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Women in Film…Barely

There is an ongoing assumption that filmmaking is based on the ideas within society and vice versa. So, in theory, society influences the themes and characteristics displayed in films, and films influence the way society may see certain issues or people.

Then why do women get less scripted lines than men do? Why do they get less character representation than men? And the kicker, really – why are minority characterizations so inaccurate?

Why are people of color still being pushed into stereotypical roles, where Asians are nerds and African Americans are portrayed as gangsters?

Why, when it comes down to it, are character roles and linguistic patterns so commonly used, they are almost predictable? Female characters are always soft and caring while male ones are more driven for success. African Americans are more likely to swear, and Latino characters are more likely to use language pertaining to sexuality.

It’s 2017. The United States is a mature society. It doesn’t make fun of other people based off of who they are. That would be immature, unbecoming, and against every standard of humanity to which the country holds itself.

It isn’t like people demonstrate their misogyny by publishing ten-page manifestos declaring women biologically unfit for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mechanics). It isn’t like some of these same people demonstrate their belief in racial supremacy with violent demonstrations.

Of course not. The idea that those things would happen? In the United States, of all places? Blasphemy.

Stubborn opponents blare: Society is progressing!. Progress is occurring, especially in areas of the media – look at the attention and success  Wonder Woman and Girls’ Trip received. Both were huge successes during their time in the box office and it’s certainly not something that would’ve happened thirty years ago!

Wonder Woman was almost directed by Joss Whedon – leaks of his script showed pilot Steve Trevor to be far more sexually attracted to the heroic Diana of Themyscira than he was in Patty Jenkins final product. Descriptions of Diana herself were also more sexualized with the leaks’ overall effect being that she was a powerful, alluring, sexualized character.

Jenkins made Diana out to be a woman on a mission to save all of mankind. Whether Steve Trevor fell in love with her (and she with him) wasn’t central to the plot.

Who knew men were capable of characterizing women in such a way? When did this start to happen? It was wholly unexpected, that’s for sure.

Women should be fine with their 15,000 lines to men’s’ 37,000. It’s only over the course of a thousand films. So many have been made that it’s barely a blip on the dash. There’s no need to protest over the fact that nearly double the number of men were cast as characters (out of 7,000 roles, 4,900 were men and 2,100 were women).

Film society is perfectly fine the way it is. There is no need for reform at all. Women, with their temperamental attitudes, having an equal amount of casting opportunities as men? Perish the thought; there’s no way they’d be able to handle it.

It will probably be a boon to men if nothing changes so as to not upset the delicate balance of the world. The world should forever remain stagnant in a state of continuous male dominance. If films must mimic society, and society must be influenced by films, then both should continue in the male point of view.

At least, just for the moment. The future is female, after all.

Featured Image by Nicholas Andrew on Flickr
Public Domain Mark 1.0

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