by Adam B. Vary
When Pixar’s Brave arrived in theaters in June, two directors shared full credit for the film: Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman. The project had originated with Chapman — who’d previously directed DreamWorks Animation’sThe Prince of Egypt — but at the beginning of 2011, the studio took the reins from her completely and handed them to Andrews, who’d worked on The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
It was a surprising development to say the least, given that Chapman had been Pixar’s first female director of a feature length film, not to mention that Brave featured the studio’s first female protagonist, a fiery Scottish archer-princess named Merida (Kelly Macdonald). But other than a brief comment to the Los Angeles Times in 2011 that the split was due to “creative differences,” Chapman has remained silent on the matter. Until now.
In an essay for a larger New York Times feature about women’s perpetual underrepresentation in all corners of Hollywood, Chapman wrote that the past year and a half had been “a heartbreakingly hard road” for her. “When Pixar took me off of Brave — a story that came from my heart, inspired by my relationship with my daughter — it was devastating,” she writes.
While she still does not go into any specifics about why she was removed from the film, Chapman makes quite clear she did not agree with the decision. “Animation directors are not protected like live-action directors, who have the Directors Guild to go to battle for them,” she writes. “We are replaced on a regular basis — and that was a real issue for me. This was a story that I created, which came from a very personal place, as a woman and a mother. To have it taken away and given to someone else, and a man at that, was truly distressing on so many levels.”
Chapman does point out that ultimately her “vision” remained in the film, and that she remains “very proud of the movie.” But her last word on the matter (for now) would seem to suggest that after reportedly leaving Pixar to consult on an animation project for Lucasfilm, she’s not eager to return. “Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced,” she writes. “Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen.”
When reached by EW, Pixar declined to comment.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately.
“All girls continue to be taught when they are young, if not by their parents then by the culture around them, that they must earn the right to be loved — that “femaleness” is not good enough. This is a female’s first lesson in the school of patriarchal thinking and values. She must earn love. She is not entitled. She must be good enough to be loved. And good is always defined by someone else, someone on the outside.”
bell hooks in Communion: Female Search for Love (via nepantlera-en-la-frontera)
True shit. We’re taught that if someone doesn’t love us, then we didn’t work hard enough or try hard enough, or we simply weren’t good enough. That kind of
psychoticmindset impacts so many young women.
I think the most twisted form of this is, “You have to love yourself first!” I hate that one. It’s used to make absolutely everything our fault. “Men keep abusing me.” Well, if you don’t love yourself first that’s the type of guy you’ll attract! “No one will love me because I’m Black.” Well, if you love yourself first, you can magically not be aware of racism!
TRIGGER WARNING HARASSMENT, MYSOGINY
This morning I was walking to work from the train station, idly daydreaming about the day ahead, not really thinking of anything but making my way to work as I do every morning. I had barely got a few metres when the first one happened - a guy moved really close to me at the kiosk near the station when I stopped to buy some breath mints. I moved away, because he was standing too close when there was plenty of room and no-one else about… and he moved closer to me again. I moved aside again, because I felt uncomfortable about him being so close when there was no need for him to. He moved close again. So this time, I walked around to the other side of the kiosk, making out to look at something over there… and he followed and stood really close, and when I turned and looked at him he grinned and licked his lips. This happened two more times before the guy behind the counter finished his phone call and served me and I could march away.
I was feeling really skeeved out, but tried to shake it off (as we women are constantly told to do) and was just starting to wander in my thoughts again, when a young guy standing in a doorway a few metres away from me, nudged the two people who were with him and pointed at me and the three of them laughed at me, and he said “Great hair, fatso.” loudly when I drew level with them. Bear in mind this was only maybe a minute or two after the guy back at the kiosk.
I had not got more than 5 doors down the street, when I heard a loud, slow clapping noise. I turned and an older man sitting at a café was clapping loudly and slowly, looking right at me, when he realised he had caught my attention, he raised his hands above his head and continued clapping, slow, deliberate claps. The other man sitting with him laughed and stared at me as well.
Finally, just outside my office building, less than a kilometre away from the train station and the first incident, I passed two men smoking on the street corner. One turned to the other and said clear enough to hear, “Jesus, would you look at that?” and indicated me. The other turned and looked and caught my eye, and had the audacity to look embarrassed, but said nothing.
So in less than a kilometres walk, I was street harassed FOUR times by four different men, for nothing more than being a woman (maybe a fat woman with coloured hair) passing them by.
As you can imagine, I was understandably REALLY angry. Angry that I could not walk to work, minding my own business, without being harassed by a man, not just once, but four times. This happens to me all the time, it happens to a lot of women all the time. I had a good rant on twitter and several women tweeted back to me about their experiences of street harassment and how it makes them angry.
Of course, there are always those who accuse women who are angry at men for a) street harassment and b) standing by and watching while their mates, male family members, colleagues and other acquaintances harass women on the street of “reverse sexism” or of “generalising about all men”, or “tarring all men with the same brush”. One woman, who had never bothered to speak to me on Twitter (or anywhere else) before, demanded I elaborate on what the incidents were and was offended when I said “I’d rather not relive the experiences right now thanks”. As if I owed her an explanation of my experiences to “prove” what I had been through. A nice thing to ask a complete stranger mere minutes after they had been through a horrible experience - no it’s not. I was actually hesitant to talk about it here, but I decided I wanted to illustrate just the kind of shit women deal with. But just because I’m angry and expressing that anger, doesn’t mean I’m not also traumatised by that experience.
Here’s the problem. When we get angry, as we rightly should, about street harassment, it is labelled man-hating/misandry. Yet what is street harassment of women if it’s not misogyny? Who is doing the hating of a gender here - me, a woman angry and upset at street harassment and calling for men to treat women as human beings, or men who harass women on the street? This is victim blaming at it’s most blatant - not only is it my fault for being harassed by strangers (because I’m a woman/fat/I have coloured hair), but if I get angry about this harassment, I’m told that I draw it to me, that I deserve that harassment, I “bring it on myself”.
I don’t hate men. I just don’t trust them. I CAN’T trust most of them, for my own safety and sanity. I can count on one hand the number of men in my life that I truly feel I can trust. I love those men dearly (you know who you are guys). This isn’t because I have some kind of man hating thing going on, it’s because time and time again, men have hurt me. From the day I was born I have been abused by men. My father, my brother, boys at school, teachers, family friends, employers, colleagues, male friends, partners and complete strangers on the street. All my life, over and over, I have been taught by experience that I must be wary of men, because when I am not, they hurt me. MOST women get this lesson in life. I’m not unique, it’s not just women who have suffered childhood abuse that learn this lesson, it’s the majority of women. Why wouldn’t we learn to distrust men? Why wouldn’t we be wary and intimidated?
Most of all, it’s time for men to stand up against this kind of thing. It’s time for men, not just to stop doing it, but to speak up when it happens in their presence AND to support women who speak about their experiences. Men - it’s time to collect your people. It’s time for you to “man up” and change a culture that is YOUR responsibility, not ours. It doesn’t make you less of a man to speak up and say “Hey, don’t speak to her like that.” It doesn’t diminish your manhood to support a woman (and believe a woman) when she says she is being abused by men. In fact, I believe it makes you a better person for doing it, regardless of your gender. One of the few men I trust earned that trust by speaking up in front of a full worksite of men when I was the only woman present and said firmly “Mate, I won’t have that kind of talk here.” in response to a dude in a suit who had just made a horrible comment about the capability of women in the workforce. Not only did he stand up in front of the perpetrator of that misogyny, but his own two adult sons were present, as well as about a dozen other men. So that message went to everyone there, not just the perpetrator and not just me.
It’s time for the men who consider themselves “good guys” to stand up and let both other men AND women hear them speaking out about things like street harassment, sexism and the safety of ALL women, and earn that title of good guy. Stop pretending it doesn’t happen and that it’s not your responsibility.
bell hooks in Communion: Female Search for Love (via monkeyknifefight)
And I play into that like a person who really plays into that.
You deserve to be love, you’ve always deserved it and this is true for all people who read this I’m so sorry you had to go through this…
No one deserves to feel like they have to earn love this is so wrong…
HUGE TRIGGER WARNING, MENTION OF RACISM, ABUSE, VIOLENCE, JAIL, MISOGINY AND A VERY UNFAIR SHITTY JUSTICE SYSTEM)
Ms. Alexander, a mother of 3, who currently holds a Master’s Degree and had no prior criminal record; was attacked by her husband who has a known and documented history of domestic abuse on August 1, 2010. Alexander was arrested after she fired a warning shot into the wall after her husband threatened to kill her.
Join us on May 29th, 2012 at Hemming Plaza in Jacksonville, FL. Starting at 8am as we march toward the new courthouse. Speakers, Musical tributes & much more.
Shit, I’m too late here too.
- be thin
- have a vagina
- give birth
- cook for you
- have long hair
- wear makeup
- have sex with you
- be feminine
- be graceful
- be fashionable
- wear pink
- love men
- be the media’s idea of perfection
- listen to your bullshit
[image: drawing of a woman walking, looking angrily at a group of men who are leering at her from behind. the left side of the image contains the phrases, “hey, nice stems!” “i love you!” “you’re beautiful!” “why don’t you smile?!”, and the right side, as she walks away, says “fine, bitch!” “you’re ugly anyway!” “prude!” “slut!” “don’t walk away from me!”]
my day. everyday.
every womans day.
It’s not every woman’s day; I get a rather different set of comments ._.
Ugh, both this and the other set of comments must be really… I don’t even have words.
This reminds me how i’m privileged and lucky.
And realize that even when not taking part of these, just tolerating these attitudes is being part of the problem.
And people laugh when I tell them women are still invisible in this world.
Things I did not know, but should.
Even better? A woman having all the “classic” (read: male) symptoms of heart attack is more than twice as likely to be sent home from the ER than to be checked out, EKGed, and examined.
Because we’re just hormone-addled hysterics. :-(
i do not endorse feministing but factual quote.
Super ciscentric, and another post of this pointed out that it leaves transitioning/ed trans people left out, but, this is important to know.
This is very ciscentric, but I agree that this is very important info to know. My mother was sent home with anti anxiety meds rather than examined for heart issues. It took months to figure out that she likely had a mild heart attack.
I do have chest pain (albeit I didn’t clutch my chest or invisible bicep), and the hospital knew I had put up a fight for others being sent home before, so my heart was examined sooner as opposed to later, but that is very interesting. What is also interesting is that my heart conditions are in the top leading causes of death for pregnant women, but cardiologists are uncomfortable around pregnant women allegedly because they don’t see many. It may be possible that both statistics are true at once: I was certainly young for a heart attack and the heart failure that developed from it, but of average age for a person of my background, but most women are not pregnant in their mid-late forties. I’m not sure what to think. Anyway, I hope none of you ever experience this and I hope you have good doctors if you do.