It looks, we really like job division and dividing responsibilities. I cook, you do dishes. You hunt, I gather. You on top, me on the bottom.
Apparently, in animation industry, more or less a corporate world, there are many more women producers than directors.
– But why!? – I shout every time I come across this bit of information.
One explanation came from a woman:
– Women make really good producers. They are very organized, they multitask well and they treat artists with respect and consideration.
The other explanation came from a man:
– There are some professions like that. For example, there are more female nurses than male nurses. And so, there are more women producers than men. Women just like to nurture.
Women like to nurture because they are brought up to believe that they like to nurture.
And men are brought up to nurse their fragile ego which is directly linked to the size of their reproductive organ and their last name which they are supposed to give to their female spouse and their male and female offspring. Obviously, no man can ever be sure that the children his spouse claims are his actually carry his genes, so the only way to ensure that at least something of his continues into the future is to give the children his last name.
Which brings us to the question why there are many more men directors than women. The answer to this question might lie in the link between a name and ego.
While producers do get some credit, it is a director who gets all the glory. His/her name is carried on a bright waving flag right after the title of the show or film.
Yes, creating something out of nothing is a frightening, risky, uncertain enterprise. It is much easier to produce something that has been already created. The person who successfully manages the difficult task of bringing images and ideas from his/her brain into reality definitely has to have good reasons to do so in order to persist.
Since there are less and less women in the contemporary world willing to take their husband’s last name (or even to marry) maybe male instinct to pass his genes to future generations transfers to desire to create a TV show, a feature film, an animated short under his name ?
Like a male dog who wakes up every morning and diligently makes the rounds marking every corner, every tree, every garbage bag on the territory he thinks is his. Dogs don’t have last names so they use their highly personalized piss.
How does it work for women in independent animation, then?
I don’t know the reasons why other women independent animators make their films. I just know about me.
I was a published writer since I was 14, so when the first man I married offered me his last name I pointed out that the name change would create a confusion for my readers. Secretly I felt highly protective of my last name because it was an important part of my identity – it was Latvian (a German name with a Latvian grammar adjustment denotes complicated history of Latvia and my family), it was female (in Latvian grammar “e” or “a” at the end of a name indicates female) and I had carried it through the sufferings of Soviet school system where your last name was used to humiliate, degrade, diminish and otherwise make you stronger.
My second husband realized the importance of my last name but he wanted to add his name to mine through a hyphen, which I agreed to (agreeing is the best female strategy at starting to avoid something) but the name adjustment was delayed due to some other urgencies, and by the time we got around to it we were already divorced.
So, every morning I wake up at 6 AM and start to work towards the glory of my own name.
Individualistic, narcissistic, selfish, a very un-nurturing female I am – an independent animator, writer, director, producer of my films.
Atypical female dog pissing on every corner and tree she encounters.
Actually, it is not far from the truth – my name is in a quite a few film festival catalogues that are, strictly speaking, a form of a tree.
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