There are not enough women in film

There aren't enough women in politics. There aren't enough women in science. There aren't enough women in tech. There aren't enough women in film… and I don't mean women appearing in films - crucially, there aren't enough stories being told with women as central, leading, independent characters, and there aren't enough directors, writers, producers, cinematographers that are women.

As well as being a fan of film, I also teach Media Studies to GCSE and A Level students (hence the Educational Resources category). Several times already this academic year, young female students have told me that they aspire to direct films. It makes me unbelievably proud to hear and I want to be confident that the next generation of young people will be accepted and supported in whatever field they choose to study or train in - no matter their gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality or background.

This is what inspired me to start this site - I'm a strong believer that if you want to see a change, you have to be the change. Right now, because of various movements and the many positive, progressive voices which are reaching more and more people by the day, change is happening. A shift in power. What with Time's Up and the #MeToo campaigns, as well as lots of equal pay rows happening in the public eye thanks to brave women like Carrie Gracie, there is a feeling of momentum at the moment and I figured the more supportive, female voices in the ether, the better. It speaks volumes that as I was watching Battle of the Sexes yesterday (review coming soon), I was both in awe and baffled - in awe of Billie Jean King for all she did for gender (and LGBTQ) equality and rights during a time when overt sexism was socially acceptable, but baffled because, 45 years on, equal pay is still something that needs to be fought for at all levels.

I have been writing for various outlets for over a decade now - mostly about music, during which time I experienced plenty of condescension - and when it comes to film, the first critics that come to mind for me are Mark Kermode, Peter Bradshaw, James King and Robbie Collin. Though I admire their work, I can't help but feel that this is yet another area of the media where women are under-represented. In fact, if you Google 'Film critics', out of the 51 that appear, 10 are women.

Worse than that, on the Wikipedia page listing 'Notable Film Critics', out of the 113 writers listed, just 14 are women! That's not to say supportive networks for female critics don't exist. @Femalecritics is a great Twitter feed to follow, and there is a great article on the BFI website celebrating female film critics here.

Clearly, something is still fundamentally wrong with the opportunities afforded to women, and film is just one of the affected areas. Therefore, Miss En Scene will always aim to do the following:

  • Review films which prominently feature women;

  • Seek out films written, produced and directed by women;

  • Write about film from a feminist perspective;

  • Celebrate and promote equal opportunities for women in the media.

I am perfectly happy to carry on adding my own content, but I would much rather share the space and use the site as an opportunity for others to be a part of the wider conversation…. so, as you will see on the blog page, there is a 'Guest Posts' category, so if you would like to write a blog post on any of the above, or simply review a film, get in contact and be a part of #Womeninfilm!