As a dedicated Star Wars fan, I frequently check the page for news. Today when I checked, I found the most exciting thing! Kathleen Kennedy has been announced with celebration as the President of LucasFilms and Producer of Episode VII. Kathleen Kennedy, a woman, is now heading the most well known scifi corporation and saga in film history. That is one small step for Kathleen Kennedy and one huge leap for women in the film industry (particularly science fiction).
Being excited as I was, I wanted to see who else is excited! I started reading the comments so I could celebrate with my fellow fans and then I see…it. Sexism! Misogyny! Everywhere! Thrown around like a hacky sack! A comment was made that now that there is a woman in charge the whole thing will be an “epic fail.” This made me ridiculously angry but alas! There were replies to the comment! Surely they were fans booing this sort of misogyny away from the page! And I was right…partially. There was a comment calling the user out on his utter use of sexism. Yay! And then came the following comment:
It may be sexist but its true.. all the greatest epic movies and movie franchises of all time have been done by men.. even in this day and age men are more respected in hollywood cause while women are better at supporting tasks and im not downplaying the importance of that.. men are still the true leadership visionaries..
Since it has been so… eloquently brought up by our comment-er here, let’s talk about what I came to talk about: Sexism in the Film Industry.
Men have, in fact, been the head producers of a majority of the great movies and franchises in film history. But shall we ask why? Is it, perhaps, because women are shot down when they step forward much like Kathleen Kennedy is being shot down in the comment above? Is it, perhaps, because women in the film industry are presented as nothing but sex symbols? Is it, perhaps, because the discrimination that women in the industry face is so crippling that it takes twice the effort to be successful than it takes for a man to do so? The answer, in case you were wondering, is yes.
Women are now and have always been seen as secondary to men in visual fields such as film and graphic novels. They have been brushed aside and said to only belong in the series…provided, of course that the fans can see enough thigh and cleavage. If the discrimination stops, women can and will truly prosper in creative and visual fields. If men like he who posted the above stop throwing impoverish comments out about men being the “true leadership visionaries” then we can have women who are true leadership visionaries. It is possible.
In conclusion, A+ for you, Ms. Kennedy! I have faith that you will do well with the project assigned and I have nothing but respect and admiration for your promotion to President. May the force be with you.