Aye, Aye, Aye – A Women’s Conference …Of Men Apparently? …Of Course – Part 3 (A Little Patronizing Much?)

May 8, 2015

Picking up from last time –

So, when he tells us that they can take care of the rest, I look to the side and notice the only crew members I see are men. So, I look at the guy running the booth and ask, “How many of your crew members here today are men?”

And he looks back at me and repeats, “How many are men?”

“Yeah. How many people, working this booth at this women’s conference, here to tape and edit videos for us – how many of them are men.”

Then he tells me he doesn’t know.

And I feel slightly embarrassed about how belligerent I was getting. (But honestly, this is a little preposterous, am I right?) So, my belligerence. I say to him, “You – the person who hired the small crew today – you don’t know who’s here? You don’t know how many are men?”

And then he just says, “Look, we had short notice. Originally we didn’t think we had to bring anyone. We’re trying to roll with the punches for this inaugural year. The people running the conference decided at the last minute they wanted us to bring a crew. So I brought who I could get. So, I don’t know.”

“Okay, well, if you don’t know, I’ll just go count.”

So, I go count the people. Both editors? Men. 3 of 4 camera people? Men. (And I was told the lone woman was an assistant camera person (as one of of the 3 guys).)

(And I mentioned the two people running the booth were men as well.)

I appreciate that this guy’s trying to help. But can we talk about how silly and patronizing it seems that women came to this conference to make something together, and then a man at a booth tells us, “Well, you go talk for the camera. And we boys will take care of the rest.”

I didn’t come here to have a bunch of men make something great for me.

(I am a capable person. Not to be a jerk, but I’ve edited a webisode for Bravo. I know that’s small-time as far as professional editors are concerned, but it was still a professional edit approved by a television network. I preeeetty sure I could edit down my own talking head piece.)

And I completely appreciate that men can be awesome and can add a lot to whatever you’re working on. I’ve worked with some super talented, creative, fabulous men. Men are not bad or inferior in any way. And I would never try to imply that they are.

That doesn’t change the fact that women are underrepresented in these more technical (while still very creative) jobs.

I don’t necessarily even think that women’s conferences (segregating ourselves) are the best idea… But I think any opportunity for women to grow, be creative, and have their skills noticed is good. (And I think opportunities to work with other women, when we’re so often the only woman working wherever we are, are also good.)

But that wouldn’t be happening here.And this is where I’ll pick up next time.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?