Becoming-YouTube

“I identify with being a vlogger, and that’s how I started on YouTube, was doing vlogs and music videos. I’ve shifted because I found my passion for film and now I identify more as a writer/director, and I still do vlogs and stuff, that’s still a thing that I do, but in terms of the problem that we’re addressing, saying "genre gap”, the most important thing that people need to know, is that whether you wanna know it or not, and whether it makes you feel like people are being sexist or not, film is a boy’s club. It is. And to not address it is doing everyone a disservice. You go work in the film industry, there’ll be very few women on set in positions of power. If you’re the director, the men will not listen to you. It’s from ignorance; they don’t understand how to take orders from a woman and it’s something you have to handle with graciousness. You’ve never had [a woman] as someone competent in charge, you’re seeing a woman as someone you tell what to do, and this is a problem in this genre, and I think it is wonderful that women on YouTube have a genre like makeup gurus where it is all them, you know, like that is something that they have and no one can take that from them. I’m sure there are male makeup gurus or the like as well, but that is something that women really do have, and they are not being devalued and they are not being told that they’re worthless, we’re just addressing a completely separate issue. Where is Tina Fey right now? Where is Tina Fey, on YouTube? Don’t you think if Tina Fey was born in our generation that’s what she’d be doing right now? She wouldn’t be working under a bunch of male writers, trying to work her way up on TV, she’d be doing that and then running her own show on YouTube. And that’s what I feel like, you know, girls need to be watching women that are succeeding and are pursuing passionate creation, I think, and that’s really important. That’s something that I am trying to do and I find it hard to find other women that are doing it. Someone that I love on YouTube, Elaine Carroll, she now works with CollegeHumor, she does Very Mary-Kate, and she’s hilarious. She is a wonderful comedic actress, she has incredible range. She writes, and I don’t know if she directs that, but that’s the one person I can think of. That’s not saying there aren’t hundreds more, but they’re not in the top 300 that I could immediately recall, and that is a problem. That can be inaccurately addressed sometimes, because it sounds like you’re saying “You beauty gurus don’t matter, and you vloggers don’t matter”, it’s saying “No, you matter, very much, and I’m very thankful that you are doing what you’re doing and making it so we have less genres that we need to fill.”. Those are pretty well done, but it is the film genre that really does need more people that are passionate about that, and I would love to see women encouraged to create, instead of just to follow in the things they think they can do, and it’s harder to do that when there isn’t someone there that you’re looking up to. That’s the problem.“
—  Shawna Howson aka Nanalew, Becoming YouTube panel at Summer in the City (August 17th 2013, London), talking about the gender gap on YouTube