Well, it’s officially 2018 which means I’ve come to the end of my Year of Taking in Media Made Primarily by Women and People of Color Instead of More Stuff by White Dudes. It’s been an incredible personal project and I’m really glad I did it.
It’s interesting that I initially thought this would be hard. It’s not that I didn’t know women & POC made stuff — obviously they/we do — it’s that I assumed it would be harder to access. And, while it’s not the stuff that’s most actively promoted, the internet is a magical place and streaming services made it easy to purchase and access things I may not have found once upon a time at my local theater/bookstore/record store.
The other thing is that I didn’t think I’d get to see many movies in the theater. 2017, while a garbage fire in so many ways, was actually pretty great in terms of films by women and POC getting more press and distribution that I remember seeing before. I even got to go see two superhero movies in the theater, which I certainly didn’t think would happen! Wonder Woman & Thor:Ragnarok, directed by Patty Jenkins and Taika Waititi respectively, were massive blockbusters. It was really exciting to see.
Looking forward, even though I’m now “allowed” to go back to the way I used to watch/read/listen, I’m not really reaching for that stuff yet. There are so many books still on my tablet from last year’s queue, there are still so many movies and shows and podcasts to check out.
Rather than a temporary project, this has become a lifelong choice. I’ll continue to seek out things made by women, people of color, and marginalized groups because it benefits me to expand my perspective with stories of people with different experiences and to see characters I can more directly relate to reflected in media.
I highly recommend a similar media project if you feel like it’s something you want to try for a little while. I had a blast and found so much new stuff to love.
A couple of notes:
- My focus with regard to television and movies was on directors/writers/showrunners rather than on the cast, primarily. I believe this made a big difference because those are the folks most in charge of what story is being told and how, and took the project to a more significant place for me than simply “there are women and POC in this show/movie”.
- That said, the shows with women & POC at the helm ALSO tended toward more diverse casts.
- I’ll be making another post later on where I talk about my favorites from my list. They certainly weren’t all winners, but I really enjoyed a lot of them.]