Within the domain of “Movies,” we will hope to capture the positive messages and expose the negative messages in regards to men and women. We aim to find more empowering and influential films to promote a healthier way of thinking. Our target audience is young adults who are being brought up on these unrealistic expectations. Our purpose in choosing this specific topic was because movies are universal and have a significant impact on our society. Some specific problems we wish to address are socially accepting R-rated movies at younger ages, big blockbusters rarely has female directors, women never appear as the strong protagonist, and men, as well as women, constantly being compared to heroes and movie stars.
1. Only 10.7% of films feature a balanced cast where at least half are female
2. One-third of female characters are shown in sexually revealing clothes or are partially naked, as oppose to 7% of men
3. Of the 16 biggest paychecks earned by actors per film, not a single one was female
4. 23.3% of films surveyed had a female lead or co-lead
5. Females make up 7 percent of directors, 19.7 percent of writers, and 22.7 percent of producers
6. 75% of blockbuster crews are male
7. In 2013 Angelina Jolie, the highest paid female actor, made $33 million, roughly the same amount as the two lowest ranked men
Negative Messages, shown in three well-known films:
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
-When you hear people talk about The Wolf on Wall Street, more than likely you are aware of the man starring in the film, Leonardo DiCaprio. What goes unnoticed is the sexual discrimination against women, who are treated as objects throughout the film. Love is not a theme in this film, as it is in films with women as the leading role, which is an example of negative social norms. The focus of this film is gaining power in their career field, becoming wealthy, and having sex with women.
Review for The Wolf of Wall Street that supports our opinion: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jan/19/the-wolf-of-wall-street-review
2. The Proposal
-In The Proposal, Sandra Bullock is the protagonist, but being that she is a female, her role as the head of an office is characterized as being “controlling”, “mean”, and “bossy.” As the plot of the film develops further, it is clear that she is not desired by men until she changes her personality. This demonstrates a negative gender norm by portraying that women can not be in power and desired simultaneously. Before the film came to a conclusion, she had to develop a new way of handling her career with a less powerful approach. When she did this, she got her “happily ever after,” illustrating that she could not have that while she was “bossy,” as shown at the beginning of the film.
3. Disney’s Tangled
-In the film Tangled, the age-old story of a knight in shining armor coming to a young girl’s rescue is again showcased. Disney prides itself on creating female characters that are not independent, demonstrated by how strongly they rely on men. This is not limited to their “hero,” but also the dependence they have on their fathers. The ending of nearly every film produced by Disney is not complete without the princess getting the prince. This happily ever after consists of marriage, giving viewers the idea that marriage is the only way women can achieve happiness in their own lives.
Positive Messages, shown in three well-known films:
1. Remember The Titans
-This film consists of strong male protagonists, who do not have the characteristics we are used to seeing in other films. Personal growth and team building are two main themes throughout the film. The men demonstrate equality and positive traits in young males, such as being kind and supportive towards one another.
2. The Hunger Games
–The Hunger Games is one of the only recent films made where the female protagonist isn’t n search of love. Instead, Katniss demonstrates her independence and strength by fighting for her sister, without the need of a man. Although love is an aspect in the film, Katniss is portrayed as the stronger character in the relationship. Female leading roles are starting to be more dominant in Sci-Fi movies, with Divergent as another example.
“The thing I like about this movie, which is different from many others, is Katniss is focused on survival, focused on a revolution and not focused on who is going to be her boyfriend,” said Jennifer Lawrence, star of “The Hunger Games”.
-In the family film Blended, equality is shown when two single parents come together to create one family unit. This ia a wonderful example of how a man and a women can be in the same situation, so there is no dominance being placed by the man. Love is an aspect in this film, but since the director made the two protagonists have the same life situation, it lets the viewer see them as equal partners.
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