in Hollywood. It’s a useful reminder that for all the strides that have been made for female directors, there’s still plenty of entrenched sexism to be found. I mean, take a look at this:


Or this:



Well, then.

Needless to say, it would be very interesting to know who the anonymous directors and men in these examples are. But regardless, this blog is a helpful window into the spectrum of sexism experienced by female filmmakers, which ranges from casual presumptuousness to all-out abusive misogyny. That last example, about the assumption that women “can’t” direct action films, is something Kris Swanberg discussed with us at Sundance. And while it can be irritating to constantly be reminded that you’re a “female filmmaker,” this great Tumblr is proof that talking about this is necessary, too.  

(Via Boing Boing.)

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.