August 18, 2020
DSW’s Melissa Broudo was featured in “As a Woman,” an interview-based film series diving into the lives of six inspirational, female-identifying New Yorkers. Written and produced by Majella Productions, the documentary explores how these individuals relate to their womanhood, and the ways this identity impacts their lived experience. The production is a beautiful examination of the multitude of meanings gender can inspire.
Broudo has dedicated her career to supporting the rights of individuals criminalized for their identity. She decided in college to pursue law with the particular intention of decriminalizing sex work and defending survivors of sexual exploitation. While working as a senior staff attorney at the Sex Workers Project, Broudo won the first-ever vacatur motion for a survivor of human trafficking. She has since provided technical expertise on these critical motions throughout the state and country.
In her interview, Broudo describes her particular brand of feminism and the nuanced way she understands the human experience. Rarely seeing things in black and white is what makes Broudo such an incredible lawyer and advocate. She integrates this understanding, and her tenure combating racial and gender injustice in the court system, into her work at DSW and the NYC-based SOAR Institute.
Sex work is an issue that so often divides feminists, as some see the work as inherently misogynistic and degrading. “I look at it [in] a completely different way,” says Broudo. “If women and women-identifying individuals have been sexualized, why not use that to your advantage … and that is not inherently disempowering. It varies from person to person.”
“As a Woman” was produced by Melbourne-based production house Majella with an extraordinary all-female crew. “We created a space for original thought and honest feeling,” said Gabrielle Pearson, director and producer of the series. “[We intended] to genuinely provoke the strength, fire, and ambition in our female communities. We hope that this series binds together our female power and provides an uplift to those who could draw from the wisdom of what these women have to say. We are all heard, and we are all important.”
You can watch the series on Sticks & Stones Agency’s website.