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Category: Art and Entertainment, Girls

These women make me feel like a bore.

January 21, 2011


The WMC blog is featuring Progressive Girls' Voices in dispatches from the Sundance Film Festival, as our girl journalists attend feminist film screenings and interview notable leaders and directors. Here's Mimi Clayton's contribution, the first in our series -- watch this space for more. 

By Mimi Erickson-Clayton

Mimi is a high school senior in Salt Lake City and has been involved with Planned Parenthood for three years. She is passionate about gay rights and teen education.

Tiffany Shlain, director of Connected, is not the only person who makes me feel utterly useless, but she WAS the first person we interviewed today. Having never conducted an interview with a ridiculously talented, busy, famous person, I was a little bit overwhelmed when we first arrived at her condo for the interview. But as impressive as Tiffany's resume is, I was even more impressed with the grace and kindness with which she received us. Having your work space invaded by seven eager teens can't be easy, but I felt very welcome.

The woman herself is an absolute inspiration, who can not only make a touching, entertaining movie, but can do it while being a daughter, wife, and mother as well. I know that shouldn't be a deciding factor in a woman's career, but too often it becomes such. Tiffany has defied the odds and done it all well.

I had the first question today, and I was physically shaking with nerves. What you must understand is that I am no stranger to the camera or public speaking, having lived through a short-lived acting career, lots of theater, and debate. Even so, when you put it all together it's insanely intimidating, and rightly so. I really hope you can't hear my voice shaking on the footage when I thank Tiffany on behalf of the Women's Media Center! That nervousness doesn't seem like it matches with the message we're trying to convey here.

And, ok, he's not a woman, but our camera guy was also pretty amazing. A freelance filmmaker, he hadn't even been with us an hour before he was doling out life advice–and it was great advice, too! The man also braved over an our of frigid air to film our video, and he did it without gloves and without complaint. The rest of us could only hold up for a few minutes before whining about the cold. On the plus side, I think the video is going to be COOL!

Other women who make me feel inferior? Yana Walton [WMC VP of Communications] is certainly one of them. You must understand that this inferiority isn't a negative thing. It's not that I feel unappreciated or undervalued, but rather that I'm surrounded by really fantastic, accomplished people. Yana. Totally bada**. That's all I have to say about that.

And, of course, my fellow girl journalists make me feel like a worthless lump. Did you know that our youngest writer is only 13??? She's so smart and savvy, I wouldn't ever know! I'm lucky to know such great girls, and I can't wait for tomorrow!