This is a spur-of-the-moment post inspired by a few things I’ve come across over the Internet in the past 24 hours.
Last night, I posted an article about geologist Maria Tharp, the woman who changed the geological community’s view and understanding of the ocean floors. Never heard of her? Neither have I and I’m a geologist! Just goes to show you that too many talented women don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve despite their groundbreaking contributions to their respect fields.
[Read her story here: How one woman’s discovery shook the foundations of geology.]
One paragraph in this article resonated with me: “At the University of Ohio, she discovered geology and found a mentor who encouraged her to take drafting. Because Tharp was a woman, he told her, fieldwork was out of the question, but drafting experience could help her get a job in an office like the one at Columbia.”
When I was taking up my undergraduate degree in geology, the ratio of male to female students was almost 1:1, and yet, I remember one teaching assistant tell me that I should (or would) never work in a mine because, as he said, “they’re all men and they probably won’t like having women around.” I’ve never been one to listen to such senseless comments anyway so I shrugged it off. Well, if he could only see me now. Not only have I worked in a mine site – several, in fact – I’ve worked in remote areas where sometimes, even if I am the only female, none of the men I’ve ever worked with treated me differently.
Earlier this month, Frankie tagged me in a post over on Facebook. It’s to do with our all-time favourite love story, The X-Files. Yes, you read that right. Let’s forget about the aliens and the conspiracies and all the other weird things that happened in that show. Let’s just focus on Mulder and Scully. They are the epitome of what a real partnership is. Theirs is a love built on the foundation of friendship, mutual respect, and admiration of the others’ intelligence. They are presented in the show as equals. Equals! Need I say more?
One of my favourite scenes from the show is where Scully says that the best relationships are the ones rooted in friendship. Hear, hear!
From The Rain King (S6, Ep8)
[How The X-Files ruined all other TV romances. Heck, it’s even ruined real life romance for me.]
I’m not what you’d call a movie-goer*. I watch movies sometimes and I know which ones I like and which ones I hate. If you were to guess which movies appealed to me the most, you might assume it’s the ones with the strong female characters, right? Sure. Except, are there really enough movies like that? I don’t know but I’d really like to know and so I’m going to help fund a Kickstarter project. Again, thanks to Frankie, I’m contributing to MaryAnn Johanson’s “Where are the women? (A feminist protest in film criticism).
[See also: Bechdel Test]
Now I have never been one to call myself a feminist but that doesn’t mean I don’t identify as one. I am and have always been. I get that from my mother even if she herself would never call herself a feminist. I suppose I was brought up in an household where we didn’t need labels. We simply were feminists in everything we did.
Why do I want to fund this project? Because I want to know if females are represented fairly and adequately in movies. If it is said that art is a reflection of society, then what does that say about our society?
I feel like the fight for equality will always be an uphill battle but maybe, just maybe, projects like these will help make the world see that women do a lot of great things. (And that this reality needs to be reflected in movies too.)
We’re right here and we matter!
[See also: Bechdel Test]
*I know, I know. Even my friend and former flatmate, Gerald, laughed at my somewhat antiquated term. And he’s one who loves his movies.