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Feminist View of Transformers Movies

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Megan Rose

on 1 May 2013

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Transcript of Feminist View of Transformers Movies

The Male Gaze Objectification and Damsel in Distress Just as Orr describes in the quote above, the character Carly is simply seen as the damsel in distress, that must be rescued over and over again by the main character. She serves no other purpose than to attract male Feminist View of Transformers Movies by Megan R. Rose The male gaze (more specifically the masculine heterosexual gaze) is used here because the character, Carly, is shown looking really beautiful in a scene where the average woman would not look the way she does. The speakers comically describe their views on the character through various scenes in the movie.

This relates to the essay "Desiring Images/Imaging Desire," by Mary Kelly because in the text she describes how women are objectified by the masculine heterosexual gaze (pp. 85-89). My Opinion As a viewer, I was very disappointed in the female characters. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley also did not have the depth that Megan Fox's character had in the first and second movies. I am not sure why Michael Bay changed the character the way he did.

I personally think the movie would be just as interesting, if not more interesting with a female character that had a little more depth. It's sad that Michael Bay thinks his viewers would not appreciate a realistic female character.

The strongest moment for the character played by Huntington-Whiteley is shown below, where she calls Megatron a bitch: Media Effects Rewards & Punishments: Viewers see attractive characters
achieving high levels of success. The less attractive characters tend to be creepy or awkward in film and movies. This also relates to the idea of heteronormativity, where the audience is both expected and rewarded for being heterosexual.
Upward Comparison: When viewers compare themselves to a
level of beauty that is unattainable.
Body-Image Disturbance: Younger viewers are molded by
their media consumption and are persuaded that the bodies in movies are both beautiful and realistic. Introduction: Conclusion: "Desire is embodied in the image which is equated with the woman who is reduced to the body which in turn is seen as the site of sexuality and the locus of desire"
- Mary Kelly (p. 85) "Huntington-Whitely plays Carly, the new squeeze of returning hero Sam Witwicky, which means that her narrative functions... alternate between being ogled and being held hostage..."
- Christopher Orr
The Atlantic Exposure to images like this can lead to decreases in the self-esteem of women due to the following factors I learned in my Media Effects course: The female image is degraded in the Transformers movies due to the masculine heterosexual gaze, the obvious objectification of women, and the idea of damsel in distress, leading to a negative effect on self-esteem and body image in women.

The idea of the masculine heterosexual gaze refers to media producers' assumption that their audience is comprised of straight males. The main female character in each Transformer movie is objectified and seen only as the girlfriend of the main character. She is also continually put in situations where she needs a man to save her.

The effect of these radical images being shown to us is detrimental to women's self-esteem, especially the younger viewers who are, over time, convinced that they should look and act like these women. Sources: "The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader" Second Edition Edited by Amelia Jones, 2010.
"Transformers 3: Sour, Sexist, and Salivary" The Atlantic by Christopher Orr, 2011. Through these various ways of downplaying the female characters' importance in the Transformers movies, we can clearly see that the role played by these female actors is looked down upon. The male protagonist is strong and protective, while the female protagonist is vulnerable and weak. Portrayal of women like this can have a terrible effect on viewers, especially younger ones.

The female image is degraded in the Transformers movies due to the masculine heterosexual gaze, the obvious objectification of women, and the idea of damsel in distress, leading to a negative effect on self-esteem and body image in women. heterosexual viewers, who are very clearly the target audience. This relates to the idea of normative gender roles, where the female is constantly portraying her gender as being weak and vulnerable, and the male character is shown as strong and protective. He is the one who takes care of business.
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