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Is there a reason why we have so many male protagonists in movies?

Human beings now live in a society where many women do things so called "Manly things". But I don't think I have seen many stories regarding a woman as a protagonist. Is there a reason for this happening? Like if StarWars changed Luke Skywalker to Lucia Skywalker and went through the same problems as Luke did would the story change? As a aspiring filmmaker/writer I think we can make great stories with woman as protagonists. Why is media so obsessed with men as heroes and woman as some kind of prize? (Not that I'm complaining... I'm a male too) Is it just the culture that we have? Or is there an actual problem with us? Any thoughts?

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    Nov 6 2013: Because movies are a reflection of our society? Because some people in society are trying very hard to keep people in their "appointed" roles by continuing with the stereotyping? The movie industry will produce what people will pay to watch.
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      Nov 6 2013: some? most.
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        Nov 6 2013: Right Krisztián.....some.....or maybe most:>)

        I've learned on TED, that if I write "some", people generally do not demand "proof". Whereas, if I write "most", it is sometimes challenged, and I better be ready to submit "proof" of my statement!!! LOL:>)

        BTW....do you have proof that it is "most"???
        Couldn't resist:>)
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    Nov 6 2013: The leads in most movies are male because women go to the movies twice as much as men. The concept of a male dominated film industry is flawed. The movie makers make movies similar to previous ones that attracted a big audience. Women like to see Daniel Craig with his shirt off, being heroic, so James Bond is male. It's like how the male dominated fashion industry is why models are all unhealthily thin, except those models only appear in womens magazines. The models in mens magazines are quite different.
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      Nov 6 2013: wow, do you have any backup for these claims? because it seems to be false at a glance.
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        Nov 6 2013: The difference in attendance rstes is only around 55/45 female/male but where couples are involved the girl is normally the organiser so she picks the movie. You struggle to find a movie on the highest grossing list that has a strong female lead. Look at action movies as a genre, you appeal to both sexes with a male lead but females don't seam to be interested in movies like Tomb Raider.
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          Nov 6 2013: so in fact that was just your analysis. by introspection and by thinking about the people i know i can tell that male characters are very popular among guys as well. if i was about the market a superhero movie to young male audience, just for example, i would put chicks with big boobs and tights suits and very few lines, and cool male heroes in it. i believe it sells better to both sexes.
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          Nov 15 2013: Yeah but you're not calculating those guys who end up seeing the same movie in the theater 30 times because they're such huge fans. :)

          Many women will try to pick a movie that both parties will enjoy and because men have a harder time watching a "chick flick" than a woman has watching an action thriller they will more often than not pick something in the action category.
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        Nov 6 2013: Pretty much. I can't really think of a better explanation for the fact that movies with attractive female leads tend not to do so well at the box office. Kill Bill, GI Jane, tomb raider,Terminator 2, All great action movies with female leads that women don't seem to be interested in watching.
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    Nov 5 2013: I am not expert and have no clue ... I will guess. The purpose of movies is not to entertain ... it is to make money. If a female protagonist made more money for the studio there would be more. Its all about money.
  • Doly Jo

    • +1
    Nov 5 2013: It's better for us women to be like that, because if women were protagonists, there would be less hot actors :)
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    Nov 5 2013: men are cool. women just lament all the time, and talk about nail polish.
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    Nov 5 2013: The writers are men, the directors are men, the studios are run by men.
    What do they know of women protagonists?
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    Nov 15 2013: When a male is in the prime protagonist role it's considered a general audience movie or book. When it's a woman in the same spot it's considered a chick book or chick flick and you end up losing 1/2 your audience to stereotypes.
  • Nov 7 2013: Are there really more? Or is that you don’t watch to kind of movies or read the kinds of books with female protagonists and you don’t relate to their struggles? This is certainly the case for me, based on your comments it is also the case for you. Don’t be afraid to put a female character into a “male” role. But realize that there are many types of conflicts in storytelling and that the genders don’t give these conflicts equal weight nor do these conflicts lend themselves equally to each type of storytelling.

    If anything I would suggest picking up a chick book and giving it a read and figure out what type of conflicts those characters are experiencing. Integrating and exploring more conflict types will make your story appeal to more people than will changing a male-centered conflict character into a girl.
  • Nov 6 2013: Because ladies decide which movies we are going to watch tonight?
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    Nov 5 2013: Tradition, inertia, sexism and male hierarchies all play a part in this disparity. Plus males are far more prone to violence and aggression both of which are deemed entertainment by - of course - males who, it seems, are far cheaper and easier to entertain with flesh and fists while females tend to want more for their money. .
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    Nov 5 2013: Depends of the genre.
    Porn is clearly overcrowded with female characters.
    French movies have a 50% gender distribution, causing the movies to look a lot like real-time dinner conversation, and to suck.

    But yeah for the rest it's mostly women watching men be impulsive... which is human History, really.
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    Nov 5 2013: Here is a list of the top ten female character roles in film, according to one analyst: http://www.filmsite.org/femaleroles.html
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      Nov 15 2013: Hmmm, not very encouraging is it? But maybe that's just my female perception of the comments.