On Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the Lunafest event at the Friends School of Portland. Lunafest is a series of short films by, for, and about women. The films were wonderful– poignant, touching, sad, happy, inspiring.
One of my favorite films was “Flawed,” by Andrea Dorfman. There’s a snippet of it here. Probably it was the picture book nature of the film that captured my creative side(she uses time lapse photography as she illustrates the story), but it was the story itself (about how she learns accepts herself– her largish nose specifically) that grabbed at my heart and wouldn’t let go. All of the films had something about them that I connected with deeply, but the most important take-away was much, much bigger.
I am a proud feminist and my sons are about sick of me drumming for more equality in the media. Still, it only takes one look at films like Miss Representation, or the work from Equal Visibility Everywhere- EVE, or studies commissioned by Geena Davis’s organization See Jane?, or the literary work by VIDA to understand that there is still serious work to be done to achieve parity in media. Here’s the thing though, even as I drum for equality, I don’t what that equality looks like. I swim in the same clichéd, stereotypical, sexpot, happy homemaker, bitchy, ambitious, white, dragon lady, black housekeeper, bull shit that everyone else does. At Lunafest, my eyes were opened to what a different view of women could be– diverse, honest, vulnerable, loving, strong, tenacious. It is rare that we get to see that woman in mainstream media.