After having just gotten back into town with a few days to settle in before I go back to work, I take my friend up on his offer to visit him on his set. When I get to the location, he and his crew are pre-rigging a house while first unit's out shooting some driving stuff, which made it the perfect opportunity for him to show me around and introduce me to the rest of the crew.
The introductions, however, go something like this:
My Friend: "And this is Juicer #1 and Juicer #2. Guys, this is A.J. She's a friend of mine who worked with me on [previous show]."
Juicer #2: "Cool. Nice to meet you. Wasn't there a chick in the grip department on that show too?"
Me: "Yeah... So?"
Juicer #2: [looking kind of embarrassed] "Nothing..."
Although I'm sure Juicer#2 had good intentions when he brought up the subject of another female who works g/e, the fact that it was the first thing he brought up bothered me. Yes, I am a girl in a male dominated field. And no, I normally don't mind when people mention it during a conversation (usually it's because they wonder what it's like for female in my department). But sometimes, it sucks when that's all anyone notices about you, because then, you're not being defined as a bad ass grip or electric who just happens to also be a chick. Instead, you're first and foremost being seen as a girl... who just happens to have a day job being a juicer. Which means that it doesn't really matter how hard you work at your career, or how well you do your job. No matter what you do, you'll always be noticed for being the chick in a group of electrics.
Am I being a tad touchy on the subject? Maybe. But at the same time, if I ever get the privilege to meet Morgan Freeman, the first words out of my mouth isn't going to be, "Nice to meet you. One of my best friends is black!"