We Love This "Uncommon Ground" Video.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

We love this new video from creator, Amanda Mcdonnell, that tells it like it is when it comes to being a female, not just in skateboarding, but in a lot of areas where the sport, career, or path is typically thought of as being male-dominated.

This video is a short documentary and part of a web series for the “In The Know” (AOL/Verizon Media).

The series “Uncommon Ground” is about showing fringe communities and debunking misconceptions or just getting a glimpse into a world people may know nothing about.

Amanda explains why she felt it was important to do this project:

I finally committed to skateboarding at 29 years old and was so surprised at the lack of young girls doing it. I couldn't believe I was the only female at the park being that I was older and just starting out. It’s not always about being intimidated by “You can’t skate! You're a girl!” But the tougher battle for me came from my interior dialogue as a result of growing up in a world where women aren’t appreciated the same way men are.

"I was curious why there were so many more men doing it than women so I starting asking guys questions. I asked how they got started skating and saw the common thread was they had someone to skate with in the beginning. They had some sort of community or person go out and learn with. When I ask women how they got started, I kept hearing a story similar to my own. They wanted to skate in middle school but didn't have anyone to do it with. They tried again at another point but felt out of place."

I wanted to make a documentary that explores how gender plays a role in creating our different paths because of hidden battles. I think it's important to hear their skateboard journey to understand why there are less women skating (the gender gap). To take misconceptions like “Guys are more fearless and girls don’t want to get hurt,“ “Girls just aren't interested,” “She’s just doing it for attention,” “Men’s bodies are better equipped for skateboarding,” and show that they aren’t true. These innocent statements said by both men and women are actually undermining a whole generation of females from partaking in activities they want to do. I think the story in this documentary is not unique to skating but is common across the board where women lack in numbers like science, math, film director of photography, IT, CEO… the list is endless.

Through this webisode, I was hoping to reach a broad audience to touch on the ideas above. I felt it was important to hear Celina talking about skating at a young age despite the obstacles and then to hear Nancy, Brianna, Courtney, and Melanie’s stories sharing their thoughts and feelings that led them to start doing it later in life. For us, it took time to push through the noise and have the confidence to skateboard. Whatever notoriety may come our way for being a part of this video, we would trade it all in an instant to have been able to start this journey much younger, when all the boys started skating.

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