Women and Minorities

Posted by Rena Sternfeld on June 6, 2013 in It makes me MAD, The search |

001_introThis is such a loaded subject that I have to thread lightly;


I hate that lumping of women with minorities, as is common in many businesses and employed at the DGA for instance.


Women comprise 51% of the population of the United States. If anything, women have become the MAJORITY. The fact that they are underrepresented in the entertainment industry work force got us the treatment of the poor cousin at the table.


Determining who is a minority is an issue not many want to deal with. Being of Jewish Eastern European heritage who was left without any immediate family I ask: Is a minority someone who doesn’t look like you? Is a minority someone who was born out of the country? Is someone a minority because his parents were born out of the country?

I had the privilege of participating in the ABC/DGA directing fellowship for women and minorities. In a soiree organized by ABC I met past and present fellowship holders from the writing and directing programs. I got into deep conversation with a writer, when suddenly it hit me. The guy looked white and had an American last name. “Hey,” I said, “How come you are in this program?”

“Oh, my mother was born in Mexico.”

How far, generation-wise you want to go? Do you want to borrow a page from the Nazi playbook?

At another meeting with a similar group, we introduced ourselves. One of the fellowship recipients had a Latino last name but was from Spain. So European people are now considered minorities? How about those from Serbia? How about those from England? France?

In a society that tries so hard to be color blind we are perpetuating the notion. We should be like Stephen Colbert. “Excuse me sir, are you black?” he asked his African American stunned guest, who nodded. “I’m color blind and I can’t see the difference.” Colbert explained.

Now it comes to how you define yourself.

When talking about gender inequality, the distinction is clean cut. You are a male or a female. Even those who changed  gender have to chose one of the two. It has nothing to do with who your parents are or where you have been born. it has only to do with the person him/herself.


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