Friday, February 1, 2013

Why 'Between Women' Is Important

Regular readers know that I am a huge fan of webseries.  Traditional media too often socializes us to actively oppress historically marginalized people.  When we are not being actively erased, too often we are tokenized, or placed in highly prejudicial stereotypical roles. This continues to damage us, despite the claim that we should just watch something else, or that we are looking for reasons to be offended when we complain.

I recently came across a webseries called Between Women.  It is the story of Black lesbians living in Atlanta.  This is a group who are marginalizd by race, gender and sexuality and a group that the media studiously avoids.These are stories that need to be told.

I recently came across a quote from Diablo Cody, who did an interview with The Hollywood reporter.
THR: Do you think women filmmakers have a different perspective that gives them an advantage in some ways over men?

Diablo Cody: Yeah, definitely. I know there are people who think every story has been told in film, but I'm telling you it hasn't, because women have not had their proper say. There are stories out there that can only be told from a woman's perspective that have not been told yet and are going to be told. And when those movies come out, people are going to go, "Oh, that's really exciting!" I doubt it's going to be me, but it'll be somebody. It'll be somebody that makes that new story. I think we have the advantage of a different and fresh perspective that has not been represented.
The cynic in me paused to ask which women is she talking about?  Does anyone remember any women of colour, or lesbians featured in Juno? The truth of the matter is that when women finally get their say, we can be sure that marginalized women will remain just as marginalized. Why should I celebrate the success of women like Cody or Kathryn Bigelow, when it will not translate into success for marginalized women?  This is specifically why we need to support webstories written, directed and or produced by historically marginalized women.  No one is interested in promoting us, let alone giving us the chance to speak our truth.  Despite the rhetoric, women in Hollywood, doesn't mean all women in Hollywood.

With that in mind, I am going to post the first season of Between Women over the coming weeks.  We have a responsibility to support marginalized women who are finding a way to tell their stories.