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Krisi Tran

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What (if anything) should be done about gender inequality in media or films?

If you've been keeping up with this topic lately, you might have heard that some Swedish cinemas are instituting the Bechdel Test to measure how many women there are in talking roles, not about men, in their films. This is one example of a step taken towards equality in the movie industry, and towards recognizing the gender roles created through media, that are usually unfavorable to women. Only 18% of top movies in 2012 had a female protagonist. Women in movies rarely do anything important by themselves, and there is still the general notion that the greatest thing for a woman is marriage, and when it comes to action, the best she can be is a hardly active, supporting role. Of course, this could all go the other way, when we notice that violent masculinity is also a gender role greatly promoted for men, in addition to little films allowing males to truly express their feelings. Negative gender roles are promoted for both genders, although the lack of women is a grand statement.

On the other hand of this inequality is that films are in fact an art, and there is no reason why art should have to be constrained, and not allowed to reflect how the director sees the world. Maybe film inequality is just a reflection of the ideology of the society we live in.

What do you think? Should anything be done about the gender inequality demonstrated by film or other media? How?


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    Dec 12 2013: The movie makers make what the audience will pay to see. In every first world country I can find data for women go to the movies more often than men so women decide how many female roles there are in movies.
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      Dec 13 2013: Maybe directly. But indirectly it's part of a larger social problem where women are expected to enjoy movies with no representation in them, while men are certainly not. Now of course you can argue if that's really a problem. It's essentially stemming from the fear that men can be too feminine if they get near "girly" things.

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