The documentary Miss Representation identifies the numerous ways women are misrepresented in the media, including in news, advertisements, movies, and television.
The title Miss Representation emphasizes that the way we portray women in the media is a misrepresentation, as in it does not do women justice and oftentimes, has a negative impact on the perception of women. Frequently in the media, women lack leading roles and complexity, are held to an unrealistic standard of beauty, and are subject to objectification and beautification (Newsom, 2011). These misrepresentations lay the groundwork for gender socialization, and therefore, shape how women perceive themselves and are perceived by others.
In the United States, the negative implications of misrepresentations of …show more content…
These movies allowed female characters to embody all the contradictions that could make them a woman. They were portrayed as the “femme fatale” and also “mother,” the “seductress” and at the same time the “saint,” (Newsom, 2011). Female characters were multi-faceted during this time and had much more complexity and interesting qualities than in the movies we watch today.
Today, only 16% of protagonists in movies are female, and the portrayal of these women is one of sexualization and dependence rather than complexity (Newsom, 2011). Mainstream movies are about men’s lives, and the few movies about women’s lives, at their core, still also revolve around men (Newsom, 2011). These female leads often have male love interests, looking to get married or get pregnant. Strong independent female leads are still exist for the male view, as they are hypersexualized, or the “fighting fuck toy,” (Newsom,
2011). This depiction has created a culture where women are insecure and waiting for a knight on a horse to come rescue and provide for her as well as the acceptance of women
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Instead, women are being discriminated and treated as inferior due to the stereotypes that are portrayed in the media. The media creates and reproduces ways of seeing that at a minimum reflect and shape our culture. We can look at the media to understand more about a culture’s values and norms, if we realize the limitations of looking at the media. For example, one may ask, does the news based in the United Sates represent what the American culture is like, or only what stands out from everyday American culture? The answer to that is no. Instead, the media represents what it thinks it will be able to sell and is supported by advertisements. This includes violent acts, the sensationally and inappropriate. Jhally reminds us that “it is this male, heterosexual, pornographic imagination based on the degradation and control of women that has colonized commercial culture in general, although it is more clearly articulated in music videos” (Jhally 2007). Therefore, “media content is a symbolic rather than a literal representation of society and that to be represented in the media is in itself a form of power—social groups that are powerless can be relatively easily ignored, allowing the media to focus on the social groups that ‘really matter’” (Gerbner,
For instance, in the film Roxanne Feder becomes jealous of Penny, a local sweetheart Lenny used to date back in sixth grade. The psychotic women threatened Roxanne 's position as Lenny 's wife. Even going as far as saying that Lenny still has feelings for her. Roxanne agrees with the woman that working and keeping a tight toned body will keep Lenny away from Penny. This shows that women can use their bodies and sex appeal as a weapon to seduce and keep that man they desire in their life. Towards the end of the film, the relentless Penny runs to comfort Lenny only after being kicked in the face by Roxanne, where she went to her husband 's aide. The quarrel between the two women in hopes of getting and keeping their man only shows how submissive women are perceived. It 's as if women are in desperate need of a man to comfort, lead and love them. Their so submissive that they would see each other as a threat giving off dirty looks, arguing and even having a physical fight just so that they can have the victory and honor of having Lenny as their
Women’s genres are a popular category of television or film. Women’s centered genres are seemingly popular among women. This genre portrays women’s issue that the female audience can relate to issues include motherhood, men, and romance. These films typically contain emotional scenes and may be released on or around Valentines day. Women 's genres usually revolve around a female main character. These films appeal to women for a multitude of reasons. We may relate to a character, aspire to be or look like a character or simply find visual pleasure in watching these characters.
Miss Representation, a documentary film produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom released in 2011, presents a contemporary issue which is the misrepresentation of women’s portrayal in mass media. The media is powerful in shaping audience’s belief in how to be feminine. Women are expected to be beautiful, attractive, and even sexual on the media to attract audience’s attention. Also, the film points out the existence of social system in which men are considered more powerful and dominant than women. Finally, the film tries to increase the awareness of female real value including capability, educational achievement, and leadership. Consuming the media wisely to eliminate gendered stereotypes can help young women build their confidence and be successful.
Led by Laura Mulvey, feminist film critics have discussed the difficulty presented to female spectators by the controlling male gaze and narrative generally found in mainstream film, creating for female spectators a position that forces them into limited choices: "bisexual" identification with active male characters; identification with the passive, often victimized, female characters; or on occasion, identification with a "masculinized" active female character, who is generally punished for her unhealthy behavior. Before discussing recent improvements, it is important to note that a group of Classic Hollywood films regularly offered female spectators positive, female characters who were active in controlling narrative, gazing and desiring: the screwball comedy.
Women have made progress in the film industry in terms of the type of role they play in action films, although they are still portrayed as sex objects. The beginning of “a new type of female character” (Hirschman, 1993, pg. 41-47) in the world of action films began in 1976 with Sigourney Weaver, who played the leading role in the blockbuster film ‘Aliens’ as Lt. Ellen Ripley. She was the captain of her own spaceship, plus she was the one who gave out all the orders. Until then, men had always been the ones giving the orders; to see a woman in that type of role was outlandish. This was an astonishing change for the American industry of film. Sometime later, in 1984, Linda Hamilton starred in ‘The Terminator’, a film where she was not the leading character, but a strong female character as Sarah Connor. She had a combination of masculine and feminine qualities as “an androgynous superwoman, resourceful, competent and courageous, while at the same time caring, sensitive and intuitive” (Hirschman, 1993, pg. 41-47). These changes made in action films for female’s roles stirred up a lot of excitement in the “Western society” (Starlet, 2007). The demand for strong female characters in action films grew to a new high when Angelina Jolie starred in ‘Tomb Raider’ in 2001 and then in the sequel, ‘Tomb Raider II: The Cradle of Life’ in 2003 as Lara Croft. Her strong female character was not only masculine, but was also portrayed as a sex object. Most often, strong women in these types of films tend to fight without even gaining a mark. At the end of each fight, her hair and makeup would always be perfect. The female characters in these action films, whether their role was as the lead character or a supporting character, had similar aspects. I...
From television to film, from music to advertising, men are often portrayed as strong willed and powerful, while women are often shown as submissive, powerless, and sexually promiscuous. Particularly in American film, however, these gender stereotypes are most evident. In many films, the main characters are heroic men, while the main female lead is primarily the love interest of the male lead. The 2009 film Star Trek did not echo the television show, but echoed the stereotypical tendencies of American film – particularly regarding the main female lead, Uhura. Although Uhura is presented as a strong figure because of her role in the Starfleet, in reality the film fails to break out of traditional gender stereotypes because of the eroticization of Uhura, her shallow dialogue, and her general role throughout the film.
Women have been placed in the role of undesired in a male dominated world. Media has presented the idea that women should be subservient and inferior to men. Women are sexualized and degraded in American society. These images are accepted as the norms of the society. The images influence sexuality, societal roles, and the physical appearance. Pessimistic thoughts of women can change through technology. Although more images of positive role models are presented in society, women still are presented in submissive roles.
Contrary to popular believe, gender is referred to the attitudes, behaviours and emotions linked with a specific sexual group. There are two dominant perspectives that illustrate two different viewpoints of gender inequality. The functionalist perspective, by Talcott Parsons, believed that both men and women possess specific qualities that make them excellent at specific events, and these qualities are not interchangeable (Brym, 2014). The Marxist-Feminist perspective; however, viewed qualities for men and women as to being dependent on social conditions rather than being inherited (2014). In order to further illustrate the presence of gender inequality in the present society; the film Missrepresentation, by Jennifer Newsom reveals the lack of female presence in lead or authoritative roles in media, in comparison to men (Newsom, 2011).
Gender stereotypes and biasses exist in media. In most situations, women are associated with more negative stereotypes and their portrayals can “undermine their presence by being “hyper-attractive” or “hyper-sexual” and/or passive” (Smith, 2008). In The Wolf of Wall Street women are objectified. They are treated
Today, the feminist movement has grown and is still growing as women around the globe have joined hands in the fight against inequality. Even though a lot has changed, all feminists, despite the wave they claim to fit in, are still fighting for the equality of women and men around the globe. The feminist movement has come a long way, and it is continuing to grow as many women join the movements (Collins 178). Even though many of the demands of the feminist have not been met, a lot has been achieved, and the fight is still on.
Feminism is a movement that supports women equality within society. In relation to film, feminism is what pushes the equal representation of females in mainstream films. Laura Mulvey is a feminist theorist that is famous for touching on this particular issue of how men and women are represented in movies. Through her studies, she discovered that many films were portraying men and women very differently from reality. She came up with a theory that best described why there is such as huge misrepresentation of the social status quos of male and female characters. She believed that mainstream film is used to maintain the status quo and prevent the realization of gender equality. This is why films are continuously following the old tradition that males are dominant and females are submissive. This is the ideology that is always present when we watch a movie. This is evident in the films from the past but also currently. It is as if the film industry is still catering to the male viewers of each generation in the same way. Laura Mulvey points out that women are constantly being seen as sexual objects, whether it is the outfits they wear or do not wear or the way they behave, or secondary characters with no symbolic cause. She states that, “in traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote it-be-looked-at-ness.”(Mulvey pg. 715). Thus, women are nevertheless displayed as nothing more than passive objects for the viewing pleasure of the audience. Mulvey also points out through her research that in every mainstream movie, there is ...
The mass media over the years has had such a profound role in creating an image on how women should be viewed. From their appearance to what their duties are in everyday life, the media has made sure to depict unrealistic images of women. These images have caused not only the male public but women themselves to believe that they must attain a certain kind of body or occupation to fit into society. Women often feel obligated and pressured to comply to this praised image of perfection.