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Why we need more female storytellers


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Our stories have been written by men. Mostly about men. Or about women perceived through male gaze. So we end up seeing the world through one eye only. How can we reclaim the narrative? How can we foster a more balanced storytelling?

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Why we need more female storytellers

  1. 1. Why we need more female storytellers
  2. 2. Our storytelling has been extremely androcentric
  3. 3. Thucydides or Herodotus were among the first historians: since 2.500 years, the construct of history is a male product.
  4. 4. Women’s acts and experiences have been largely unrecorded and ignored
  5. 5. We perceive historical events from a white catholic male heterosexual perspective • Example: Columbus day – Genocide or discovery? – Mistake or historical turning point?
  6. 6. Crusades: Holy war or terrorism and slaughter?
  7. 7. In the past, our religious texts have been written and assembled by men
  8. 8. And today men own most of our media outlet
  9. 9. “On TV, men speak, women listen.”
  10. 10. And other narratives are silenced • Speaking louder • Speaking on behalf of others • Occupying the space • Interrupting the conversation • Not listening to others • Making fun of the other
  11. 11. Only one Palme d’Or of Cannes has been awarded to a woman so far
  12. 12. In France, litterary prizes are mostly awarded to men
  13. 13. At the last BD festival in Angouleme, no woman was even nominated
  14. 14. Triggering many reactions
  15. 15. Even our language is androcentric • Male is generic: mankind, manpower, manmade… • The masculine, by the presence of even one male, is the default. • "Every student in the classroom did his best on the exam." • Even greeting mixed groups
  16. 16. Stories are written by men… mostly about men
  17. 17. Oscar’s nominated movies are mostly directed by men and don’t pass the Bechdel test
  18. 18. Or if women are portrayed, it is through male gaze
  19. 19. We see the world through one eye only
  20. 20. Stories are incomplete
  21. 21. Stereotypes are pervasive
  22. 22. Stories are biased
  23. 23. There is a contradiction between women’s central active role in creating society and marginality in meaning giving process • Women are essential and central to creating society. • Women have made history, yet they have been kept from knowing it. • Women have been excluded from creating symbol systems and theory formation. • Women lasted 3.500 years to realize their own subordinate position in society.
  24. 24. Your significance in history is key for psychic well being • The myth that women are marginal to the creation of history and civilization has profoundly affected the psychology of women and men. • The denial to women of their history has reinforced their acceptance of the ideology of patriarchy and has undermined the individual woman’s sense of self worth. • Men’s version of history has become the universal truth. • One cannot think universal when oneself is excluded from the generic.
  25. 25. Women are more targeted by negative narratives You are fat You can’t please your partner You are a bad mother You are not enough Women don’t know how to drive Women lie Women change opinion all the time Women are emotional
  26. 26. These constant messages have a huge impact in terms of self-esteem
  27. 27. When we see with one eye, our vision is limited in range and devoid in depth. • Men and women live on a stage. • But men have written the play and directed the show. • Equal parts will not make women equal if the script is still written by men.
  28. 28. From “you are invisible” to “you are half of the reality”
  29. 29. We need to reclaim power at individual and collective level • Women’s history is indispensable and essential to the emancipation of women. • It changes their lives. • We need a shift of consciousness.
  30. 30. Like the one from Ptolemaic to Copernic vision
  31. 31. We need to reclaim women’s role in history
  32. 32. And we need more female storytellers!
  33. 33. We need to show the world through a woman’s lens
  34. 34. She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World
  35. 35. We need more female painting our streets
  36. 36. Pamela Castro
  37. 37. We need more female DJs, rappers or musicians
  38. 38. We need movies from and about women
  39. 39. Broadcast Miss Representation in your organization
  40. 40. You can be what you can see
  41. 41. We do it together is a nonprofit Production Company created to finance and produce media uniquely dedicated to the empowerment of women.
  42. 42. Reese Witherspoon Pacific Standard production company
  43. 43. Birds Eye View « She Writes »
  44. 44. Broadcast inspiring female roles
  45. 45. Global Girl Media teaches young girls to be citizen journalists
  46. 46. We need new media channels featuring the other half of the story
  47. 47. We are the XX media collective
  48. 48. We need to restore diversity in the media
  49. 49. Shonda Rhimes: You should get to turn on the TV and see your tribe.
  50. 50. The first network drama with a black woman as its lead in nearly four decades The Shonda effect Viola Davis , the first black woman to win the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama
  51. 51. DuVernay, who made ‘‘Selma,’’ pointed out that of the 100 top-grossing films last year, only two were directed by women. • She urged constant vigilance and proactive searching within the industry: • ‘‘We have to ask our agents about that script by the woman screenwriter. We have to ask, ‘Hey, are there any women agents here that I could talk to?’ We have to ask our lawyers about women in the office. We have to ask, when we’re thinking about directors or D.P.s, ‘Will women interview?’ ’’
  52. 52. Male Authority in Muslim Contexts WOMEN’S STORIES LIVES Musawah is a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Launched in 2009, it seeks to link scholarship with activism, bring fresh perspectives on Islamic teachings and contribute constructively to the reform of Muslim family laws and practices. The Global Life Stories Project is a central element in Musawah’s ongoing and multifaceted research programmes aimed at producing new egalitarian knowledge from within Muslim legal tradition. In Musawah (‘Equality’ in Arabic), we draw on the latest Muslim reformist thought and feminist scholarship in Islam, and ground our claim to equality and our arguments for reform simultaneously in Islamic and human rights frameworks. We recognize two blind spots in approaches to gender issues in Islam and human rights. On the one hand, many scholars of Islam are unaware of the importance of gender as a category of thought and analysis. On the other hand, many feminists and human rights advocates have little knowledge or appreciation of religious categories of thought and religion-based laws, considering them The quest for gender equality in Muslim contexts involves reclaiming the egalitarian ethos of Islam’s sacred texts and creating a public voice for it. Democratizing the Production of Religious Knowledge