Women’s Presentation in Movies and Film in 2020

Posted on March 5, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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The evolution of women’s rights has made great strides throughout history but, has it gotten to where we would like it to be? Throughout history, women have gone through different types of discrimination, from gender to racial discrimination. Currently, one could say that women are free and treated as equals if they compared women’s experiences now and their experiences a century ago. However, many people would strongly disagree that women experience equality, especially concerning movies and films. Ann Hornaday is one such person who admits the bias in movies and film in her article, This year’s Oscar snubs are as much about a genre as they are about gender. Despite the drastic improvement in women’s presentation, there is still currently a lot of gender and racial bias in movies and films, which women face.

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This paper explores women’s current presentation in films and the implications of their presentation. Women are increasingly being presented as strong and independent characters in movies
and films in 2020. They are increasingly taking on lead roles in movies and shows that depict women as smart, strong, and dependable, unlike most movies in the past that described women as damsels in distress that needed saving from a man. Movies such as Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, and television shows such as The Blacklist and The 100 have received a lot of praise and attention in the global spotlight. Both these movies, the television shows, and so many more depict women’s qualities, that in the past, were only reserved for supporting roles and not leading roles in movies and films. There are also more women featured in popular television shows and movies. The number of female lead roles in the film industry has also increased dramatically over the past several years. This is an improvement from what was typically witnessed in the movie and film industry a few years back. However, some critics feel that women still do not receive equal treatment as both gender and racial bias are still existent in the film industry.

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This year’s Oscars received a lot of negative criticism from critics such as Anne Hornaday, a movie critic, citing its almost deliberate ignorance of women’s achievements in off-screen roles such as director. Ann discusses the awards’ bias, highlighting the award’s preference for male-dominated films and male directors (Hornaday). She also highlights the preference for male violence over other aspects of the film. Therefore, it is quite clear that women’s societal position in the film industry has improved but still needs a lot of attention. Several factors contribute to women’s current position and presentation in movies and films. Beauty is one of the most influential social factors that influence women’s exhibitions in films and movies. Modern society’s concept of beauty is adequately depicted in movies and films. Beautiful women are presented as slender, fair-skinned, with large breasts and long hair. This has become the standard of beauty for women in society (Kimmel). Sexuality is also a significant factor contributing to women’s presentation and position in television shows and movies. The sexuality of a female character is often emphasized, as many movies contain some amount of nudity during the film and this determines the importance of their role (Neuendorf et al.). In most cases, it is women that are the focus of nude scenes during movies and films. Furthermore, sexiness is a common consideration when evaluating successful female characters. In many shows and movies, female characters are objectified as sexual tools that male characters use or trophies that they fight for. These are some of the sociological factors that affect women’s presentation and position in movies and films.

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There are varying implications of women’s position and presentation and the sociological factors that influence their position and expression in films. One of the consequences of their representation in movies and films is that women’s societal status is increased and, therefore, they are provided with more social and economic opportunities. Shows and movies that depict women as strong, smart and able leaders contribute positively to women’s fight for equality. On the other hand, movies that focus on women’s sexuality tend to degrade women, negatively affecting their societal position and influence. Movies and films also have tremendous implications for societal trends and culture. The depictions in movies and shows influence some of the women’s fashion trends. Movies and shows have significantly influenced the cultures and moral standards of different communities. Films that pedestalize both female and male villains and criminal characters influence society’s view of criminal acts and justice. Also, movies that portray the adverse effects of social phenomena such as racial discrimination contribute positively to society as they educate the masses and raise awareness. Therefore, there are both
positive and negative implications of women’s position and presentation in films and society. In conclusion, women face a lot of gender bias in the film industry, despite the changes in their presentation in films and movies over the past several years. These changes have had significant impacts on the film industry and also in society.

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Works Cited

Hornaday, Anne. “This Year’S Oscar Snubs Are As Much About Genre As They Are About Gender”. The Washington Post, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/this-years-oscar-snubs-are-as-much-about-genre-as-they-are-about-gender/2020/01/13/b95ce70c-3610-11ea-bb7b- 265f4554af6d_story.html. Accessed 2 Nov 2020.

Kimmel, Michael S. The Gendered Society. 6th ed., Oxford University Press. Neuendorf, Kimberly A. et al. “Shaken And Stirred: A Content Analysis Of Women’S Portrayals In James Bond Films”. Sex Roles, vol 62, no. 11-12, 2009, pp. 747-761. Springer Science And Business Media LLC, doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9644-2. Accessed 2 Nov 2020.

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