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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Women’s roles in movies have changed dramatically throughout the years. As a result of the changing societal norms, women have experienced more transition in their roles than any other class. During the period of classical Hollywood cinema, both society and the film industry preached that women should be dependent on men and remain in home in order to guarantee stability in the community and the family. Women did not have predominated roles in movies such as being the heroin. The 1940’s film Gilda wasn’t an exception. In Gilda, the female character mainly had two different stereotypes. The female character was first stereotyped as a sex object and the second stereotyped as a scorned woman who has to be punished.
In conclusion, the film She’s the Man shows the audience how gender gets represented in films. It shows the traditional femininity as well as the traditional masculinity. This illustrates that gender has impacts on power and gender relations to contribute gender inequality. Gender norms are enforced in films which maintain the power inequality difference between both genders. These issues confine the way modern films represent gender and gives a direct effect to the
This genre is typically modern, perky and upbeat, but the common narrative in all of them is that it features a woman who is strong and she overcomes adversity to reach her goals. There is also a message of empowerment that also struggles with a romantic predicament and using comedy to poke fun at the male characters. Industries are still producing soppy romantic comedies for the female audience but the divide between the standard chick flick and romantic comedy is slowly disappearing. Similarly to the beginning of this essay it is evident that institutions are moving in the direction of women’s place in culture in relation to this film genre; women are usually shown as the super power since they are made to appeal to the female audience. However
Women are deemed as a “minority” yet make up 51% of the world population and in 2014 made up only 12% of protagonists in films. And that is just on-screen, the percentage decreases as you go farther and farther into behind-the-scenes positions such as directors, cinematographers, and writers. Add race and ethnicity and those characters' percentages decline even more (Lauzen, 2015.) Women in film and television are often portrayed with emphasis based on their body type and in advertisement are largely objectified. The large objectification and misrepresentation of women in the media has led to an offset psychological view of women from growing up to adulthood.
The classic films, Rear Window (1954) and Stella Dallas (1937), both tell different stories involving women in the classic caregiver role. However, both movies do this in different ways for each female character and the reactions given by both society and their male counterpart within t that role also differs greatly in each film. While in both films women are depicting in the classic caregiving, beauty obsessed, somehow nagging sense as greatly stereotypes within the film world, the status of each woman differs leading to a different cause and effect. The film makers utilize different filming techniques to convey their messages and evoke different reactions and emotions from their audience. I will be comparing and contrasting Stella Dallas to Rear Window in order to examine how each film both formally and narratively constructs the female identity, while making note on class and gender differences.
In both Rear Window and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul give a contrasting view of gender roles in relationships to the social norm and give different forms of women in society. With the readings of Hillary Neroni’s The Feminist Theory Julio Garcia Espinosa’s For an Imperfect Cinema and Sergei Eisenstein's Film Form: Essays in Film Theory, I’ll be examining the gender roles within the films of Rear Window and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul.
The early legends, for example, show how women are given roles to be brave and strong demonstrated by Medusa and Arachnidan woman in some films (Cowan and O’Brien, 1990, p. 15). The presentation of dominant women with monstrous characters illustrates how women slowly gain recognition in the society. Through the depiction of their characters on films, Freud (1927) claims that men show their fears against female figures (p. 64). He even theorizes that these monstrous women who appear on films are mere symbols for male anxiety (Freud 1927, 69). This representation is clear that the era of gender equality gradually changes.
Maggie Greenwald’s The Ballad of Little Jo** and Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce** are both prominent examples of strong female characters in film. Greenwald presents a woman who disguises herself as a man until the day she dies, while Curtiz presents a woman who is a mother and a businesswoman with pride and power. Despite Maggie Greenwald being a female director, her representation of Josephine ‘Jo’ Monaghan seems to dwindle behind the male director Michael Curtiz’s representation of Mildred Pierce. Hollywood’s typical representation of women takes on a different form in both movies through the exploration of the main characters’ goals and how they achieve them.
Women in classical Hollywood films has been historically often portrayed as from the typical patriarchal perspective. The traditional representative of women in cinema is often shown to be the ideal feminine character or as a character that strengthens the ideology of femininity in women and masculinity in men. Women in film have been objectified and cast aside as secondary characters that only relate to a male character while the ideal masculine character is often depicted by an attractive, strong male that is capable of solving any obstacle that comes his way. A “woman’s film”, identified by Molly Haskell, are melodramatic scenes that are supposed to appeal to women because of the implication that women are more emotional than men. It belittles the problems of females and shows them as insignificant little emotional problems that women are overly emotional for. These types of representation that are often found in traditional Hollywood films perpetuate the gender norms in cinema and reinforces the patriarchal view in which the man is superior to the woman. Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone (2010) subvert traditional representations of women in Hollywood film and the archetypal “women’s film” by portraying women in a different light compared to the traditional gender norm of a feminine woman and a masculine man. The film shows representation of women in a way that defies the traditional, patriarchal
Any discussion about gender and cinema must begin (though not end) with a thorough understanding of the male gaze. As one of the most pervasive talking points throughout the history of the cinema and film theory, an understanding of the male gaze from classical Hollywood cinema until today is
Film has always been a part of society since it’s popularity in 1920s. The influence and effect it can have on people through the roles men and women played on film is ever growing as the roles evolve into several categories for both genders through time. But many filmmakers take advantage of that notion by portraying images of some of the stereotypes that have been posted on women and men to present to audiences so that they can recognise and relate to it. Throughout film history, women and men have mostly been type casted to a societal role. This applies more accurately to women than men, as men have the ability and luxury to be portrayed as a dominant force in the film such as a hero or a villain, all whereas women were mostly given the
Essentially, a woman’s place in society’s stratification is defined by the outward manifestation of her person, which is identified first and foremost by her gender. Simone de Beauvoir asserts that women are characterized as “others” or as “not male” . This distinction would not be possible if women were not recognizable by sight as not male. Due to this, it is relevant to look at film and its associations with visual representations of the woman and the male gaze. As John Berger recognises “men act, women appear…men look at women…women themselves being looked at” . This succinctly defines that the position of women in patriarchal culture depends on look and elucidates that women exist only in relation to men. Thus, this essay will explore to what extent women are controlled and guided by the patriarchal male gaze as is reflected in visual popular culture, in particular, narrative cinema, with specific reference to Laura Mulvey’s essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.
“For such speech must begin in a language that, however circumscribed within patriarchal ideology, will be recognized and understood by women. In this way, new feminist films can learn to build upon the pleasures of recognition that exist within filmic modes already familiar to women (Williams, 7).” Instead of destroying the cinematic codes that have placed women as objects of spectacle at their center, what is needed and has already begin to occur, is a theoretical and practical recognition of the ways in which women actually do and can speak to each other within the patriarchy- melodramas and soap operas gave women this
The gender and feminist representations conveyed by the media are as harmful as any other kind of representations; they are easily depicted whether directly or indirectly. Their effect starts with little children and goes on to reach adults. Many film studios are devoted especially for children films, and this is the place where the magic happens, portrayals that might seem very innocent and harmless, but in fact are indirectly extremely vicious. Children grow with these assumptions portrayed by the movies, so as full gown adults they will find the motion picture representations as very normal and very acceptable, whatever they might hold in them, because of the background and the platform that was laid before them when they were kids.
Filmmakers use traditional gender stereotypes to produce characters audiences can easily identify with by portraying conventional images of a person with identifiable characteristics. In previous years, the dominant representation of a women in film has been the passive, subjugated protagonist. However, through the development of female empowerment and added feminist representations of film, the female heroine transformed to become strong and independent women in her own right, as an individual character.