Ladies, why is it that it’s 2016 and we still can’t get any recognition in one of the world’s leading industries?
Women are totally conquering the literary world–according to USA Today’s annual bestseller lists, authors like J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, E.L. James, and Gillian Flynn are some of the most popular writers in the country. Over the past decade, they have consistently earned spots among the top ten bestselling novelists. This widespread popularity has led to some of the highest grossing movie adaptations of all time: the Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight film franchises.
So why is it that, despite the fact that such movies only exist because of the female imagination, the film industry seems to almost actively prevent women from contributing? Only one of the aforementioned films (Twilight) was directed by a woman (Catherine Hardwicke).
As a whole, the film industry suffers from a severe lack of diversity. Only 1-2% of composers, 5% of editors, 5% of cinematographers, and 7% of directors are women. And even these women, the few who manage to overcome Hollywood’s appalling gender divide, receive minimal critical acclaim during their careers. No woman has ever even been nominated for an Oscar in cinematography.
So what (if any) rationale could there be for such disparity? Is it simply a matter of convenience–that it’s much easier to write at home, especially for moms? The motherhood penalty is certainly quite high in Hollywood (among actors, too, not just directors and editors). Or is that YA fiction is not as widely respected (especially by critics) as film, making it more accessible to “less talented” artists?
Whatever the reason, something clearly needs to change. Young adult fiction may not be the most “literary” of all genres, but it is a genre marked by hope. For teens and even adults around the world, YA novels offer the kind of excitement, insight, and inspiration that is so obviously missing in the oft-depressing-yet-critically-acclaimed works of other genres.
So here’s a bit of YA inspiration for every woman out there who aspires to a career in the film industry:
Never give up, ladies! Our time is overdue and will come!
YouTube Channel: Jack Howard
Featured image via On The Fourth Floor
h/t The Mary Sue