In modern day times the hero has always been a male, especially during the 12th century where gender stereotypes of men and women greatly existed. At least that’s what we all have been accustomed to believe. Not to mention in movies like Hercules, Twilight, Titanic, and even in Cinderella all men are the heroes of course. However, “Lanval,” a 12th century lay, composed by a woman by the name of Marie De France, during a time when woman did not write or even have rights, contradicts the beliefs of all to prove otherwise. Not always are men “Superior.” Not always is the man the “hero” in the
In Grade 11 we have read three books. These books have something in common; masculine traits. However, these traits weren't necessarily portrayed by a male character. Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart is the one to possess these characteristics but in Like Water for Chocolate it is Mama Elena. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress it is portrayed by a number of characters, both male and female. When looking at these books to each other you can see that there is a difference between their sex and their psychological and behavioral characteristics in relation to their gender.
LeSavoy talks about how books tailor to each gender. For girls, the books are pink, and for boys, the books are blue. Not only do they visually target a specific gender, but even the titles and stories do as well. Storylines in books, movies, TV shows, games, etc. are displaying all types of gender stereotypes. The male is usually the breadwinner, and the female is the nurturing one who stays home. Similar to this episode of Friends, where it’s deemed unacceptable by Ross (a male) for another male, Sandy, to have traits that resemble a
For thousands of years there has been a strong distinction between the roles of men and women. Often times in stories there will be women that are only mentioned for their beauty and charisma. Hardly ever will you see pages upon pages being spent talking about the true character and accomplishments of women characters. Even though stories like The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis were written thousands of year ago, (when stories were told mostly told from a males perspective) the light shined on women in the texts show them as wise, strong, and greatly influential beings. In The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis, the writer shows the women as bringers of knowledge, guidance, and care to the men in the texts that are lacking thereof.
Throughout the years, different forms of literature have generally shown women as weaker than men. They have played archetypes such as the mother archetype or the lover which have traits less desirable than the roles that men would take. These archetypes tend to limit their personalities and they become characters that are solely there for inconveniencing the hero. Stereotypes for women have affected these archetypes, but throughout history many people have made efforts to change these archetypes and make them more desirable. Even though archetypes for women have been shown as weak, it has changed throughout the years.
Mulan for instance, being a girl, saved China from the Hans. Even though she pretended to be a man in the beginning, she ended up saving the emperors life as a girl. To add on that, she dressed her male friends as women as well to distract Han’s army. The director of Mulan used the female identity to its full advantage rather than bringing out her insecurities and her weaknesses. Mulan is a true hero.
Women have always played key roles in literature, from the strong heroine to the damsel in distress. Common in works published before the 21st century, and even after, women are written as the caregivers, and the homemakers for their husbands. Literary women will often play the submissive role in society and in their marriages. These women react differently to their role; some remain submissive, some are rebellious, some are breaking free, and some go down as a result of their submission.
Females have many big roles in majority of books. For example in the graphic novel Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman is portrayed as really strong and as the person you can count on. On the other hand,in books like Running Girl, there’s women like Chloe Dow who get scared quickly and aren’t considered strong. In the Odyssey, Homer shows these females has really strong or powerful instead of weak and easily scared.
It is apparent when reading Beowulf that women were regarded as beneath men in Anglo-Saxon culture. The vast majority of the dominant characters in Beowulf are men. In fact, the only prominent female character is an antagonist who is defeated by a man. The others are mentioned briefly, and one of them even serves all the men of Heorot. Although one woman is a monster, one is a hostess/bedmate, and another a violent queen who must be put in place, all of them serve several purposes in contributing to the meaning of the work. The meekness and submissive nature provides a stark contrast to the glorious deeds of the great warriors that makes their achievements appear even greater.
Although some great thinkers wavered from this inequality of women, such as Socrates as stated in Plato’s Republic, many great thinkers stayed true to the socially accepted idea that women were much the inferior of men. However, William Shakespeare as brilliant in his works by using women as supporting characters with very important roles. In this way, he showed women on the surface as being of little to no importance, yet when a reader delves deeper into the context, they will find the true importance of these female characters. As once stated by John Ruskin - “an English artist and a leading art critic of the Victorian era”(TheFamousPeople.com Editors) - “Shakespeare has no heroes’ only heroines.” Shakespeare’s treatment of women can be seen throughout a number of his plays, including Hamlet, MacBeth, Lear, and
Good Morning, F.F.E.F.F.C. or more officially, Feminist Fairytale Equality For Female Characters Conference, thank you for allowing me to be your keynote speaker and allowing me to share my knowledge with you on an issue I think we all feel so strongly about. My fellow female characters I want you to just think about this question, why are females mainly portrayed in literary fiction as docile, weak and vulnerable beings? Consistently we are made victims of our own stories waiting to be rescued by a Prince Charming. Yet what we fail to acknowledge is the impact of our stories and how our very important lives as female characters is helping to produce a societal upbringing of social gender roles that put females in an unequal spotlight.
This topic is extremely important as it revolves around the subject of feminism and sexualism, two topics that need to be taken more into consideration when reading a novel. The portrayal of female characters in novels that are read around the world are very impactful towards the female portion of the world as it places them in a spectrum of what they should act and look like to meet the standards of society. Focusing specifically on the development of the female characters and how they are just as powerful as men is an interesting idea to navigate around, focusing on the feminist portion of the novel. In current academic studies there has been substantial amount of works that are about women empowerment, with authors that believe the exact same, such as Purple Hibiscus and The Help.
Such as the comedy Lysistrata by Aristophanes the titular character in an act of rebellion against men sways other women to join her in withholding certain privileges from men that only they could grant by their will alone. The name of the play itself in a way shows a dominance of female centered storytelling over male centered storytelling because it's named after a female character
J.R.R. Tolkien’s works have been analysed for decades and have often been criticised for the lack of female characters. Arguably his most cherished publications, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, in particular has been condemned for the passivity of his relatively few female characters. Having said that however, throughout the three books, there are a number of female characters who combat the stereotypical role of women and subvert the norm of submission to a patriarchal authority. Arwen, Éowyn and Galadriel in The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return
If you were to ask a number of individuals what an empowered female character should be like, chances are you won’t get the same answer. As quoted by Amelia Richards, “In this wave of feminism, you’re as likely to run into women who defend, enjoy, and create pornography as you are to come across feminists who see pornography as the ultimate oppressor”, meaning that in this day and age our image of strong females has become expansive (Body Image p.197). Although there is no set definition for what makes a female character empowering, I believe intelligence, compassion, and durability are all qualities we like to see in strong female characters. Lately, I’ve noticed video games being criticized for encouraging gender stereotyping and female objectification.