I recently posted a short comment on the above question on Facebook and received few messages, asking to clarify my position, so here are few notes on the subject of women in photography:
How do I feel about working in a male-dominated industry?
You will never hear a man complaining about being surrounded by too many women, so why should I find it the opposite situation problematic? Frankly, the only distinctions I make between my colleagues are based on their professional qualities, and gender is not one of them.
Contrary to the common belief, I often find that being in a minority can be an advantage, a unique selling point if you like. Working in an area with ridiculously high number of image-makers per m2, I can usually pull a ‘women’s story’ and sell or exhibit it on the premise of a unique perspective and equal opportunities. I’m yet to see a man successfully pulling through a similar trick.
Now, I don’t really believe in a female perspective as such. Sure, my view on the world is that of a woman, as much as it’s that of a Latvian Russian living in the UK, liking cycling and tea and hating willing ignorance. It’s influenced by every person I met, every book I read, every film I saw and every experience I ever had. It’s absolutely unique, which is why I don’t call it female perspective – it’s simply my perspective.
Before feminists have their fair say on the matter, I will add that sure, women’s rights are abused all over the world (as are rights of every human being). Perhaps I’m lucky to say that I never experienced gender discrimination (perhaps I’m just silly and don’t see the facts for what they are) and I never used my gender as a possible excuse for not getting what I wanted. Then again, I never wait for others to see past gender stereotypes and give me a chance – I make my own opportunities and do what I am good at to the best of my ability. Frankly, my vagina has nothing to do with my photography, unless I choose to.
Sure, I want to live in the world of equal opportunities, but, in my vision, this doesn’t mean creating more opportunities for women, but building an environment, in which gender does not come into consideration when all that matters is good photography.