Friday, November 25, 2011

Women in the Movies

From an article in The Huffington Post, telling us what we probably already knew. Don't bother reading the objectional comments

A study released by USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism took a survey of the 4,342 speaking characters in the top 100 grossing films of 2009 and compared it to results from the top 100 films of 2007 and 2008. For women, nothing much has changed -- in these top films, 32.8 percent of actors are female and 67.2 are male -- 2.05 males to every one female. This means that less than 17 percent of films are gender balanced, even though females make up half of the ticket-buying population.
Perhaps more disturbing is the finding that women are much more frequently sexualized when they appear on screen. They're more likely to be seen in sexy clothing (25.8 percent to men at 4.7 percent) and more likely to be partially naked (23.6 percent to 7.4 percent)...

Part of the problem may be the serious gender gap that exists in the movie business as a whole. "Gender equality does not exist behind the camera," the study wrote, looking at 1,240 positions to reach the conclusion. Only 3.6 percent of directors are female, only 13.5 percent of writers are female and only 21.6 percent of producers are female. No change has occurred in these figures over the past three years. The study also found that films with one more female screenwriters shows a 10.2 percent increase in female presence in films -- a suggestion that if things were to change behind the camera, they could also change in front.

According to the Geena Davis Institute, in family films there is 1 female character for every 3 male characters.


Have a look at the Bechdel test. The idea is to ask, when watching a movie, are there at least two female characters who have names, do they talk to each other and do they talk to each other about something other than men?

So, we talk about how women should make porn, but we have so few women working in mainstream films, and the film industry, how about we address that first. I'm sure there are as many women as men studying film-making. What happens when they graduate? Or are women veiwers complicit in this bias, because women see 'men's films' but men don't see 'women's films'?

What do you think?

1 comment:

sister outlaws said...

Hi! I'm a film graduate from 2000. There were only 3 girls in our year of 14 students. Two of us have had babies since graduating. The other still works crewing on films. One organises community events, including film nights and workshops making films with young people. I already had kids when I went to film school and have had more since. I have had a screen writing grant and made a few film clips but that's about it. Film work requires very long hours on set for intense periods and is not at all family friendly! There are a few female producers out there butit's a hard industry to get ahead, requires a big ego to push your ideas and convince people to put money into seeing your vision come to screen. It's certainly is a topic worth talking about...