Rise of the Strong Female Protagonists - Representation of Women in Contemporary American Cinema" Cinema has always been an integral part of a culture and has been presenting various ideals of the time such as gender roles. American Cinema has been abundant of gender representation and through many years the roles of men and women have been presented according to the formulaic stereotypes. For a long time up to the present, men have dominated the movie industry and have been depicted as saviours and protectors while women have often been presented as the weaker sex, objects of desire or just as the support of male characters. Even though it is not difficult to enumerate a few movies such as Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Guardians of
To conclude, women, or rather their bodies, are objectified in the service of the main character, often male. If this problem is not new, it is far from being eradicated. More recent debates have challenged this bad habit of Hollywood. Things will not change overnight, but it 's still interesting to see the evolution of film and women on the big screen - today we see more women directors and more and more serious roles and fewer roles of "support" to a
Over the past few decades, classical Hollywood cinema has been criticized for the way women are portrayed through the screen. The majority gaze throughout mainstream cinema is quite masculine. One of the easiest ways to prove this is by examining how men and women direct their gazes through film. “Men tend to look at women, and women tend to look not at men, but at men looking at them.” (Horton) In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active male and passive female observation. One of the primary ways that this is conveyed, is through shot size.
Perhaps, what launches her into the auteur threshold might be sexist; there are no other female directors that have achieved her level of notoriety. “She has been praised repeatedly—and somewhat ironically—as the most ‘masculine’ of feminine directors working today, chiefly because she continues to display a fascination for action narratives and for characters caught up in violent conflict” (Platzner). These themes of masculinity are clearly observable and prevalent in The Hurt Locker and Detroit. Masculinity alone, however, should not be the factor that allows a female director to be considered an auteur. "She is not just a woman, but she often directed [her movies] in a way that makes feminist film critics certain that she was secretly speaking to them, stretching out the homoerotic scenes, or casting leading ladies with butch haircuts who know how to hold a gun
While men have always featured prominently throughout history, women tend to be more of an afterthought, and especially in fiction, women tend to fall into strict archetypes that allow very little deviation. This holds true in Apuleius’ novel The Golden Ass, but many of the female characters also exhibit great agency and power that women in other Roman stories tended not to have. There is a wide range of female archetypes in this book but they are also deep and complex characters that should not be pigeon-holed into one category. One of the first complex female characters that Lucius, the main character, meets in The Golden Ass is the servant girl Photis. While Lucius is staying with his friend Milo, Lucius’ aunt Byrrhena warns him of Milo’s wife, Pamphile, who practices witchcraft, she tells him instead to turn his attention to Photis, saying on page 22, “So even though it has its hazards, Photis must be your target (Apuleius).” So Lucius listens to his aunt and he discovers that Photis is as sharp-witted and sexual as he is, much to his delight.
Thelma and Louise, released in 1991, was a female buddy motion picture which marked the evolution from a traditionally male genre to the appearance of female road movies, presenting women as the only protagonists. Casting Susan Sarandon as Louise and Geena Davis as Thelma, the movie not only became a commercial success, it also sparked criticism on its stereotypical portrayal of women and men and discussion on feminism embedded in the film. While some has been long stated that Thelma and Louise is merely a gendered rebellion though violence and crimes, this essay nevertheless argue the film had brought a new sight to women’s life, which indeed empower women with acceleration of gender liberation and challenge of female stereotypes in the patriarchal
Throughout the films the three women overpower their respective male protagonist economically and physically (mainly portrayed by Lisa Fremont who can sustain the couple economically and is physically outmatches Jeffreis broken leg), and mentally and intellectually (portrayed by Elster’s and Kendall’s ability to manipulate Thornhill and Scottie respectively). The three films analysed were successful as examples for the portrayal of the change in gender role in film as they clearly uniquely demonstrate three types of women who are able to have an active role amongst society. The representation of the three Icy Blondes is directly connected to the gender turmoil caused by WW2 as the three movies were produced within 15 years after the end of
From the new TV show Agent Carter and the newest superhero movie Black Panther to the soon to be released movie Love, Simon, Hollywood has made great advancements in their diversity; bringing in all different races and beliefs into their movies letting every culture have their share of representation. Both in front and behind the camera Hollywood had struggled with the constant remarks journalist have made about the lack of diversity in films. Many people were angry for not having equal opportunities on TV. However, they have made great efforts to put forward equal amounts of movies with female and African-American leads as white male leads. But they did not stop with race and gender, they have also begun making movies starring gays and lesbians.
During the time of the renaissance it was not uncommon to see a male playing the role of a female in theater. However, as time has progressed women have been given more opportunities and rights. It has been seen that women have taken over the roles of not only female but male as well. In popular plays like Hamlet or Julius Caesar, women played the major roles of the opposite gender. This can be seen in not only in Shakespeare 's theater, but in other popular scripts as well.
However, one of the more positive aspects of this society is also represented in this novel, as well as many other works produced by this group. Women are shown more liberally than ever before as the stereotypical “flapper.” The flapper was the modern woman of the day with shorter hair as well as a shorter, looser and more masculine wardrobe. The flapper also possessed a sense of independence that was not seen in women of previous generations. Poetry of the author T.S. Eliot also explores the new developing gender roles of women and men which was influenced by the changing status of women after the women’s suffrage movement and the establishment of the 19th amendment in 1920.
I also found it fascinating that there was an established female character. To date, I have only seen a few movies with established female characters , and the Coen brothers did an extraordinary job with the portrayal of the movie from Mattie Ross’ point of view. However I was perplexed by the fact that an high profile actor, such as Matt Damon took a secondary role in this movie.He did a very good job in the portrayal of his role. It was stunning to me that public executions were still popular to be viewed as late as the
Both of the associations led by very powerful women wouldn’t stop until they could see the bigger picture where although you were a different gender you were treated equal as men and had the same rights. Now although the women’s suffrage amendment didn’t pass until 1920 it provided a many of us women with very strong role models and women that were very powerful in their own way trying to accomplish one goal
In the modern two thousand women have more options for their life now than ever, receiving and education is not frowned upon, but rather insisted upon. Women in today’s society hold jobs even of higher power, and have further aspirations beyond motherhood and wifely duties in the household. Commonly most houses in the twenty first century are dual income, both the male and female branch out into the workforce. For example Meyera Oberndorf states in The Changing Role of Women in the 21st Century, “Women are experiencing greater economic gains, greater independence and the enhanced sense of self-worth which comes from making valuable contributions in the workforce.” However, as much as the times have changed and the progress we have made, issues from the fifties such as sexism have still stuck around. Although women are given more opportunities to find jobs and receive income, the amount is