I have decided that in the month of July, I will only be consuming media where 50% (or more) of the cast is female.
I did a quick survey this morning to see which of my recent favorites would be set aside for the month. This project eliminates pretty nearly all of the podcasts that I listen to, most of the television shows I watch, and the vast majority of the movies in the theater right now. I immediately sank into a funk.
When I announced this project on Facebook, my pal Jason asked where I drew the line. My kneejerk reaction was to say that the cast which appears in the opening credits, but after talking with Jason and Matt, I’ve decided that this isn’t a very good measure. Depending on how the show does the credit sequence, the cast list could have more to do with popularity or how good of an agent the actor has, and not much to do with how prominent her character is.
IMDB’s cast listing is a better measure for television shows, since it lists characters by total number of episodes they appear in, but that still didn’t feel…right.
What these lists don’t take into consideration is whether the show really has anything to do with those characters—whether they are central to the story or strictly supporting roles.
Keeping in mind of all of the above, I’m going to go against my nature and ditch methodology altogether. I won’t be counting names and running numbers. I will be looking to the stories. For a month, I want to consume media which is actually about women, in equal balance to stories about men. As much as possible, I want to consume current media, so no falling back on episodes of Buffy. (I will watch reruns of Parks and Recreation, because I would be doing that, anyway.)
I wonder how I will feel at the end of July. I wonder if I’ll be able to go back to listening to and watching mostly men, day in, day out. It should be interesting. I’ll tell you about it in a month.