Essay about Feminism and the Movie Industry

Essay about Feminism and the Movie Industry

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Feminism has been a huge challenger towards the film industry over the years.
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 ...


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...on how they have overcome this demeaning concept, it is still present in many of the films created today. Laura Mulvey, a feminist of the Second Wave, observed the evolution of female representations in films. She concludes that films still display dominant ideologies that prevent social equality between men and women. Mulvey came up with three common themes that mainstream films continuously promote within their films. These three common themes reinforce that women are always going to be seen as nothing more but objects. They do not serve any symbolic purposes except to help advance the story by motivating the objectives of the male characters. As evident, Happy Endings is one particular film that embodies all of these traits and as a result, the female characters are perceived as sexual objects in both the perspectives of the male character(s) and the spectators.

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