Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Women in Horror Appreciation Month
I just became a Women in Horror Month Ambassador! Around 4 I'll be making a post about a specific woman in horror, but until then here's all you need to know about Women in Horror Appreciation Month.
Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists underrepresented female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. WiHM seeks to expose and break down social constructs and miscommunication between female professionals while simultaneously educating the public about discrimination and how they can assist the female gender in reaching equality.
A world wherein all individuals are equally given the opportunity to create, share, and exploit their concept of life, pain, and freedom of expression.
IT’S THE YEAR 2012, NOT THE 1950’s. IS THERE REALLY A NEED FOR WiHM?
Absolutely. Otherwise, WiHM would not exist. Women are still not offered the same pay and opportunities as their male colleagues in many industries, particularly the arts. Discrimination runs rampant in Hollywood and its very difficult for females (even well-known actresses) to get their films funded by major studios. Statistics prove that women are still not offered the same opportunities as men due to an array of reasons from discrimination to female professionals accepting less than they are worth in order to receive the same opportunities as their male colleagues.
In other parts of the world, women are still stoned to death for speaking their minds, excommunicated when they are sexually violated, and not offered proper education. Atrocities continue to happen that force the female gender to be subservient to a patriarchal system that tells them how to dress, who to marry, and what they should do with their lives. All discrimination must be exposed and obliterated for the female gender to truly achieve equality.
WiHM focuses on supporting the achievements of women who utilize the most extreme mirror available in storytelling: horror. We encourage women to explore and represent these horrors constructively, in positive environments.
WHAT ARE THE INDUSTRY’S STATISTICS?
• In the 1920s there were no more than 10 women working in Hollywood in leadership positions.
• In 2009, the mainstream film industry’s ratio was 16% women to 84% men.
• In 2011, women made up only 5% of directors working in Hollywood.
SO WiHM IS ALL ABOUT WOMEN. WHAT ABOUT MEN?
WiHM was created with no exclusion. Men play a vital part in the female gender reaching equality. There are many male WiHM Ambassadors and artists who choose to assist and work with professional and talented underrepresented females. Be a guiding example of a male who respects both genders equally.
WHAT CAN THE PUBLIC DO TO ASSIST WOMEN?
We all must take personal responsibility in our beliefs, values, and actions. Participating in positive, constructive environments that encourage and provide a safe platform for women to share and explore is vital.
Education is essential for both genders. Knowledge is power. Understanding history and where that puts us today politically and socially demonstrates how we are interpreting each other and ourselves.
Work with Women.
Finding professional females to work with in leadership positions is one of the most important actions you can take to assist the movement. Don’t just work with a female because of her gender, work with her because she has a lot to bring to the table.
Banish social constrictions.
Stereotyping, judging, cattiness, competitiveness, comparing, and gossip. All of these actions hurt both men and women. We are all on our own path in life, careers, and personal relationships. Both genders are encouraged to play into these cultural expectations when they are young, which can create judgment of those who are different. Stop it.
Be a WiHM Ambassador.
Every February, WiHM Ambassadors host charity events (blood drives, film screenings, art shows), write blogs and articles, conduct interviews, and create videos and podcasts for mass consumption. All of these events and content specifically represent and assist the underrepresented female genre artist and are for philanthrpopic reasons only. No profit is made from WiHM, or the Viscera organization.
Go to the events, read the articles, watch the videos. Be conscious of the fact that you are consuming different perspectives of a movement that is assisting a struggle that women have experienced for at least the last four thousand years: equality. We have incredible potential right now to destroy discrimination. It deserves your attention.
Donate to WiHM. All funds go directly into the organization to improve the events, materials, and outreach. WiHM needs the support of the public.
Support other organizations.
Organizations such as CARE, Women for Women International, RAINN, and WIF. All these organizations work hard all year round to assist women in achieving equality. Visit their websites and educate yourself.
The Board of Directors for WiHM is comprised of women from all facets of the horror film industry, including WiHM founder Hannah Forman, Debbie Rochon, Jovanka Vuckovic, Heidi Honeycutt, Jen and Sylvia Soska, and Shannon Lark.
WiHM is a service provided by the Viscera Organization, a 501(c)3 non profit organization expanding opportunities for contemporary female genre filmmakers and artists by raising awareness about the changing roles for women in the film industry.