Sam Bailey is once again examining gender and patriarchy in her new short film, Masculine/Masculine. The Brown Girls director created a 10-minute film reimagining the world today if women behaved like the stereotypical macho men with bravado. Bailey and co-creator, Henry "Hank" Jones came up with the story about two young women hanging out in Los Angeles on an aggressive conquest to have aimless sex.
"It was a challenge," Bailey told Broadly about the directing the project that turns the table on paradigms of gender and hyper-masculinity. "I think anytime you start incorporating satire or social commentary in a nuanced way, there's a delicate balance you're trying to hit. But I'm really proud of what we made and I hope it adds to the conversation around the type of behavior we as a society have become complicit in upholding."
From putting men through the experience of being catcalled to generally being degraded, Masculine/Masculine highlights how this generation navigates predatory, toxic masculinity on a day-to-day basis.
"At first, the movie was going to follow two men," Bailey said. "But then I felt like we've seen that before. And I wanted to tackle the topic through an experimental lens. So we decided to flip the story on its head and make the leads women, who operate much like the patriarchy today. Where power, status, and sexual conquests are top currency."
The film stars comedian Sonia Dennis, McKenzie Chinn, and Brown Girls co-creator and author Fatimah Asghar. Masculine/Masculine premiered on Monday at the L.A. Film Fest as a part of the Project Involve program through Film Independent.