When talking about the film industry’s gender disparity, it is always difficult to shut down those who suggest that systemic sexism is actually a collective figment of the female imagination. Enter “Technigal,” a “Robot Hugs” comic strip that illustrates these disparities through Chrissie, an independent videographer and transwoman who transitioned a few years ago and has since received notably different treatment than what she experienced as Chris.
As Chrissie notes, it is not that colleagues who formerly knew her as Chris have acted worse towards her post-transition. Rather, while people always assumed Chris’ competency, Chrissie has noticed that those who only know her as a woman consistently underestimate and question her technical knowledge and ability.
HL, the creator of “Robot Hugs,” wrote of collaborating with Chrissie for the comic, “When we talk about the differences in how men and women are treated professionally, especially in technical fields, we are often dismissed with ‘everyone has to deal with that,’ or ‘women need to demonstrate more confidence with their skills,’ or ‘they’re just trying to be helpful,’ or ‘it’s all in your head.’ It’s frustrating when we know something like this is happening, but we spend so much of our time actually trying to get people to believe that it’s a real phenomenon. I find narratives like Chrissie’s validating in that she has a comparative set of experiences and is like ‘oh yeah, people totally think I’m less competent at my job now. it’s totally a thing.’ So, can guys just believe us already and get on helping it not happen?”
Read the full “Technigal” strip below, and check out the full posting and more “Robot Hugs” work here.