The Interview Process: The Difficulty in Finding Women Participants

Hello there Canadian Frame(lines) supporters!  We’ve briefly met in the past,  but in case you don’t remember, I’m Siarrah.  Last Thursday Alex and I scavenged Commercial Drive and Robson street for some interview participants.  While we met some wonderful people and gathered some great material — I’m so excited to see the trailer! It’s going to be amazing! — we found we had a teeny bit of a problem. It was nearly impossible to find women who were willing to be interviewed on camera.

I can’t help but think this is due to how self conscious women have become from the influence of today’s society.  As a huge supporter of women’s rights, both Alex and I were really eager to find some women for their opinions on Canadian identity.  We didn’t begin finding any volunteers until I began to mention how there was a lack of female influence.  At some points I may have even done a little begging; what can I say? Sometimes pity is key ammunition.  Even after gathering some extraordinary women perspectives, Alex and I couldn’t help but question how hard it was to find female participants.

I know most of you don’t need telling, but our society has done a real injustice to the representation of women.  And not just in the lack of female influence, but also in the negative manner in which women are portrayed.  At times we’re shown as weak and fragile, or we’re too aggressive and catty.  More often than not, we’re sexualized and fantasized.  Both women and men have this perception of what the average woman looks like.  Men are waiting for their model look alike housewife, while women are expecting to wake up one morning looking as such.  There is no doubt these images cause self conscious feelings, if we as women don’t believe that we look ‘average’, we’re of course going to panic.  I can’t help but believe this is why we had such a difficulty finding camera confident women.  To some extent I understand, we all have those moments where we’d rather not have a memory of how we looked that day.  However, I think we should take the opportunities to defy the images that have been put out there by the media.

We live in a ‘man’s world’, right? Well, unfortunately I’m realizing more and more that the only people who can change that stigma is women.  Why not make a point of showing strong, opinionated, real women? Instead of being told what we’re supposed to look and act like, we should set our own standards based on what a real woman is.  If we don’t have female opinions in media, it puts the idea out there that it’s not needed, that our opinions are irrelevant.  This will always continue if those in media don’t believe that a a realistic depiction of women is in high demand.  The more we detach ourselves from having a voice in media, the more it is unnecessary for us to.

Ladies, I know the camera isn’t always friendly, but it isn’t supposed to be.  You think supermodels don’t have a little help from photoshop and even the hand of a good plastic surgeon?  So please take opportunities that give you a voice in media, even if the cost is the stress of what your hair looks like at that moment.

2 Responses to “The Interview Process: The Difficulty in Finding Women Participants

  • Perhaps women being unwilling to comment on camera is PART of the Canadian identity you strive to define?

    • Thank you for your contribution! I couldn’t agree more, this is undeniably an unfortunate culture within North America (and most other parts of the world). But why is this so? And how do we go about fixing this? We can’t advance under the belief that this is tolerable. – Siarrah

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