Sexism in Film Essay

Decent Essays

In society, women are often perceived as the weaker sex, both physically and mentally. In modern times women have leveled the playing field between men and women, and feminism is a highly discussed topic, but for years, women faced discrimination and prejudice both in life and in the workplace, due to their sex. This way of thinking flooded into the world of film. In their works, the authors of each of the various sources address the limitations and liberations of women both on and off the screen in nineteenth century Film and Cinema. Not every source is completely filled with information related to the research topic, but they do cover and analyze many of the same points from different perspectives. Prominent points addressed in each …show more content…

It was not until the mid-1910’s did the film industry shift “towards a model that prized business legitimacy. This shift ultimately marginalized the woman filmmaker” (Mahar 133).

The presentation of women on screen is another highlighted issue in many of the gathered sources. Because men were ultimately in control of what went on the screen much of what the audience perceived were women from the male imagination or fantasy. Bernard Beck elaborates in his article Where the Boys Are: The Contender and other Movies about Women in a Man’s World that, “…women have been used to dress up a male story or motivate a male character” (Beck 15). Women were often insignificant and trivial characters. Although, Kathe Davis disagrees to a point. In her article, Davis offers a dissonant opinion to the fore-mentioned insignificance of the female character. She instead describes many female characters as “predators,” and analyzes the roles of lead women in three prominent films of the nineteenth century. In each film, she finds parallels and similarities of cases of “female emasculation” and instances where “women are turned into objects of male desire” (Davis 47-48). Davis does not perceive female characters as being insignificant, just stripped of their power and misrepresented. She discusses how females of power are often portrayed as crazy

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