As we fumble around in this most recent wave of feminist uprising, many of us are left asking how this is any different from the previous waves.
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Emerging out of a @TIMESUPNOW meeting and announced today at #Sundance, the 4% Challenge aims to increase the number of women directing top movies. @NinaJacobson, #therealbradsimpson, @paulfeig, @franklinjleonard, #AngelaRobinson & @amyschumer have all signed on. Will you?
Hollywood has, once again, taken it upon themselves to #MeToo the heck out of our news-feeds and storm the battlefield with the “4% challenge”. An appalling statistic has come to light that of the 1,200 top-grossing films between 2007-2018, only four percent of those were directed by women. Four percent! With so many brilliant and creative women out there, how are so few making a name in this industry?
The sometimes-sanctimonious Time’s Up movement has set a challenge for those in the biz to make a pledge to work with a female director, on a feature film, within the next 18 months. Already, big names have signed on, including Amy Schumer, Paul Feig, Jordan Peele, Tessa Thompson, and Gina Rodriguez.
It’s also refreshing to see some real action being taken. As charming as the black dress protest at 2018’s golden globes was, it (shockingly) didn’t really achieve anything of substance. This latest challenge, however could potentially forge some real change, causing this most recent wave of feminism to take its place on the mantle of systematic shifts in female oppression. Though some will have you believe this #MeToo world is revolutionary, it is in fact just one moment, in a line up of previous movements, spanning over 100 years.
The first wave saw the suffragettes of the late 19th, and early 20th century fight for women’s right to vote. As that died down, western culture saw women return to their expected roles in the home, while men went to work – and returned to demand their woman to make them dinner… Charming. When WWII came around, women were put to work in roles traditionally occupied by men, in mechanics, engineering, and even in military positions. Think of “We Can Do It” as the 1940s version of “Time’s Up”. Once the war was over, women returned to their traditional roles which didn’t settle well with the new generation. As more women entered the hallowed halls of higher education, people began asking questions and noticing the inequality embedded in society. This brought about another wave throughout the 1960s- 1980s, which somehow, fizzled out for another 20 years.
Now with more access to information than ever, statistics have come out that highlight just how far we still have to go. Best of luck to Hollywood and their latest endeavour, and here’s hoping they can boost that four percent to fifty percent. Goodbye rape culture, goodbye pay inequality, and goodbye unrealistic body standards and constant comparison. Hello female-driven films and ultimate lady power.
Will this be the beginning of a real shift? Let us know what you think in the comments below.