Sunday, December 15, 2013

Truest statement of the week I

Now, let me just say, I take everything too far. (You should see my kids' birthday cakes.) But having comprehensive data on how female characters are depicted in Hollywood has proved to be extremely valuable. Obviously, because I'm a colleague, I can go directly to content creators and decision makers and share what we found. (The research was conducted by Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.)
The basics are that for every one female-speaking character in family-rated films (G, PG and PG-13), there are roughly three male characters; that crowd and group scenes in these films — live-action and animated — contain only 17 percent female characters; and that the ratio of male-female characters has been exactly the same since 1946. Throw in the hypersexualization of many of the female characters that are there, even in G-rated movies, and their lack of occupations and aspirations and you get the picture.
It wasn't the lack of female lead characters that first struck me about family films. We all know that's been the case for ages, and we love when movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen hit it big. It was the dearth of female characters in the worlds of the stories — the fact that the fictitious villages and jungles and kingdoms and interplanetary civilizations were nearly bereft of female population — that hit me over the head. This being the case, we are in effect enculturating kids from the very beginning to see women and girls as not taking up half of the space. Couldn't it be that the percentage of women in leadership positions in many areas of society — Congress, law partners, Fortune 500 board members, military officers, tenured professors and many more — stall out at around 17 percent because that's the ratio we've come to see as the norm?

--  Geena Davis' "Two Easy Steps To Make Hollywood Less Sexist (Guest Column)" (Hollywood Reporter):
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }