10 Articles on Gender Parity You Need to Read Right Now

Photo: Flickr user Vladimir Pustovit

It’s fall! It’s fall! The weather is cooling off, the humidity is coming down, the mosquitoes are — well, they’re still a pain, at least here in the South. And gender parity and diversity conversations are always at the forefront of my mind. Wonder Woman alone has sparked so many conversations about women’s presence in front of and behind the camera in the film world. Tell me: how many more times do we have to say “women make money”? (That is a rhetorical question.)

But in case you’re hungry for reading material for your tea-time, here’s a round-up of recent gender parity and diversity articles that I find particularly interesting. With commentary, of course.

Even American Theatre magazine is getting tired of saying the same thing…
Late Breaking: The Gender and Period Count: The More Things Change…
On the subject of new plays and who’s writing and producing them, research from the house magazine of Theatre Communications Group shows that, this year, “only the new-play number budged. The overall number…stayed stubbornly on par with last year at 26 percent female-authored works, with 62 percent by men and 11 percent co-written.” Women need more of their plays produced.

If you can see it, you can be it…
Two Minnesota women juggle art and motherhood while redefining the role of a theater leader…
“Both 38 with small children at home, the two dynamos are at the forefront of a cadre of leaders transforming theater in the Twin Cities — and the nation, by example, in a field that remains dominated by men.”

A woman’s well-deserved award and call to arms…
Minnesota theater leaders respond to impassioned plea for more women in power
“Honored for lifetime achievement at Monday’s Ivey Awards in Minneapolis, Ten Thousand Things theater founder Michelle Hensley used her acceptance speech to make a powerful plea for equity and gender diversity in the leadership of America’s theater.”

Story continues below.

To almost reach the summit is perhaps more excruciating…
Why Women Aren’t CEOs, According to Women Who Almost Were
“But after years of biting their tongues, believing their ranks would swell if they simply worked hard, many senior women in business are concluding that the barriers are more deeply rooted and persistent than they wanted to believe, according to interviews with nearly two dozen chief executives, would-be chief executives, headhunters, business school deans and human resources professionals.”

Arts Patron! Woman of Color! Playwright! It’s a trifecta piece!
Regina Anderson Andrews, librarian, playwright and patron of the arts
“The storied Harlem Renaissance is replete with authors, but often neglected are the librarians, the bibliophiles who played an important role in keeping the books on the shelves and ensuring a struggling writer’s success. Regina Anderson Andrews was such a lover of books and is considered to be one of the most prominent librarians of the era, as well as a playwright of some significance.”

Again, how many times do we have to say this?
Look Who’s Still Talking the Most in Movies: White Men
“Of the 7,000 characters studied, nearly 4,900 were men and just over 2,000 were women. And perhaps unsurprisingly, the male characters spoke far more than the female ones did, with 37,000 dialogues involving men and just 15,000 involving women.”

I would love answers. Email me if you have any.
Women Without Options and Spoiled for Choice
On the one hand, I like this review because it is about plays featuring or written or helmed by women. On the other hand, why does New York Times drama critic Ben Brantley fit so many into one review? Doesn’t each deserve her own write-up? And I’m curious how many of these plays mentioned (five) pass the Bechdel-Wallace test, since it seems they are all about women having men (take that how you want).

No, of course not, because we don’t debate men’s earnings unless they’ve done something wrong.
Why We Need To Stop Questioning Katy Perry’s American Idol Salary
Setting aside the bigger question of “Why are they even bothering rebooting this show?” for a moment, let’s applaud Perry. “Given that Perry may still be earning $20 million less than Cowell, despite the fact that she has a larger, more loyal internet fan-base, begs the question: Would we be debating her salary if she were a man?”

Consume more women-created content. In all media.
You Should Watch This Short Western Starring Laura Dern and Made Almost Entirely By Women
“Refinery29’s Shatterbox anthology commissioned short films from 12 female filmmakers. One of those shorts, The Good-Time Girls, just premiered online this week, and well, you should probably watch it right now.” NSFW.

How do you grow as an artist at your craft if your industry forces you into a single role?
Kirsten Dunst Had Some Very Surprising Things To Say About Getting Older in Hollywood
“Many actresses say that the time period between playing the ingenue and playing the ingenue’s mother is a quick one. However, it sounds like Dunst is looking forward to playing the mother.”