Monday, March 21, 2016
There Is A Difference.
I'm fortunate enough to be working in this industry in a time where the boys club of grip and electrics is more welcoming of having females in their mix. While there are definitely times when I know I'm not even considered for a job because of my gender, there are some people out there who don't even think twice about it (or they do and hire me anyway) and have no issues welcoming me into their crew. As difficult as things are for a woman trying to make it in this department now, I can't even imagine how much harder it must have been for those who came before me.
However, despite some people who are willing to hire us, we still have a loooooong way to go before we're seen as actual equals. I know many of you guys out there will say you see no difference between a male colleague and a female one and "everyone's treated the same" on your crew, but I'm here to tell you, that while I know you mean well, you need to open your fucking eyes.
Because no matter how good your intentions are, and whether you realize it or not, there is a difference between how we're treated. No matter whose set we're on.
Have you ever not been hired because of your gender?
Or not hired because of what you're wearing?
Do they ever discuss what you're wearing at all?
I've been asked countless times if I ever wear heels or dresses, always saying they'd pay me to wear those things to work. Like I'm not even a person, but just someone here for their entertainment. As if asking me to dress like a "real woman" just to satisfy their curiosity of what I'd look like as a feminine version of myself isn't insulting. Yet at the same time, I've been not hired back before because somehow my t-shirt and jeans were deemed "inappropriate and too revealing."
Do they talk about your sexuality? Do they assume you're gay, just because of the job title you hold? Or assume you're a lesbian because you shoot down all the co-workers who ask you out? Because, you know, you're a single woman and therefore the only reason you'd turn down a date is because you play for the other team.
Do they talk about your personal life on set, unprompted?
Ask you why you're single or when the last time you had a boyfriend was and how long the relationship lasted? As if your worth was determined by how much you were wanted by a man. Like you were defined by whether or not you're in a relationship. Or maybe even called asexual because of your singledom. As if any of this is any of their business or plays a part in the job I do.
I've been told I'm a distraction to the crew despite behaving like any other co-worker. Apparently, I'm considered to be a distraction no matter what I do. I'm constantly watched and criticized when those around me often fuck up unnoticed.
Someone is always watching me. Watching me sit at staging. Watching me move a light. Watching me at crafty. Multiple times, I've caught men staring at me as I lift a piece of cable or set a light, saying they're "just watching me work." I often have to be sure my back's turned to a wall before I bend over to tie up a stinger or to plug something in.
I've been assigned to "light duty" jobs because I look like I can't handle the "real work" and then chastised for not being able to do the "real work" I was never given a chance to do. Does anyone ever assume you can't lift something most of your other colleagues can? Is "oh, you're stronger than I thought you were" something you hear often?
If I smile and laugh at the Driver's jokes, they consider me a flirt. If I don't I'm considered to be cold hearted, or a bitch, and our truck ends up parked a quarter mile from set.
If I'm seen at Crafty too much, I'm told I "sure do eat a lot." If I'm not seen at Crafty enough, I must be a "typical girl", watching my weight when I'm anything but "typical".
They send me in to talk to the expendables guy to see if they can get a discount or their order put though faster because I'm a "pretty girl" that can be whored out. And then they get a smug look on their faces when I get the job done, as if they finally found a use for me. Sometimes, it's the sole reason why they keep me around. (Ps. The expendable guy you keep sending me in to "work my womanly charms on"? He's GAY. I get the shit done because take the time to learn their names and I ask nicely.)
I can't stretch my stiff muscles during a long day without feeling self conscious and worried about people staring. If I stretch my arms, will they stare at my breasts? If I bend over to stretch my legs, will they see that as an invitation to stare at my ass? It's normal to see the other guys stretching in the middle of staging. If I do it, I get catcalled.
Unfortunately, there is a difference between me and the other boys on set.
Whether you notice it or not, there is a difference.
And that is why we still have a long ways to go.
*This is the only video of the clip I could find that I could embed. To see a higher quality version, go here. In fact, you should probably take a minute and read the article.