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The Diminishing Roles for Women in American films - Essay Example

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Paper title: Name: University: Despite making up over half of the population and ticket buyers, the roles of women n films continue to conform to traditional roles and duties. First and foremost, there exists a lot of gender inequality. The following are findings from a study conducted by the Annerberg School of Communication and Journalism, University of Southern Carolina…
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The Diminishing Roles for Women in American films
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Download file to see previous pages The issue of gender inequality is seen in the minimal number of women behind the scenes, that is directors and writers. The fact that men compose the biggest percentage of writers and directors greatly impacts on what is shown. Men will therefore have a chance to influence how women are portrayed and the role they wish them to play. This is why most women are given minimal roles such as secretaries and homemakers. According to the same study published in the Los Angeles times, women characters are more likely than men to wear sexy clothes, expose their skin and to be referred to as being attractive. What this means is that Hollywood is a follower and not a leader in the feminist movement and the realization of gender equality, in the film industry. It is like the film industry in the United States is in a world of its own, in comparison with the other industries .In the same breath women are allocated supporting roles, while men are given the main roles. This under representation could falsely make one to believe that men are more than women. The diminishing role of women is seen in the many stereotypes geared towards women, which are prejudice. This trend was started in the nineteen fifties and continues to grow. Actors such as Audrey Hepburn were mainly given sexual and seductive roles. Beauty standards of women in the film industry are predetermined by the industry which favors white females who have a slender frame, characteristics which are hard to achieve by many females, especially other races. This is why the number of actresses from ethnic groups such as those from the black community is minimal. According to Martha Plimpton, an actress, it is harder for a regular looking woman to get a job, than it is for an “ugly’’ man. Essentially this means that it is much harder for women to get into acting because success for them in the industry is based on looks. Stereotyping in role allocation is impacting negatively on women in the film industry in Hollywood. Women are usually depicted as victims and men as the victors. A good example is the war movies and documentaries in which men are given the main roles. This is despite the fact that women are usually the ones who bear the biggest brunt of war and, and determine the directions that most wars take. Films always portray women as the victims of men to be raped or abused. This makes them seem weaker compared to men. People are exposed to such perceptions from an early age, which influences perceptions of boys towards girls from childhood to maturity. Girls and women are portrayed differently in movie roles from when they are teenagers to maturity. Teenage girls are cast as being of strong characters and adult women as being weaker and highly sexualized. Actresses are given scenes that show that women are hostile to each other, and their friendships as being backstabbing in nature, while male friendships are strong and supportive. Female roles in movies are usually to stand with by their husbands and children, and do household duties. Actors roles are usually strong, aggressive and competent, on the other hand women’s roles are usually weak, vulnerable, so that they need protection (O ‘Connor, 1998). Leadership positions are usually left to male actors who also act as the main breadwinners to their families ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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