Put Your Money Where Your Sisterhood Is.
In a story entitled, "Mommy Books: More Buzz Than Buyers," the newspaper essentially questioned why books about motherhood continue to be published in large numbers because they don’t sell very well. "Recent mommy books . . . have not lived up to the promise of their publicity," wrote Motoko Rich, mentioning non-fiction selections about mothers and work such as, "The Feminine Mistake," "Perfect Madness," "Get Back to Work" and "To Hell with All That." "What is striking about these limp sales figures is that these books cover a topic that raises fierce passions, as anyone who has spent time on a playground or near an office water cooler knows," Rich continued. "But that may not get at the heart of why women are not buying books about these subjects."
The following day, the Times ran a piece bearing the headline, "Hollywood’s Shortage of Female Power," in which writer Sharon Waxman said that with the "disappearance of many of the movie world’s most visible female power brokers," the future for films that appeal to women "will not be so bright," given lackluster box office receipts for recent flicks like "Catch and Release," "Because I Said So" and "Holiday."
This same warning was sounded a few months ago when Entertainment Weekly ran a piece called "Hollywood vs. Women," where writer Christine Spines -- who said that "barely a dozen women-driven films" were made by major studios in 2006 -- wrote, "When a hot script with several terrific roles for women recently circulated throughout Hollywood, it was received with the breathless enthusiasm of a rare-bird sighting." While lamenting the lack of women writers, producers, executives and projects aimed at the female audience, Spines wrote, "Women aren’t a special-interest group or a ‘niche’ market; they’re half the audience."
Half the audience.
That’s worth repeating.
"They’re half the audience."
Well then, why aren’t they acting like it?
As I read these articles about women not buying books about motherhood, about women not going to see women-centered films, I too wondered why. (Are they too busy with kids? With their work? Is it that their spouses don’t want to watch chick flicks?) But then, I cleared my head. And I refocused the question. Instead of trying to figure out why women aren’t supporting other women, I decided that what this situation needs is less analysis and more action.