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Gender Roles in Popular Film
Transcript of Gender Roles in Popular Film
“Ugly Duckling” or “Cinderella” gaze as the man sees the woman who has transformed from unattractive to attractive
Valued Character Traits
Superhero/Hero- uses violence to achieve goals
Gender Roles in Popular Film
what is representation?
Okay, so what?
MAle vs female objectification
Target Demographic- Young Men
Male sexualization is generally
related to the plot
When a male body is on display
it is often in the context of
action, danger, and power
Women’s bodies are shown in a passive, unaware context, often the subject of a male gaze
Similarly, sexualized female characters bring action to a halt so everyone can look at them
Used to measure gender inequality in movies
Strong Silent Type
Thug (disproportionately men of color)
Man-Child vs. Woman Child
Male Action Hero vs. Female Action Hero
Do these portrayals remain gendered?
Focusing on one part of the body rather than the whole person
Overrepresented relative to population:
Women ages 20-30
Men ages 30-40
Underrepresented: Everyone else
Viewers in one study compared older female characters to older male characters, and rated them as:
-possessing less wealth
-being less attractive
Importance of appearance in judgments about women
Historically, female characters in media have been thinner and younger than male characters
"Such portrayals may imply that women's primary value lies in the possession of physical beauty, while men's does not.”
And the award goes to.....
Study: Age of Academy Award Nominees and Winners, 1927-1990
Over the Age of 39:
27% of female winners
67% of male winners
Average age difference of male and female winners across decades: 10 years
For supporting roles: Female winners average 7 years younger than men
Purposiveness- having goals, achieving those goals, occupational power, and leadership status
A Double Standard?
What do these norms say about the expectations placed on men?
What does this tell us about the populations that our society values/deems desirable?
Bazzini, Doris G., William D. Mcintosh, Stephen M. Smith, Sabrina Cook, and Caleigh Harris. 1997. “The Aging Woman in Popular Film: Underrepresented, Unattractive, Unfriendly, and Unintelligent.” Sex Roles 36(7-8):531–43.
Guo, Jeff. 2016. “Researchers Have Found a Major Problem with ‘The Little Mermaid’ and Other Disney Movies.” Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2016 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/25/researchers-have-discovered-a-major-problem-with-the-little-mermaid-and-other-disney-movies/?postshare=4171453904092870).
Lauzen, Martha M. and David M. Dozier. 2005. “Maintaining The Double Standard: Portrayals of Age and Gender in Popular Films.” Sex Roles 52(7-8):437–46.
Anon. n.d. “The Diversity Gap In the Academy Awards in Infographic Form.” Indiewire. Retrieved January 31, 2016 (http://www.indiewire.com/article/the-diversity-gap-in-the-academy-awards-in-infographic-form).
Nittle, Nadra Kareem. n.d. “Five Common Black Stereotypes In TV and Film.” About.com News & Issues. Retrieved January 31, 2016 (http://racerelations.about.com/od/hollywood/a/five-common-black-stereotypes-in-tv-and-film.htm).
Tierney Sneed. n.d. “Study: 2014 Saw Less Katniss, More Captain America.” US News. Retrieved January 31, 2016 (http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/02/10/presence-of-female-film-protagonists-declined-in-2014-study-says).
Step Brothers Vs. Sisters
Luke Skywalker vs. Rey
How many women exist in film?
When they are in film, how are they portrayed?
3. Age and Gender
How does age affect representation/portrayal in film?
4. What About Men?
How do gender norms affect men in film?
Age and Gender in the Movies
US Racial Makeup, 2014 (US Census)
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino 62.1%
Black or African American 13.2%
Hispanic or Latino 17.4%
Severe lack of representation for women in film
Prevalence of sexualization and ageism directed at women
Male characters subjected to gendered stereotypes
Double standards for male and female behavior
When women are in film, how are they portrayed?
"If they see it, they can be it"
What is being said about female characters?
explore the ways women and men are treated in Popular American Films