There’s been a lot of talk around big Hollywood projects lately, with think tanks and big studio teams gathering to discuss just how and when and under what circumstances they could possibly introduce women into their professional folds without alienating the Men and the Fans and the Whatevers. So much talk. So many plans. So careful.
And then Jessica Jones just went ahead and did it.
In streaming shows, only 38% of female characters have speaking roles, and women make up about 12% of television directors. So how do you fight that uphill battle of representation? Just fucking do it.
Yes, all 13 episodes of Jessica Jones’ second season will be directed by women. This shouldn’t be a crazy notion of an announcement. Representation sometimes straddles the line between inclusivity and tokenization, with women being sought to helm Captain Marvel and Ryan Coogler taking on Black Panther. But it really only seems that way because we’re not used to such diversity. It’s not tokenism, is it, when Rian Johnson writes and directs Looper (about two versions of one white man)? The only reason it may look to be that in regard to a female-helmed, female-driven super hero show is because that’s not the existing norm.
So how do we make it the norm? Oh, I don’t know, MAYBE HIRE 13 WOMEN TO DIRECT ALL OF THE SECOND SEASON EPISODES.
Women aren’t a mystery. We’re not outliers. Nor are black writers or directors, or other creators of color. But how are we supposed to convince the world of that fact, other than to have those in a position of power extend opportunities? I can’t think of as efficient a way. So thank you Jessica Jones. This time next year, Netflix will have had (at least) 13 more female directors on its books. And that’s how change happens.