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On gender and photojournalism: a response to Paul Melcher by Melissa Golden
May 13, 2011 by M. Scott Brauer 9 Comments »
“It took me too long to figure out that drinking massive amounts of alcohol and putting up with sexual harassment were not tests I had to pass to join the club. I now know it took me so long because I didn’t have a strong, senior female photographer or editor willing to take me in and tell me that ‘there’s another, better way.’” -Melissa Golden
Earlier this week, Paul Melcher, best known to me from the usually level-headed Melcher System blog, posted an article on the Black Star Rising blog, Why Is a Photojournalist’s Gender Relevant to Their Work?, dismissive of exhibitions, collectives, and professional organizations that are focused on women photographers. Thankfully, there was immediate backlash against Melcher’s post. A facebook post from Melissa Golden initially drew me to Melcher’s article, and I asked if she’d be willing to expand her thoughts a bit more. I’m glad she did; I knew from her history that she would have a valuable perspective on the importance of women’s photographer organizations, and I think this perspective can easily apply to other minority-focused organizations and exhibitions. Diversity among the ranks of photographers, editors, and anyone else involved in photography, will only make our craft stronger and more relevant to the public. This is a guest post by Golden, a photojournalist based in Los Angeles. If you don’t already know her work, you need to.