Let's talk gender

I’m an introvert. It doesn’t mean I’m shy. I have a brain, so it goes without saying that I have opinions. Some people even call me a sarcastic b*ch and I take it as a compliment. I do have something to say and do not brainlessly follow crowds, but I choose to trust my gut feeling instead.

I don’t care whether you are a man or a woman. If you have something interesting to say I’m happy to listen to you. But if you want to comment on my work or my private life, I will only take it on board if you do it in a valuable and constructive way. I absolutely agree with what Brene Brown said about the arena and critics – it’s not a critic who counts… Watch her TED Talks, you’ll be amazed too!

My camera is my shield and it makes me invisible when I need it. It gives me permission to boss people around and get the job done without being a chatterbox or pretending to be someone else. When I’m working I am 100% focused. That’s why I don’t talk. Much. I’m fully focused for the best effect.

Female photographers

There has been a lot of discussion lately about sexism and discrimination against female photographers.

The Nikon ad is a perfect example of the problem. To be honest, I’m embarrassed to have been a former user and a lecturer for Nikon Academy. And I am convinced that a lot of women agree with me as they say things like ‘Nikon has a new camera out (Nikon D850). Apparently you need a penis to operate it.’

Have I experienced sexism? Of course! I experience it in many forms. Working with Michal, probably not as much as I would if I worked on my own.

I experience it mostly from other photographers. Sometimes it comes from other vendors, sometimes from guests or even couples. Sometimes from my family and friends. And it pisses me off. Every single time.

Other photographers take the liberty to patronise me, especially on the internet, and I just can’t stand it. People often assume that only Michal takes our best winning photos and runs our business. They will ignore me in a conversation and look at and talk with Michal only. And believe me, I am not oversensitive.

And my personal life? Can I call it personal? People get to ask me questions related to my very personal choices at our workshops, weddings or random meetings, as if they had all the right to judge me or decide what’s best for me.

I’m tired of having my privacy invaded. And I am tired of being treated like I’m just a woman, which, to many, simply means a second-class human being, someone who is not good enough.

What’s the solution? Respect people! Talk to them! Give men and women space to work together. Don’t judge. Be nice. Cooperate. Be part of a team. Listen to others! Learn! And do not spread hate all around the Internet!

Remember, real life goes on outside the Internet. Log off and get a life.

GENDER
© Dorota Kaszuba, 2001, Mamiya RB67 on Trix 400