Does Being A Woman Make A Difference?

Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron recently said that she is a director, not a woman director. “When you make a movie, there is not the remotest sense on a day to day basis that you are not exactly the same as anyone else who directs a movie.” But Abbie Cornish , who worked with Jane Campion in “Bright Star,” says, “I just notice, with a female director, there’s definitely more of a connection to the emotion and the feeling of a scene, and the physicality. They’re much more intimate on set.”

One director who is shaking up the world of gender differences is Kathryn Bigelow who directed “The Hurt Locker,” an action film with a lot of violence. She seems to prove what Ephron is saying. But Ephron herself has stuck primarily to “female” or “chick” movies like “Sleepless In Seattle,” “You’ve Got Mail” and “Julie & Julia.” So what is the real deal here?

There are obviously two schools of thought about this. One asserts that women bring something different to the table just because they’re women. The other school, typically attributed to Second Wave feminists, is that women and men are interchangeable. Ephron obviously holds the latter view.

But is she right? And does what she say hold true for all types of roles? Is a mother interchangeable with a father? A female firefighter with a male firefighter? A female politician with a male politician? A businesswoman with a businessman? An actress with an actor?

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