BCM332-Final Project

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!

 

References

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

Images:

WWhat Movie Does Michael Bay Owe an Apology For? (2013). WWhat Movie Does Michael Bay Owe an Apology For? photograph, Movies. Retrieved from http://www.movies.com/movie-news/what-movie-does-michael-bay-owe-apology-for/11994

Some men are really angry about the all-female Ghostbusters remake. (2015). Some men are really angry about the all-female Ghostbusters remake. photograph, Daily Edge.Retrieved from http://www.dailyedge.ie/all-female-ghostbusters-reaction-1907535-Jan2015/

 

The YouTube comments for the Ghostbusters trailer will make you wish for death’s sweet embrace. (2016). The YouTube comments for the Ghostbusters trailer will make you wish for death’s sweet embrace. photograph, By Brendan Morrow. Retrieved from https://bybrendanmorrow.com/2016/03/04/the-youtube-comments-for-the-ghostbusters-trailer-will-make-you-wish-for-deaths-sweet-embrace/

 

 

Pain and Gain. (2013). Pain and Gain. photograph, Rath’s Reviews. Retrieved from http://www.raths-reviews.com/2013/04/pain-and-gain.html

 

Megan Fox vs. Michael Bay: A Timeline. (2010). Megan Fox vs. Michael Bay: A Timeline. photograph, The Mary Sue. Retrieved from http://www.themarysue.com/megan-fox-vs-michael-bay-timeline-transformers-3/

 

N/A. (2014). N/A. photograph, One of Us. Retrieved from http://oneofus.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/megan_fox_transformers_motorcycle1.jpg

 

 

N/A. (2014). N/A. photograph, Tumblr. Retrieved from http://67.media.tumblr.com/a26064414a774f3f9520d6b873f67d9b/tumblr_nkc3z4jpet1uoahuao1_500.jpg

 

 

N/AN/A. photograph, Blogspot. Retrieved from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xf2kdtgumb4/uzz9ruau13i/aaaaaaaac1u/k3himpl7xy4/s1600/alice-eve-star-trek-into-darkness-carol-marcus-underwear.jpg

 

(2016). photograph, Elite Daily. Retrieved from http://cdn29.elitedaily.com/content/uploads/2016/02/18111606/elite-daily-the-wolf-of-wall-street-misogyny-800×400.jpg

 

10 Painfully Sexist Moments: The (Mis)Treatment Of Women In Skyfall . (2014). 10 Painfully Sexist Moments: The (Mis)Treatment Of Women In Skyfall . photograph, Writer’s Bloc. Retrieved from http://www.literature.hss.ed.ac.uk/2014/01/10-painfully-sexist-momentsthe-mistreatment-of-women-in-skyfall/

 

N/A. (2016). N/A. photograph, Saint The Ron. Retrieved from http://saintheron.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ava-duv.jpg

 

N/A. (2016). N/A. photograph, Buzzfeed. Retrieved from https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-05/15/9/enhanced/webdr13/enhanced-25783-1431696034-27.jpg

 

N/A. (2013). N/A. photograph, WordPress. Retrieved from https://mooselicker.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/diablo-cody.jpg

 

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BCM332 Case Study Part Two- Gender Representation in the Media

Organisation: Centre for the Study of Women in Television & Film

For the second part of my case study, I have decided to slightly shift my focus from news media to film and television, as this is where my true interest is in. Television and Film are incredibly powerful forms of media that unconsciously effect the way we perceive the people and things around us. It is therefore essential that we address the issue regarding the portrayal of women in film and television, as this will be act as a major stepping point towards gender equality.

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Before I introduce the subject of this case study, I would like to give some context into the issue. As you may or may not have heard, this year saw the release of a female-led remake of the classic 1984 horror comedy “Ghostbusters”. Many of the reactions from fans, even before the film was released, was misogynistic and led to the film’s trailer being one of the most disliked videos on YouTube.  Although many claim that the hateful comments and reactions were due to the trailer’s lack of laughs, there is no denying that many were simply against the idea that women could be leads in a big-budget Hollywood film.

For the last 18 years, The Centre for the Study of Women in Television & Film, which was founded by Dr. Martha Lauzen (who is also part of the film and television faculty at San Diego State University), has conducted the most comprehensive research regarding the role of women in film & television. The research is not limited to just actresses. It also includes the women who work behind the scenes and even film critics, and unfortunately the results are rather alarming.

The report “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015” investigated the way women were represented on-screen in some of the highest-grossing films of that year, and although the results were an improvement on 2014, which according to the report “was an exceptionally poor year for women” (Lauzen 2015, pg.1), there is still some work to be done. For example, the report states that “Gender stereotypes were prevalent in the top grossing films of 2015” (Lauzen 2015, pg.1) and that it was more likely that women would be more remembered for their marital status than their occupation, which is extremely worrying. Interestingly, however, the report states that “films with at least one woman director and/or writer, females comprised 40% of all speaking characters” as opposed to films directed by males where “females accounted for 30% of all speaking characters” (Lauzen 2015, pg.4). It is evident then that employing more female directors and writers would go some way into rectifying the issue of the representation of women in film & television.

 

References

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, pg. 1-4

                                     

BCM332 Case Study Pt. 1-Gender Representation in the News Media

Organisation: The GMMP (Global Media Monitoring Project)

The issue of gender representation in News Media is well known and has been researched for many years, yet it still remains an issue to this day. So, for my case study, I have decided to research the Global Media Monitoring Project, which has focused on changing the way women are represented on the news.

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Since its inception in 1995, The GMMP have released reports every five years regarding the role of women amongst men and gender bias in the newsroom. (Who Makes the News, N/A). Participants range from different areas, age and status, weather it is university students, media practitioners or even women activists’. The project is the largest of its kind and is in fact working with Who Makes the News and the World Association for Christian Communication to end news media sexism by 2020.

The 2015 report, which marked the project’s 20th anniversary, featured an unprecedented 114 participating countries. In the foreword of the report, Margaret Gallagher states that “the media as both powerful institutions and power-defining mechanisms – are fundamental to the ways in which women’s status and gender inequalities are reflected, understood and potentially changed” (Gallagher 2015, pg.1). The media undoubtedly has a great amount of influence on the way we think and behave and so it is, much like Gallagher states, essential that we improve the way women are represented in the media, particularly when it comes to the news. However, the research presented in the GMMP report is worrying, with women only making up 24 % of the people heard about, read or seen in newspaper, television and radio news, exactly as they did in 2010. (GMMP 2015, pg.8). What is incredibly alarming with this result, is that there has been no progress in the 5 years since the last report.

 

In Chapter 6 of the report, the GMMP introduces five objectives which they hope will lead to their penultimate goal of ending news media sexism in 2020. The targets are as follows (GMMP 2015, pg.99):

 

  1. Newsrooms that support gender equality: 100% of national public media and 40% of private media in each country.

 

  1. Overall global presence of women in the news: 50%.

 

  1. 30% global average of news that clearly challenges gender stereotypes

 

  1. 30% global average of news that highlights issues of gender equality and inequality

 

  1. 30 % Global average of news reporting that is anchored in a critical (women’s and marginalized groups’) human rights perspective

Now, considering what I previously mentioned regarding one of the findings from the researched, it is fair to say that these targets are very ambitious.  Yet, these goals seem to indicate that the GMMP remain optimistic about change in the future and with an increasing amount of digital news platforms available, this may force traditional news platforms such as television to adapt and maybe then we might finally see some progress in representation of gender. But for now, we can only hope and imagine.

References

Gallagher, M 2015, ‘Foreword’, Global Media Monitoring Project 2015, World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), pps. 1-3

Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) 2015, Global Media Monitoring Project 2015, World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), pps.8-99

Who Makes the News N/A, GMMP, Who Makes the News, viewed 9th August 2016, http://whomakesthenews.org/gmmp

 

 

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