Cinematographer Writes Convincing Post On Why Pregnant Women Should Work

If you enjoyed the visuals in Black Panther, that is in part thanks to cinematographer Rachel Morrison. Morrison was the first woman cinematographer to be nominated for an Oscar, and she’s worked on acclaimed films like Mudbound and Fruitvale Station. Morrison just wrapped on shooting a film starring Kristen Stewart titled Against All Enemies. She is also eight months pregnant with her second child.

On Instagram, Morrison shared a photo of herself on set with a very obviously pregnant belly balancing out the camera on her shoulder. She apparently has some opinions about how pregnant people are treated in our society, and how it limits their options when it comes to work. Since Morrison is in an extremely competitive profession dominated by men, you can imagine why its been on her mind. She basically just wants everyone to consider that experiences very, and being pregnant doesn’t mean you’re out of the running to do anything but sit on the couch and grow a baby. Though that seems like enough to me!

There’s a common misconception that likens pregnancy to some kind of disability— the idea that women who are pregnant shouldn’t be active and can’t go about their normal lives… While no two pregnancies are the same, I just want to say that for many to most women this isn’t the case at all. I just wrapped a feature #againstallenemies at 8+ months pregnant. Now I’m on to a commercial and I plan to keep shooting for as long as anyone will hire me knowing in a few weeks I may have to replace myself if I go into labor on set… the point is I am NOT a superhero. I am just going about my life doing the thing that I love for as long as I can because the more I work before baby the longer I can take off after. Which should also be MY choice and no one else’s. Physically speaking I could have gone back to work within a week of having my son. At the time, I lost many jobs because people were nervous to hire me so soon after the birth but again I say this should be left up to us. Pregnancy and motherhood in general is not a disadvantage and the craft doesn’t suffer as a result. If anything the added experience and enhanced empathy has made me a better cinematographer and filmmaker. That’s all. Happy Friday! #femalefilmmakerfriday #shootfilm #cseries #panavisionofficial 📷 by @loganwhitephoto

A post shared by Rachel Morrison, ASC. (@rmorrison) on

She wrote:

There’s a common misconception that likens pregnancy to some kind of disability— the idea that women who are pregnant shouldn’t be active and can’t go about their normal lives… While no two pregnancies are the same, I just want to say that for many to most women this isn’t the case at all. I just wrapped a feature #againstallenemies at 8+ months pregnant. Now I’m on to a commercial and I plan to keep shooting for as long as anyone will hire me knowing in a few weeks I may have to replace myself if I go into labor on set… the point is I am NOT a superhero. I am just going about my life doing the thing that I love for as long as I can because the more I work before baby the longer I can take off after. Which should also be MY choice and no one else’s. Physically speaking I could have gone back to work within a week of having my son. At the time, I lost many jobs because people were nervous to hire me so soon after the birth but again I say this should be left up to us. Pregnancy and motherhood in general is not a disadvantage and the craft doesn’t suffer as a result. If anything the added experience and enhanced empathy has made me a better cinematographer and filmmaker.

Morrison is absolutely right that everyone experiences pregnancy differently. We rarely allow mothers to set the terms for their own experience. There are probably plenty of people on the other side of Morrison’s story, who needed more time to recover and weren’t able to get leave or take time from work. And there are plenty who missed on on jobs because they were discriminated against as potential liabilities.

Folks definitely have opinions on the matter:

Some of those opinions are less flattering, accusing Morrison of just feeling like she has to overwork herself to support her kid because there’s no universal childcare in the U.S.

I think what Morrison is saying is that for her, pregnancy wasn’t enough to stop her from doing what she loved. So no one else should get to stop her either. Makes sense to me.