Last year, I got one of the weirdest compliments I’ve ever heard: “You’re a real unicorn!” I was working with a mixer who I had recently met (but was an established mixer), and he looked at me in amazement as I asked questions about his workflow. “I’ve heard of Lora Hirschberg and Anna Behlmer, but I’ve never met a female mixer. I’m sorry I’m so taken aback, but I really didn’t think someone like you existed,” he said.
When I heard that the Designing Sound guys were stepping aside this month for women contributors, I thought it was a great chance to say, “Hey look! There’s actually a lot of real unicorns!” Except… it’s been pretty silent. I asked a few women who I thought might be interested, and one woman (who I highly respect) said, “I would rather not address our industry when my invitation is based on my gender. I look forward to writing based on the knowledge and expertise that I can offer as an equal member of the industry.”
She’s absolutely right. We want to be recognized for our work, not our gender. At the same time, a silent protest doesn’t do anything to educate about a bias that we face, but don’t like to talk about openly: We do exist. There’s a lot of us who do the job very well, actually.
For the sake of education/discussion, here’s some examples of the types of discrimination and biases that I’ve encountered in the industry:
Hear all about them Via designingsound.org