Because it’s International Women’s Day, a lot of attention has been paid recently on this page to women film composers. Some men find the extra attention – and sometimes preference – given to women composers threatening because it’s one more reason why they can’t get a job. It’s particularly hard to explain to someone just starting out that this is to compensate for a male privilege they think they never had.

Without going into all the invisible ways in which even young men have benefitted by being male, I want to say that I have always supported greater diversity in our field – and worked to make it happen – for a very simple selfish reason: it makes our art-form better. Why?

Let me draw an analogy. Imagine American music without the contribution of African Americans. No blues, no jazz, no rock, no soul, no hip hop, no EDM, and only a sliver of C&W left. No Elvis, no Beatles, no Gershwin, no Bernstein (either one). Now, I like Lawerence Welk as much as the next guy from Wisconsin but…

Women have, thus far, been grossly underrepresented in American films. (That is also true of African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians.) Just imagine what they have to bring!

BTW, if you don’t know who is in the picture – you should. She encouraged me when everyone else was saying “Go home.”