Engendering a better world

Working on Engender has been an educational experience. I didn’t know much about feminism before working on the production; all that I knew was that a feminist is someone who believes in equal rights for men and women.

Throughout the pre-production process of Engender my knowledge about feminism broadened. Reading articles, blog posts, listening to conversations and attending workshops with the funder of the talk show added to my knowledge on feminism. Through conversations the team also shared their experiences on the different forms of discrimination and sexism they faced on a daily basis and discussed ways to raise awareness about this and hopefully change it.

Working on Engender has made me more observant about everyday sexism and discrimination, which I didn’t pick up on before. I didn’t pick up on it before because it’s always been there, even though it did make me feel uncomfortable. For example, if you go walking on the street you know that men will catcall you. It’s awful, but it’s the norm, so it’s expected, which it shouldn’t be. Other examples are that most, if not all, clothing shops only have pink clothes for girls and blue clothes for boys, and adverts on TV only show women in traditional domestic roles. It would be great to see a TV ad where the male in the household is busy in the kitchen.

The pilot of Engender consisted of three shows, which each explored a different topic. They were: What is Feminism, Media and Representation, and Intersectionality. Intersectionality is a word used to explain the way your gender, age, culture, class, sexual preference, ability, upbringing, race and surroundings influence your choices and opportunities. They also influence how society views you and treats you, which results in an experience of either privilege or oppression for the individual.

My role on the production was co-ordinator, which is basically making sure everyone and everything is where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. What I enjoyed the most, however, was going out on the streets to record the vox pops (asking the general public questions on the street). It’s always interesting to hear people’s opinions … if you manage to convince them to speak on camera.

Megan in studio

Megan checks up on the studio activities during set-up

Working on Engender has also increased my knowledge about transgender people and a-gender people (people who don’t identify with being either man or woman). I also didn’t know much about transgender people and only learnt more about the topic when Caitlyn Jenner was highly covered in mainstream media. I find her reality show extremely informative as she speaks about the different issues she faces daily. One episode was about how she wanted to undergo surgery to make her voice more feminine because it still made her feel like a man. Engender has made me interested in learning more about transgender and a-gender people. In the future I hope we get to cover both as an Engender episode topic.

Going forward, I really hope we get feedback from viewers after the shows air. I’m curious to find out people’s reactions and whether it’s made them more observant about the world around them like it has made me.

More about More about Engender.

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