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Womens Domestic Duty: No Change Where Medias Concerned - Essay Example

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This essay discusses the social problems that are contributing to a declining society or of bolstering existing ideologies and social structures. Cinema has shaped modern society’s view of the 20th-century woman. Cinema can bring about significant cultural changes in attitudes regarding women…
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Womens Domestic Duty: No Change Where Medias Concerned
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Womens Domestic Duty: No Change Where Medias Concerned

Download file to see previous pages... Female roles of the 1960s presented three basic character types: the dumb blonde, the sex object, and the whimpering victim. This limited view of their future selves gave young girls a little to look forward to (Seger 1990). Seger and others indicate these images portray women in a negative light, preventing them from being seen by society as diverse, multi-faceted individuals. These types of depictions help drive such negative self-images that lead to the disorders we’ve seen increasing in recent years among young women (Thoman & Stieber 2003). Actress Renee Zellweger’s choice to gain 20 pounds for her role in Bridget Jones’ Diary is a single bold attempt to portray the modern, ‘normal’ working girl. Speaking of women who recognize these trends and causes, writer Susan Douglas (1994) said: “one of the things we are angriest about because the strategy has been so successful, is the way we have become alienated from our own bodies.” To understand how this has occurred, it is necessary to take a closer look at how the female figure has been portrayed in films over time. To limit the discussion to the manageable length, only two films will be discussed in the following paragraphs. By comparing earlier films such as The Stepford Wives produced in 1974 with a later film like Aliens produced in 1986 as they relate to various social theories, one can begin to trace these changing attitudes toward women and their capabilities.
In The Stepford Wives, for example, the female body is still largely considered to be the property of the male. This is evident in the very few options Joanna seems to have available to her as her family is moved out of the city into the quiet suburban town of Stepford. Her misery at this move is made palpably clear in the silent opening scenes of the film as she moves around her empty former home and later as she gets upset, although doesn’t actually yell, at her husband for making all the decisions. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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