Gender Inequality In Film Analysis

1650 Words 7 Pages
Our perceptions and ideals of gender are shaped by the popular culture that we consume. It is argued that the repetition of binary gender roles and stereotypes within film and media can carry significant real world consequences, as people imitate them in their own lives (Holtzman & Sharpe 2014). There are many differences in the ways that men and women are represented in film and media, and the quantitative and qualitative data from our group study has re-affirmed that gender inequality still remains strongly imbedded within film. We analysed 10 American top box office trailers, and found that 55% of the actors were male and 45% were female. This isn 't a huge disparity in itself, but of the 45% of females who appeared, only 35% had …show more content…
Often the woman 's purpose in this genre is to find a male with whom she can fall in love, and for the male, the movie tends to follow his internal struggle of relinquishing his freedom to a monogamous relationship or marriage (Darcy 2010). Often a stereotypical male character reinforces the ideal that by nature, men are not suited to monogamy, and that ultimately nature will win. The stereotypical female will reinforce the ideal that women are inherently helpless, but at the same time irresistible (Darcy 2010). This idea of 'irresistibility ' can be further explored through the theory of erotic capital in film. Erotic capital can be described as the means by which people, usually women, draw on their sex appeal for personal gain (Hakim 2010). Erotic capital perpetuates to women that to get ahead in life, you must embody a certain feminine ideal, and if you do not participate, you risk losing social, cultural, and economic capital (Hakim 2010). This ideal is troublesome for many reasons, one of the main reasons being that it implies a false sense of power to women. It insinuates that women have a 'secret weapon ' that allows them to exert sexual power over men. In fact, claiming that women have more power through their sexuality actually further reduces them to objects of sexual gratification for males, and further …show more content…
Romantic comedies can be see to represent Post-feminist values in the way women are represented on screen (Green 2013). Post-feminism refers to the belief that women have already been liberated, and therefore the evidence that suggests otherwise is ignored, further reinforcing hegemonic structures (Green 2013). In romantic comedies, the leading female protagonist is often represented as living a free and independent life. Some of these females use their freedom to adopt female specific behavioural patterns that feminism set out to eradicate. An example of this can be found in Sex and the City, a romantic comedy TV series and movie in which all four female protagonists are successful in their careers, financially stable, and seemingly independent beings (Green 2013). Despite these qualities, the entire TV series, and movie, represents a story that is contradictory to feminist values, and therefore reinforces patriarchal domination by insinuating that women 's true happiness cannot stem from personal achievement and success, but rather lies in the approval and relationships of men (Green 2013). Another common trope within romantic comedies that exists in a domain of Post-femininity, is that of the 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl ', a quirky and worldly woman who has a lot to teach about self acceptance and happiness (Joyce 2014). At first glance, this character could be perceived

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