Women screenwriters seem to be scarce in the screenwriting profession. The job is perceived to be a male dominated area. However, there are still some handfuls of women who are thriving in the profession. Film making actually is an area that attracts more males than females. There seems to be more male dominated careers like car mechanics, medicine, and core engineering jobs. The reason for this imbalance is many. In this article, these reasons will be discussed and at the end a balance line will be drawn.
The first reason for the lack of women screenwriters can be attributed to the female gender itself. Some of the active women in screenwriting job get married and are saddled with the responsibilities of taking care of the home and raising children at the same time. It is a very difficult thing to combine together. It is either your profession suffers or your home survives or vice versa. No woman will want to loose her home to gain her profession. But men on the other hand are favoured in this respect; they marry and still have time to face whatever they want to do. The woman is the housekeeper and not the man. Because of this singular reason, women who were once prominent in this career vanish after their first or second script because of home issues. An example of this is Patricia Rozema who stopped writing since she wrote the Mansfield Park.
Another reason for lack of women screenwriters is because most men like to work with their gender (men). So, any time there is a project to be undertaken, they go out and hire men for the job. This can be due to the female gender also. It is not easy working with women especially the married once because of their commitment at home.
Also, women tend to write more softer scripts than men do. This is another reason why women screen writers are scarce. This is due to the femininity gender. They just want to avoid things like conflict, risks and stakes which are all the characteristics of a soft script. An example of this is romantic comedies which are devoid of the characteristics mentioned here. Whereas, men loves challenging scripts which sells very well in the market.
However, to bring a balance to this article, the above reasons do not mean that women screenwriters are not working much. There are great women out there who are very successful in screenwriting profession like Susannah Grant, Sofia Coppola, Nora Ephron, Erin Brockovich and a host of others too numerous to mention. These women are doing a great work.
There are more women screenwriters now that we have ever had before. The percentages of women undergoing training in screenwriting are increasing by the day. So, if you are a woman out there screenwriting, do it with pump and pageantry, don’t be intimidated by the male counterpart. Contribute your quota to the industry and you will set a landmark for other upcoming women to follow.