Editor Note: One of our biggest projects at Psychology’s Feminist Voices this year was the 7 video Gender Matters series. To help you ring in the new year, we offer some reflections on the filming of the series and share a special blooper reel of all the behind the scenes shenanigans. Happy 2018!
This summer, Psychology’s Feminist Voices – otherwise known as PFV – put out a series of videos that break down “gender-based analysis,” a set of methods and ideas that help us examine the hidden ways that gender influences our research in psychology. Our goal was to communicate these important ideas to budding psychologists who will shape the future of research (if we became YouTube stars in the process, then so be it). After months of research, script-writing, focus-grouping, and trimming down, we filmed all seven videos over three short winter days. With all that hard work coming to a head, those days of filming, eating, and tomfoolery passed by in a flash. So when our director Alex Fox sent this blooper reel, the memories came flooding back. Two members of our group, Shalyn Isaacs and Grace Zhang Granofsky, were inspired to write short retrospectives to accompany the reel. We hope you enjoy this little bit of insight into the filming of the series.
– Tal Davidson
Having the opportunity to be a part of the filming of the Psychology’s Feminist Voices’ Gender Matters videos was truly one of my favourite parts of the year for a number of reasons. Before joining the Psychology’s Feminist Voices research team, I had spent a lot of time contemplating: where are the women in Psychology? Where are the gender non-conforming/non-binary folks in Psychology? Where are the women of color in Psychology? And why have their stories, research, and overall contributions to the field of Psychology been pushed aside? Thankfully, many of these questions have been answered throughout my time as a research assistant with PFV and during the filming of the Gender Matters videos.
I have always been a relatively shy and introverted individual. That is why it was surprising to me when I made the decision to star in a few of the Gender Matters videos – I was really stepping outside of my comfort zone. However, I soon realized that the people I volunteer with are highly encouraging, supportive, and adept at creating a welcoming environment to the point where I knew I had absolutely nothing to be worried, shy, or nervous about!
On February 24th, it was Grace Zhang, Susannah Mulvale, Meghan George, Luci Belknap and myself who were starring in the videos (and Alex Fox was there filming). It definitely felt different being in front of the camera and presenting information rather than being the viewer! There were instances where we each had to stop filming due to small mistakes, but rather than becoming frustrated, we always shared a laugh and continued to cheer one another on. It was a wonderful day getting to know my fellow PFVers a bit better.
Although I have pondered the position of women in Psychology many times before, I have never really considered how gender-based assumptions and biases influence research. Presenting in this information in the Gender Matters videos helped me to gain a greater understanding of intersectionality, the differences between sex and gender, and the impact of gender assumptions on the direction of research. There is no doubt that through these videos I have learned a lot of new concepts that I can apply when I am reading about and conducting my own psychological research. And being able to present some of this information in the videos for others to watch and learn from is an awesome feeling.
The misrepresentation (or lack of any representation at all) of women and non-binary individuals in psychological research is disappointing. However, being part of the Psychology’s Feminist Voices research team and filming these videos has shown me that there are people who are deconstructing gender norms and challenging stereotypical ideologies surrounding the place of women in Psychology. Seeing the amount of time, dedication, and effort that went into filming these teaching videos really gives me hope that future generations will be better able to think critically about gender, race, and representation and therefore be able to manifest changes in the ways that psychological research is conducted and presented.
– Shalyn Isaacs
When Alex mentioned that she was looking for somewhere to film the Gender Matters videos, I immediately offered my place. I was very happy that my house was a good fit for the project. It was a wonderful experience to be part of such an amazing, dynamic, and supportive group. The filming was such a fun experience, and a great opportunity for the PFV team to bond. We filmed on multiple days through two weeks. The first day was the most memorable for me. Since we were just getting started, there were a lot of details that we had to figure out. For instance, which room we would be shooting in, where would people be standing, the lighting, etc. Our director/cinematographer, Alex Fox, is extremely talented. She quickly decided on the location and set up the scene. The first day of filming went smoothly and set a solid foundation and structure for the next few days.
I think what really made an impression on me is that for us, being a feminist is not just an empty phrase or simply a label, it is shown through action, the depth of care and contribution to the community, and the endless passion for unique and individual contributions to the field. I hope this series of videos will make an impact and inspire the people who watch it. If they are just beginning to learn about gender, feminism, or psychology, I hope the videos can answer some of the questions they might have; if they are familiar with the subjects, I hope the videos provide an opportunity to examine these issues through different perspectives and inspire deep contemplation about intersectionality.
– Grace Zhang Granofsky
Schiebinger, L., Klinge, I., Paik, H. Y., Sánchez de Madariaga, I., Schraudner, M., and Stefanick, M. (Eds.) (2011-2016). Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment.
Tal Davidson is a doctoral student in the Historical, Theoretical, and Critical Studies of Psychology program at York University with a BSc in psychology with honours at York. His honours thesis was a critical analysis of the social construction of old age. In his work, Tal draws on the aspects of feminism that emphasize the social and linguistic contexts in which the study topic is situated.
Shalyn Isaacs Isaacs is an undergraduate student in the BA Honors Psychology program at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Her interests include inter-generational trauma, feminist psychology, philosophy, and spiritual thought. She is hoping to pursue a masters degree in Counselling Psychology.
Grace Zhang Granofsky is a graduate of the Psychology Honors program at York University. She worked with Dr. Ron Sheese on her honors thesis relating to Educational Psychology. She is also currently volunteering in Dr. James Bebko’s lab on Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her interests include developmental psychology, educational psychology, feminism, gender, and sexual orientation.