There are times when I wonder how much longer I will continue my series Films About Women. I am thinking that I may take a break from that series next March. I may take it up again at a later time, but I will likely need a break. It takes time to find and watch the films. (Hey, that will be two years.)
And yet, there are moments when I feel galvanized to keep going. I was listening to Bosspyants in my car this week. Tina Fey is very funny. However, she tells a story about Second City, the famous comedy troupe in Chicago. Tina Fey loves Second City. She refers to it as her cult. And yet, the directors of the troupe would frequently refuse to schedule two women to be in the same scene. After all, as they said, “No one wants to see a scene with two women.”
No one wants to see a scene with two women.
Later in the book, Tina Fey proudly proclaims that 10 million people watched her and Amy Pohler perform Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton in September 2008, and that the man in Second City could go shit in his hat.
There’s another reason why I am doing this series. Last year, when I was subbing, I spent an afternoon in an elementary school class. The students were no older than 3rd grade and they had to write a paragraph and color a person. I handed out the sheets to color. A few minutes later, a girl came up to me, furious and frustrated. “Why are the pictures always pictures of boys?!”
I didn’t even know how to answer her. Well, I knew how to answer her (Patriarchy! Sexism! The Feminine Mystique!) but not in an age appropriate way. There was nothing I could do to quell the pain and anger in her eyes. Fortunately, she asked me, “Can I give him long hair so he is a girl?” “Of course!” I answered. (And while we’re at it, I’ll get you some bras that you can burn!)
I guess, in my own way, my series is in the same vein as that little girl. I may take a break from the series next March. But until then, I’m going to give help the little girl give the pictures long hair.