Women 's Influence On Feminist Movements

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For the past few decades, women’s positions improve significantly due to feminist movements, which can be presented through contemporary films. Instead of focusing on male-only heroes, an increasing number of filmmakers tend to create female heroines. Nevertheless, women have not yet achieved reproductive rights. In other words, different from men, who can freely express themselves, female’s actions are still limited by societal norm. Thus, female characters, as a reflection of contemporary females in society, demonstrate the fact that females are attempting to challenge gender stereotypes under societal pressures. Katniss, the heroine in Hunger Games, is presented as a role model. However, Marieme, the working class girl in Girlhood, seems to be the girl on the wrong track. Katniss and Marieme, seemingly two different kinds of girls, are under the similar circumstances. While audiences applaud for the brave and rebel female heroines, they also need to realize the fact that girls, not only in films but also in reality, suffer from judgments and pressures that prevent them from freely expressing themselves. The characterization of Katniss combines both hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity. From some perspective, Katniss indeed challenges gender stereotypes. After the death of Katniss’s father, she takes his role as a breadwinner. As a great hunter, she breaks the stereotypical roles that require female to be submissive and passive. Moreover, Katniss can be considered as aggressive comparing with her sweet sister due to her impatience; she has no tolerate of being disrespected, and can hardly control her emotion while being angry. When Haymitch Abernathy ignores her words, instead of patiently repeating one more time... ... middle of paper ... ...getting hurt/injured, girls’ fighting will have a winner if the other person’s top is ripped off. In other words, the fight focuses on damaging girls’ emotions by using “slut-shaming”, and the girls enjoy it. In the film, Marieme is never able to fight with a man; when her boyfriend and her brother beat her, she just passively stays instead of attempting to fight back. However, she becomes brave while fighting with girls. In addition, she never once tries to stop her male “friends” from sexual harassing girls on the street. Her actions reinforce gender stereotypes: girls are competitors while males own the privilege. To sum up, although both characters, Katniss and Marieme, challenge the gender stereotypes, they still live under the pressure of male-dominant society. Being influenced by it, it is no wonder that they cannot completely get rid of gender stereotypes.

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