“Step 1: Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?
Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first [assistant directors] think women don’t gather, I don’t know.”
Geena Davis, in a fantastic op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter, lays out some shameful statistics about the lack of women in movies (in family films, the ratio of male to female characters is 3 to 1; crowd scenes contain an average of just 17 percent women), and proposes a simple but potentially revolutionary two-step solution. Screenwriters, please, please, please take note! And Geena, how much do we love you? Let us count the ways… [The Hollywood Reporter]