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Instructor Date Gender and/ or Sexuality in Films The film industry has seen one of the greatest evolutions with time, comparing how it was in the 1950s and how it is today. Every aspect of filming has evolved the portrayal of women inclusive. Women have been portrayed as seductive and sexual objects, meant to entice and adorn these films…
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Download file to see previous pages... The latter has seen a lot of improvement in the film industry for women. Also important was the Civil Rights Movement. Mulvey’s theory in which she stipulates that women are just sexual fantasies for males in earlier films supports this argument. Laura Mulvey is renowned for her ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ where she analyses the production technique of Hollywood films. According to her ‘gaze theory’, most of the films produced have a masculine approach. This implies that the films use women as objects that provide visual pleasure for men (Hemery, 2013). In films today, there still exist forms of objectifying women, even though they are also given major roles involving active participation. Examples of films that portray women as sexual objects include 100 Girls, National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. In 100 Girls, there are women who are in the film to fulfill the actor’s sexual desires. In today’s films, especially those meant for children, the female gender is not represented equally as their male counterparts. However, when they appear in such films, they are either passive or over-attractive. For instance, women in animated films are portrayed as extremely thin, with small waists and hourglass figures. In films such as Pretty Woman, women are portrayed as escorts who are paid for their companionship services. A rich businessperson, Edward, pays Vivian Ward, played by Julia Roberts. Later on, they fall in love. They are also adorned with alluring clothes. Men, on the other hand, are presented as saviors, warriors, breadwinners, and protectors of the world in films. For example, in the film, The Avengers, the pictorial cover portrays five men and one woman. Apart from the unequal representation of women, the picture also portrays her carrying the smallest of the weapons. According to research findings, only 32.8% of speaking characters are female while the remaining 62.7% of the characters are male. In total, less than 17% of films in the industry are balanced in terms of gender (Smith, 2008). Similarly, in the directing and producing areas for every one female there are approximately five males. This is alarming, especially since almost half of the society is made up of females. Film Industry in the early 1950s was marred with various stereotypes, including the traditional role male and female. In the few instances that women were represented in films, they appeared as homemakers, with a lot of babies and household chores. Films today have however revolutionized women’s role a little bit (Hemery, 2013). This could be attributed to modernity and westernization that has seen women pursue their careers and still play their roles as wives and mothers, like in Strike back. Jodhi May is portrayed as a survivor in the male dominated world of military, and she climbs to the top. Many females are also portrayed as having a great affinity for romantic relationships. For instance, The Ugly Truth portrays Abby Ritcher as a romantically challenged woman, who lashes out her list of how her dream man ought to be. Most films also show women as weak, and no matter who wrongs the other in film, the woman always forgives and gets back with her male partner. An example here is Project X, a high school themed film. Films like Clueless depict the nature of girls as shallow. The reasons for this is because all they do is shop and enjoy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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