Holli Baker

Why Female-Driven Stories Are So Necessary.

By Myah Hollis

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Today is International Women’s Day and, although it’s been International Women’s Day every year on March 8th since 1975, this year it feels especially important, specifically in America where we’re dealing with a constant stream of political bullshit. That’s not to say that women all over the world are not constantly being undervalued, discriminated against and dehumanized. After all, we wouldn’t need an international holiday if it weren’t an international problem. The reason why I’m speaking about America specifically, other than the fact that we’re just really narcissistic and into our own drama, is because our political climate is causing not only a very necessary rebellion, but also a really dope artistic renaissance.

I’m currently emerged in the perpetual marathon that is post production for my series Or Die Trying, a show written, produced, directed by and starring women. Through this process we’ve done a ton of press, and the questions that we get most frequently are always related to our decision to tell a female-driven story, why we think these types of stories are necessary, and our reasoning behind hiring a predominately female crew. While it’s ridiculous that this is still a conversation we need to have in 2017, it’s also interesting that there’s a desire to understand the mindset behind our actions. As if it’s a calculated thing, rather than something that feels really natural and obvious to us. If we don’t tell our stories, are we meant to wait for someone else to tell them for us?

What I love about TV and film right now is that women are taking ownership of their own stories and telling them on their terms. Not only that, but we’re proving that there is a demand for content created by women. There is value that women bring to their art that is unique and intuitive and complex. It’s the reason why Shonda has her own night on network television and why novels with strong female protagonists are constantly being sourced and adapted into successful films and TV shows. It’s why the Mindys and the Issas and the Lenas are ushering in a new generation of creators with distinctive voices. There’s always been a latent desire for it, but now that desire has turned to need.

We’re in a time where women are demanding that we be seen the way that we see ourselves. That we be portrayed authentically. That our voices be heard, both within and outside of the entertainment industry. Even though we’re still far from where we want to be, I’m taking today to appreciate how far we’ve come.

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