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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Contests - Screenwriting and Filmmaking  ›  American Zoetrope Screenplay Comp. Moderators: Don
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  Author    American Zoetrope Screenplay Comp.  (currently 3741 views)
Angry Bear
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
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Haven't kept up with all the posts in this thread, so I might come in late and make no sense. Wouldn't be the first time.

I have a writer friend who's been trying to make it with novels and short stories. He has sent his work to numerous publications and publishers, but his work is always rejected without even having been read. He's convinced it's because he has a VERY english white male sounding name. I told him he could use my name when sending his stuff out next time. Well see if there's a difference.


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FrankM
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Quoted from Angry Bear
Haven't kept up with all the posts in this thread, so I might come in late and make no sense. Wouldn't be the first time.

I have a writer friend who's been trying to make it with novels and short stories. He has sent his work to numerous publications and publishers, but his work is always rejected without even having been read. He's convinced it's because he has a VERY english white male sounding name. I told him he could use my name when sending his stuff out next time. Well see if there's a difference.


"Should we take a closer look at this one?"
"Well, that depends on whether you want to be mauled by an angry bear or not."



It's very difficult to definitively measure the magnitude of biases in hiring practices (which is close enough to selecting a writer to be comparable, with the advantage that actual research has gone into biases in hiring), generally requiring a special one-off event.

Such an event occurred in elite orchestras in the 1970s and 80s, where they started having musicians audition behind a screen so the graders could hear them but not see them (they also had them remove their shoes). The number of female orchestra members in these elite groups grew from 5% to 25%.

A few things to note about this:

1. Wages were fixed due to union rules, so there was no flexibility to hire a woman but pay her less. Given that constraint, "negotiating skills" are irrelevant, and prior hiring decisions seem to embed a straight-up preference for males.

2. The results did not shoot to 50%/50%.

3. Careful analysis showed that only about half of the increase was directly attributable to the blind judging. Over time, the female musicians were arriving better prepared on average. This points to some kind of a pipeline issue. The results might get to 50% eventually, but there's no inherent reason for it to settle precisely there.

A similar, humorous pipeline issue is present in Ohio. Lots of young musicians aspire to march in the Ohio State band... and especially to be that one who forms the "dot" on the i when they spell out Ohio. At one point the conductor changed the dot from a tuba player to a Sousaphone player, and immediately a ton of kids switched their instruments.



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Dustin
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 3:01am Report to Moderator
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That's a good example, Frank, but it falls into the same question. How many of each were trying to join the orchestra in the first place? It could well be that it was 75% male and that makes females as equally represented as males. Now, imagine forcing more of those women through to make it 40%... what would happen to those 15% males that were certainly better than 15% of the females chosen before them just to match a stat?

Bit of a crappily structured question but I've just woke up and am still shattered after my long day yesterday.
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Dustin
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 4:45am Report to Moderator
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I also understand that the blind trials showed that there was a prior and almost innate preference for males. This is again down to the psychology of the times. A psychology that has quite rightly changed for the better. I've watched Carry On films where middle-aged men are squeezing the bottoms and leching after apparent schoolgirls in uniform. This was all OK in the 60s and 70s and part way into the 80s even. Women have been vastly empowered since then and they did it through hard work. It wasn't handed to them... and quite rightly so. Women and everybody else for that matter should earn things on their own merits. If there are no white men in a workplace, so be it. If there are no women or black people, so be it too. IMO, trying to force/cheat these things only encourages more division - but then, perhaps that's the point?
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eldave1
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 11:25am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
Haven't kept up with all the posts in this thread, so I might come in late and make no sense. Wouldn't be the first time.

I have a writer friend who's been trying to make it with novels and short stories. He has sent his work to numerous publications and publishers, but his work is always rejected without even having been read. He's convinced it's because he has a VERY english white male sounding name. I told him he could use my name when sending his stuff out next time. Well see if there's a difference.


Can't imagine that is the case (the publishing industry is predominately white). Let us know how it goes.


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Heretic
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 11:35am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
The competition is looking for diversity. They're not looking for stories per se, but the writers of those stories. It's reasonable to accept the possibility that better scripts were passed over because they were written by somebody that can't tick the diversity box.


There's no particular reason to believe this about the Zoetrope competition. The winning *stories* all appear to have "diverse" topics and/or characters. As you yourself have indicated, any *writer*, including a white male, can write such stories (for instance, you could note the many white male semi-finalists who have done so).

Your claim is that a privately-run capitalist enterprise is willfully ignoring, or would consider willfully ignoring, good or even the best work, merely on the basis of the writer's identity -- that they care about writer identity more than story.

An alternative claim would be that a privately-run capitalist enterprise is choosing the work that's most marketable and/or best represents their brand -- that they care about story more than writer identity.

The latter is more convincing to me.


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eldave1
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 11:41am Report to Moderator
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Frank - thanks for sharing the study. For some reason I recall seeing this on 60 minutes (or something like that) years ago.

Half of the increase being directly attributable to the blind judging is a pretty big deal IMO. If there were 100 Orchestra players and 20 of those slots were filled by men over a more qualified women that would be something warranting intervention. Can you imagine if that were true for pilots, doctors, etc. - I want the 100 best pilots, regardless of gender, flying the plane.

That ironically is what is wrong with solving the problem with placements. Using the same example, if 90 out of 100 of the best pilots are white males I sure as shit don't want to artificially replace them with women or minorities to meet some diversity goal (note - I continue to use pilots as an example because of my deep rooted fear of flying

Given the above stats though, I would welcome an examination to see if bias or barriers played a role in the percent of folks who train to be pilots. If not - okay dokay. If so , correct it (e.g., training programs, outreach, incentives, etc.) - anything other than having a lesser qualified pilot fly my plane.








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FrankM
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 12:23pm Report to Moderator
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I agree that half the increase coming from blind judging is a big deal, was just pointing out that it wasn't the silver bullet people might assume it was. The pipeline issue is a big deal, and it means taking a look at the whole ecosystem. For writers, the foundational issue would be literacy (and not claiming it's 100% solved), but beyond that we need schools functional enough to teach what's necessary to function in the economy and still have some time left over for kids to be able to pursue their interests.

Of course, a huge percentage of those kids won't be passionate enough about any one thing in particular to change their life, but ideally it would take the serendipity out of finding one's passion. It's a given that most people will think most other people's passions are a waste of time (personally, I cannot for the life of me identify the social/economic benefit to the world of developing a person into an Olympic curler, but I have some faith that there must be some or they wouldn't exist).


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eldave1
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Quoted from FrankM
I cannot for the life of me identify the social/economic benefit to the world of developing a person into an Olympic curler, but I have some faith that there must be some or they wouldn't exist).


Gave me a laugh - thanks


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Dustin
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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Women can fly a plane just as well as men. We had a female pilot on our last flight and I didn't think anything of it. Didn't even realise it was a thing, to be honest. Anyone can press a few buttons. Like anything else it takes believing in your own ability and women have had, and still do to some degree, to overcome the psychological barrier of believing they aren't good enough... or that it's a man's job. As more women become pilots, more will want to become pilots and the balance will even out relatively. It's got such masculine roots though that it will be hard for many women to even consider flying a plane. Most of the young girls would rather aspire to be a pretty steward. They need to learn that there isn't anything wrong with wanting to be a pretty pilot... and men, a dashing steward.

You don't deal with unfairness by changing who you're unfair to. You deal with it by admitting it and wanting things to change. The blind test on that orchestra doubtless opened a few minds to their own bias and since then we have a lot more female orchestra members. Indeed, according to Wiki, America has an almost 50/50 ratio.
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eldave1
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Quoted from Dustin
Women can fly a plane just as well as men. We had a female pilot on our last flight and I didn't think anything of it. Didn't even realise it was a thing, to be honest. Anyone can press a few buttons. Like anything else it takes believing in your own ability and women have had, and still do to some degree, to overcome the psychological barrier of believing they aren't good enough... or that it's a man's job. As more women become pilots, more will want to become pilots and the balance will even out relatively. It's got such masculine roots though that it will be hard for many women to even consider flying a plane. Most of the young girls would rather aspire to be a pretty steward. They need to learn that there isn't anything wrong with wanting to be a pretty pilot... and men, a dashing steward.

You don't deal with unfairness by changing who you're unfair to. You deal with it by admitting it and wanting things to change. The blind test on that orchestra doubtless opened a few minds to their own bias and since then we have a lot more female orchestra members. Indeed, according to Wiki, America has an almost 50/50 ratio.


Sure they can and wish there were more of them. All skill levels being equal, I would actually prefer female pilots.  Same with Doctors and a ton of other services. I have generally selected female Doctors.

So I guess I am going to reveal my bias (misogyny?)  here. But, assuming talent levels are equal, I would select a woman over a man most of the time.  In my life experience, woman are:

- Less reckless
- Better listeners
- Have a greater capacity for empathy
- Are more thorough
- Less prone to let their hormones get in the way of a correct decision than a man is to let his testerone get in the way of his.

And yes - concur totally with your 2nd paragraph.




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colkurtz8
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Quoted from eldave1
So I guess I am going to reveal my bias (misogyny?)  here.


- The word is "misandry" (if you are indeed referring to the opposite of misogyny) and I only bring it up because I've been recently asking friends (male and female) just as an experiment, if the topic of gender comes up in conversation, what is the "m" word used to describe someone who is anti women. Say 95% of them say misogyny right away. Then i ask what is the "m" word for someone who is anti men...not one person so far has been able to answer me.

I find that indicative in regards the balance of discourse we are having about gender at the moment.


P.S. I should note that I had to look up the word myself and didn't recognize it when I saw it.

P.P.S. The 5% of people who couldn't answer the first question never got the second question so they won't be included in my published findings  


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eldave1
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Quoted from colkurtz8


- The word is "misandry" (if you are indeed referring to the opposite of misogyny) and I only bring it up because I've been recently asking friends (male and female) just as an experiment, if the topic of gender comes up in conversation, what is the "m" word used to describe someone who is anti women. Say 95% of them say misogyny right away. Then i ask what is the "m" word for someone who is anti men...not one person so far has been able to answer me.

I find that indicative in regards the balance of discourse we are having about gender at the moment.


P.S. I should note that I had to look up the word myself and didn't recognize it when I saw it.

P.P.S. The 5% of people who couldn't answer the first question never got the second question so they won't be included in my published findings  


Hmm.

I'm not anti men. I am pro women. So maybe it should be mashogny



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FrankM
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 1:59pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1


Hmm.

I'm not anti men. I am pro women. So maybe it should be mashogny



The word is philogyny, which sounds like "the act of coughing up stuff" and is probably the reason it's not used more often.


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colkurtz8
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Quoted from eldave1
I'm not anti men. I am pro women. So maybe it should be mashogny


I'm pro everybody...most people...some people...depends.

In the context of what you said about having a preference for women in certain sectors, and how you used the word misogyny with a question mark (albeit tongue in cheek I'm assuming) I figured this was what you were talking about.


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