We looked around and we noticed how, in 2019, women in all fields (including those in the Romanian film industry) are still fighting for equality. Which, of course, we are sure it doesn’t come as a novelty.
If you gather all the members of the Romanian Film Development Association team, you will get a total of 10 women and a boy (Alex, thank you for being with us). We think that’s a good thing. But how would a world where women have most of the leadership positions would look like, every day? We think it wouldn’t be that bad either.
But maybe we’re not right. Maybe it would be idealistic, unbalanced and wrong. Let’s not do this imagination test alone. So we asked some of the successful women in the Romanian film industry how they imagine this world where women have the last word.
Here’s what they answered:
How do you think a world where most of the leaders are women would look like?
Iulia Rugina (director)
I think an unbalanced world is, from start, a dysfunctional one. A majority of leading women is as extreme as a majority of leading men and I wouldn’t be so radical in this fight for equality. I think there are jobs for which a woman is more competent than a man and the other way around. But this is not about intelligence or qualities, often it is about the physical side (and here I think it’s absurd to put the equal sign between men and women), comfort, personal choices. General statements such as “women are more sensitive”, “men are more practical”, “women park their cars badly”, “men do not understand anything”, etc. I find them superficial and dangerous, any side they would come from. I have often heard about my job as being a man job and I have never got upset about it because it has never come as an issue me not being capable on the reason that I am a woman and thus I am inferior, the issue would be strictly related to the physical aspect. The fact that you are gone for a long time from home, that is cold and muddy on the shooting sets, that you don’t sleep enough, that sometimes you have to carry the equipment, and you get tired faster. But nobody looked down on me, on the contrary, I’ve been taken care of most of the times.
I think the relationships you build with the people you work with can easily get over gender stereotypes, and the way you impose yourself as a leader depends on personality and your character. And I believe I’m struggling to make a film as hard as a man is. And if it comes out badly, it’s not because I’m a woman, but because I’m not good enough as a director.
Alina Grigore (actress)
If we talk about the preponderance of women among leaders, it would probably look the same. The fight is for balance and for some normality. I do not believe in an era in which we simply change the poles, but in a constant search for balance. I can say that, working with a large number of leaders, both women and men, contrasts of any kind can be found on both sides. The difference is on equal chances and the number of opportunities. I think that a balanced world would put the female person a bit at ease. And it’s something that we need. Our journey to anything is, unfortunately, more difficult. On the other hand, I think we still struggle as a society to define our values. And I mean terms and definitions. I think that any struggle must be approached from a personal perspective, not by the term that defines a category of individuals. Otherwise, our fight is in vain. I think that our fight for equal opportunities should be defined as a fight for the individual per se. A box remains a box. I believe a lot in not defining a fight on the category where the cause I’m fighting for falls in. Personally, I prefer that any cause I support to be for the man not for the category. Simply put, I find it difficult to tolerate the injury brought to Him-human, not to Him-woman.
Gabi Suciu (producer)
I like to believe in balance and the quality of each person of sanctifying the place before assigning any qualities on the basis of gender. However, I cannot help seeing inequality when it comes to leadership and women in leadership positions, but gender-based supremacy is beginning to be extinct after women have learned to stand up, speak up and demand. We are heading for a future where they claim their right to equality.
Given the nature of my work, each project has a different team and I find it interesting to notice that women are more willing to sacrifice their personal time to solve work problems, have a much better capacity to make connections between fields unrelated to each other in order to find creative solutions for something that apparently doesn’t have one , and often bring a human, emotional component into very pragmatic contexts, which is comforting in any high-stress environment. So, imagining a world with a majority of women in leadership positions, I think it would be one where everything is resolved much faster and there’s working 24/7 to solve problems. And I want to believe it would be a world with less bureaucracy and more human interaction.
Judith State (actress)
I believe that women, regardless of their occupations, their social contexts, or the positions they occupy within a hierarchy, release a transforming inner force that instinctively manifests through the Mother who is at the center of each of them, regardless of whether it materializes at some point or not. I can only imagine that such a world would be run with balance, compassion, protection, and love.
Ana Maria Comanescu (director)
I would hope that in that world, gender is not the ultimate decision criterion, so I start from the premise that the women in charge would rather be chosen for their leadership skills. In this case, we would have a functioning and well-organized society with competent leaders and it would be great. But from my point of view, in a context where there is a truly equal and fair chance for evaluation, it wouldn’t come to the idea of gender preponderance, so here is the actual problem. To which, of course, is added the whole question of stigma – the leader woman is often seen as an evil person and is put again and again under the sign of doubt. Everything comes from education, basically.
I think it is very good that all these issues are being discussed, but I also think that the solution is more complex and more divided than placing more women in leadership positions (which would, by the way, not change the mentality of the sexist subordinate, but rather, would make him revolt against her). And I don’t really think that women are better leaders than men, but that some women are good at it, and others are not. Just like men. A natural leader has no gender.
Medeea Marinescu (actress)
I don’t think that Romanian society can complain about the discrimination of women. On the contrary, if I look at the Prime Minister, we can see that feminism has been embraced in our country with great indulgence. As an actress, I collaborated (successfully, I dare say) with two important female directors in Romanian and French cinema – Elisabeta Bostan and Isabelle Mergault. I know female producers, theater managers, hospital managers, head teachers or of institutions, directors … I think we have equal chances to stand out. On the other hand, being a leader means sacrificing much of your time and channeling your energy in a certain direction. And this depends on the decision, the will and, most of all, the ability of each and everyone, whether it’s male or female.
Crina Semciuc (actress)
I do not believe in a world where only the woman or only the man should be the leader. I think everyone has their own power and purpose. We could talk about a healthy, strong and stable world only if a bridge was created between the two worlds.
Laura Ducu (PR & Communication)
Immediately after reading the question, the image of a utopian world came to my mind, a world where there is no hunger, there is no discrimination, there are no wars or violent conflicts, where empathy, diplomacy, and elegance are the personal religion of all, and where everything happens in an efficient and sustainable way. I smiled and realized that I had not changed my ideals since my adolescence. However, not even then, and not even now, these ideals are not related to the heroes and/or the great leaders.
How would the world led by women be like? … It depends on which women. I don’t think that oppression, violence, social injustice or the issues in education or culture would suddenly disappear just because the world leaders are women. Objectively, if women would have more leadership positions in several areas, there would probably be fewer abuses against women and children, different aspects of inequality (wages, positions in boards, etc.) would no longer be so critical and I think school curriculum would be a bit more fun and pragmatic. I would go so far as to assume that entrepreneurship would benefit – for many years, women have trained in multi-tasking, juggling between job, family and personal development, enough to bring a pertinent perspective on efficiency and flexibility to a company. And yes, these things would certainly contribute to a better world. But not only women could militate for these things.
We all live in our own bubble and project our personal experiences on our vision of the world or how things should go in the Universe. In my bubble, I was fortunate enough to be appreciated for what I know, for what I can and to be treated with respect and trust, from both women and men alike. I know a lot of wonderful women who are very talented in what they do, who inspire me every day to be better, who fight to break down barriers and prejudices. I also know many cool men who support these women or who engage in projects designed to make the world better. So … would the world be better if it was led by women? Well, I think I would give the same answer for any variation of this question: only if it was driven by very-very good and competent ones. And, unfortunately, as history shows us … there is never just that kind of people in the higher structures. But I like to think that we are evolving, that we are constantly developing our ability to learn from past mistakes, and that we manage with each generation to overcome our limits. Men and women alike.
Well, we have only one conclusion: women do not want to lead the world. No. Women want balance, reason, equality, and understanding. But especially, women do not want to be judged on the basis of their gender, but according to their own abilities. Again, we think that it’s good. The future sounds good.
Translation by Andreea Toader