For my digital artefact, I was very keen to continue exploring the issue of misogyny and female representation in film, which I explored throughout the semester. Although Hollywood is beginning to address this issue, the objectification and representation of women in film is still prevalent in the film industry, as demonstrated by the recent all female ‘Ghostbusters’ controversy. However, a major stumbling block of conducting research for this issue, was the difficulty in finding any form of scholarly research on the issue, which is shocking considering how long misogyny in Hollywood has been an issue. Nonetheless, I was still determined to create a well-researched and interesting video that raises questions on the misogyny and objectification of women that’s portrayed on-screen and that occurs within the Hollywood film industry.
In order to provide focus to the issue of misogyny in Hollywood, I felt it necessary to zone in on a particular case-study, in this case a film-maker, as it would provide context into the underlying issue that plagues the film industry. The film-maker, which I decided to go with, was Michael Bay and he was chosen for two reasons:
1) His films are the perfect examples for demonstrating the perverse nature of ‘The Male Gaze’, which perpetuates misogynist attitudes, especially in “Transformers” which is based on children’s toy and will therefore draw younger audiences.
2) It demonstrates that the way that the Hollywood Industry profits from presenting women in such a fashion (e.g. strong box office numbers)
Most of the research gathered actually stems from my original case study, which discussed the results of a report titled “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015”, which highlighted that “moviegoers were more likely to see male characters at work actually working than female characters” (Lauzen 2015, pg.1). Another research report, conducted by Gender Bias Without Bias, indicated that in 2014 females were more than two times as likely as males to appear partially/fully nude or in skimpy clothing (Smith, Choueiti et al. 2014, pg.5). Although significant steps, such as casting female leads in the 2015 & 2016 Star Wars films, have been made, there’s still a long way to go. It’s essential to do so, as this can help teach younger audiences that women should not be looked down upon nor defined by their appearance and that women are just as capable and flawed as men. After all, no-one’s perfect…
Regarding the video itself, I decided to ironically juxtapose the female empowerment track “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé with the images of objectified women in film, as it would further highlight how imbalanced the Hollywood system is , regarding gender bias, and how much further we have to go. However, due to copyright issues, I was unable to use the song which really sucks!
Lauzen, M 2015, “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015”, Centre for the Study of Women in Film & Television, San Diego State University, pgs. 1-4
Smith, S, Choueiti, M & Pieper, K 2014, “Gender Bias Without Borders: An Investigation of Female Characters In Popular Films Across 11 Countries”, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, University Of Southern California, pgs. 1-16
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