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Sexism in Photography

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ricardovaste View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 September 2017 at 10:57
Susan Stripling's open letter about Sexism in Photography:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sexism-in-the-photography-industry-open-letter-from_us_59bd642fe4b02c642e4a170f

There is a lot of frustration in what she writes, and rightly so, given what she's experiences over the years. So I'd open the tone of it doesn't mask over the issue. It's something that isn't spoken about often in the industry, which needs to change.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 11:19
I find it a weird, lousy written article with some serious points that warrant attention. I really don't understand why she talks about the misconceptions about feminism while the article is about sexism - you don't need to be a feminist to be against sexism.

Some things she describes are well intended. Like the bank manager or the people asking about her kids. Yes it is sexism and yes it should be different. But it is quite different from a guy kissing you on the mouth or demanding you to take a picture of his private parts - that is assault and it should be reported to the police (but then, I fully understand why she didn't report it to the police).

The shop thing is an old one. It isn't just in the photography world. A lot of electronics stores, DIY stores and car dealerships ignore female customers - but the ones who do cater to female customers in a sincere way profit from it. It is sexism, but it is also lousy business practice.

The thing is, I think she describes society. Unfortunately the photography business is no different then a lot of other businesses.
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ricardovaste View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ricardovaste Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 11:29
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

I find it a weird, lousy written article with some serious points that warrant attention. I really don't understand why she talks about the misconceptions about feminism while the article is about sexism - you don't need to be a feminist to be against sexism.

Some things she describes are well intended. Like the bank manager or the people asking about her kids. Yes it is sexism and yes it should be different. But it is quite different from a guy kissing you on the mouth or demanding you to take a picture of his private parts - that is assault and it should be reported to the police (but then, I fully understand why she didn't report it to the police).

The shop thing is an old one. It isn't just in the photography world. A lot of electronics stores, DIY stores and car dealerships ignore female customers - but the ones who do cater to female customers in a sincere way profit from it. It is sexism, but it is also lousy business practice.

The thing is, I think she describes society. Unfortunately the photography business is no different then a lot of other businesses.


I pretty much agree with you word-for-word there, Addy!

I support what she is getting at, and we should all ask for more here.

But how she's written it and what she's asking isn't concise or driven. It seems more like one thing tipped her over the edge, and made her write down all her annoyances in one go, and then post it. It needs to be talked about but it could be SO much stronger if you had a real writing plan.

I'm also a bit surprised more people don't speak about this on a client basis - which can largely seem to ignore men and infantilize women, to a large degree (wedding industry).

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Woodworth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 11:35
If you look for discrimination and/or are sensitive to a perception of being singled out for whatever reason, you will find it.

I'm not saying that some, perhaps many men are sexist but women are too. I have heard women say things like "he's got man flu" when a man isn't well, "trust a bloody man to get it wrong", etc. If the shoes were on the other foot ... we'd never hear the end of it.

I support all men and women to live their lives just as they want to whether it be in some kind of gender stereotype role or in a role traditionally seen as a particular gender's role - so long as they can do it well, who cares?

Whilst I don't support women being ignored at trade fairs just because of their gender, it may be her perception rather than the actual scenario. True women are often thought of as not being interested in technical stuff and men are often gadget freaks but there are many fine photographers who just happen to be female. Eve Arnold, Immogen Cunningham, Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange to name a few of the pioneers of photography that have stood out from the men.

Susan quotes that a man said to her “take a picture of my dick!”. I'm a man and when photographing on building sites I have had very similar offers and not just once. I don't think it's sexism so much as a particularly crude type of person who makes comments like that.

Susan quotes: “How do you balance your business and your personal life?” I have also had questions like this. I'm a stay at home dad who also runs his own photography business. It can be a real struggle and I have had to turn down work because of my children in the past but I don't think this question is sexist even though it was a woman who asked me.

I get a bit tired of people using their race, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability or gender as a thing to whine about. I have suffered discrimination, I know what it's like to be an outsider but to focus on negative experience rather than positive experience makes life less fulfilled.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote C_N_RED_AGAIN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 13:02
Here in the states, especially the last few years, I hear the words racism and sexism thrown around so much that it's reached the point of being annoying. Is there still both happening? Sure. But it's a hell of a lot better than it's ever been and frankly, as one of the previous posters commented, sexism and even racism is happening from the same groups that are affected by it. Over here I blame the media whose sole purpose it seems is to sensationalize thier journalism for ratings increases.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aarif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 13:03
it's the Media driving us all crazy
 



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Winwalloe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Winwalloe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 14:00
Ricardo I wonder if you read French? An article around the same topic was posted a few years (I think a bit better written) and I'd forward it to you if you wish so. It was quite an eye opener.

But dear Dyxumers, don't comment to complain that you hear about sexism or racism too much, you haven't been forced to read this topic, the title doesn't hide what this is about!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 14:42
Originally posted by Winwalloe Winwalloe wrote:

But dear Dyxumers, don't comment to complain that you hear about sexism or racism too much, you haven't been forced to read this topic, the title doesn't hide what this is about!
Hear, hear.....

Originally posted by Woodworth Woodworth wrote:

Susan quotes: “How do you balance your business and your personal life?” I have also had questions like this. I'm a stay at home dad who also runs his own photography business. It can be a real struggle and I have had to turn down work because of my children in the past but I don't think this question is sexist even though it was a woman who asked me.
I'm sure women get this question more often then men. You probably get the question after people hear you're a "stay at home dad" - women get this question without telling that they are the primary caregiver, people just assume that.

Also, did you get the question while standing on a small platform to speak about photography in a very technical manner? I don't think the question is a problem, it was the situation that made it inappropriate.

Some see sexism in everything, but that doesn't mean it isn't real..... As Richard rightly pointed out, this article seems written in anger and isn't the best writing on the subject.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 14:48
Maybe this better written article is more insightful:
https://www.pdnonline.com/features/industry-updates/sexism-photo-industry-cant-better/

And of course Nikon proofed sexism exists recently with 32 male photographers to promote the D850 but with no female photographers:Independent.co.uk
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Woodworth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 17:47
Sexism, in fact any "ism" or *phobia (* = add the word you like before phobia) should always be challenged and not accepted.

These negative attitudes should have no place in this world, regardless of which community any person occupies.

I think that women probably experience more prejudice from men, than the other way around but I get the impression that Susan is making more of her bad experiences in order to write an article and make a (rather tired) point.

In an ideal world, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion or whatever should not be something that makes another behave badly. Sadly we as humans keep making a mess of it in almost every way conceivable.

I hope that our children will grow to be more tolerant and accepting than we are.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote artuk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 18:32
Originally posted by ricardovaste ricardovaste wrote:

Susan Stripling's open letter about Sexism in Photography:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sexism-in-the-photography-industry-open-letter-from_us_59bd642fe4b02c642e4a170f

There is a lot of frustration in what she writes, and rightly so, given what she's experiences over the years. So I'd open the tone of it doesn't mask over the issue. It's something that isn't spoken about often in the industry, which needs to change.


Richard, speaking as a non-professional, photography appears to be predominantly a male pursuit, both professionally and as a hobby.

Being male dominated, it is essentially sexist in the same way that, for example, the car industry is. You go to a photo show and every other booth has a scantily or provocatively clad pretty model pouting for an army of sweaty fat middle aged men all getting slightly hot under the collar. The photography world is full of pictures of pretty women often wearing very little often pouting for the camera or looking provocative. Female boudoir photography is mostly entirely acceptable (though perhaps nudity is now more frowned upon than 30 years ago). Amateur street photography is often little more than an attempt to snap pretty women across the street with a long lens. If you post a photo of a woman with lots of make up or in pretty (half) clothes, you will get lots of feedback on forums. If you post something similar of a man, it's mostly ignored.

The article isn't very well written, but it touches on a whole range of issues within photography, and the wider world.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 18:48
Originally posted by artuk artuk wrote:

Richard, speaking as a non-professional, photography appears to be predominantly a male pursuit, both professionally and as a hobby.

I see female photographers about 20:1 to males out in parks shooting wedding parties or graduation pictures. Actually I am not sure if I've ever come across a professional male photographer in the wild. Maybe I am just not seeing them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maxxuman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 19:26
Originally posted by Woodworth Woodworth wrote:


I think that women probably experience more prejudice from men, than the other way around but I get the impression that Susan is making more of her bad experiences in order to write an article and make a (rather tired) point.


I strongly disagree with that. I saw the comment thread on Facebook when Susan initially threw out the idea of sexism in the industry - prior to making her own lengthy post. Many female photographers, including some I've worked with myself, contributed horror stories of sexist treatment they've received while working. It's not an exaggeration - it happens and hopefully by shining a light on it more people will understand what a problem it is and try to help counter it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maxxuman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 September 2017 at 19:29
Originally posted by artuk artuk wrote:


Richard, speaking as a non-professional, photography appears to be predominantly a male pursuit, both professionally and as a hobby.

Yeah, no. Speaking as a professional photographer who has worked for plenty of female professional photographers and who is aware of many, many more female professionals and hobbyists through various Facebook photography groups I can assure you that it's not by any means a predominantly male pursuit.
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