Where Are The Women? by Chloe Ward

(All of this week’s blog posts will be written by a female guest author and are going to cover issues of our sexism and gender inequality in our society. The first has been written by my good friend and fellow writer Chloe Ward, who is tackling the issue of female representation in movies. Enjoy! I did.)

So tell me, what was the last film you saw? Did it have any women in it? If yes, was the woman a protagonist? Did their character move the plot forward? Was the woman in the film solely there to be a love interest? Did that woman take her top off at any point in the movie? Chances are the last film you watched probably had three important male characters and one unimportant female character. The woman was probably in it as a girlfriend and probably did take her top off. Am I right? It seems to me that the film industry tends to treat women as “sexy lamps” in films. And if we were to remove said woman, would the plot of the movie really change?

For instance, last week I watched War on Everyone at the cinema. War on Everyone has many women in it… only they are in it for a few seconds and are mostly topless or dancing in a strip joint. The two more prominent female characters are in relationships with the protagonists. Although one of the ladies (I can’t even remember her name) has a small effect on the character development of her other half, if both women were to be cut, the plot probably would not change. You could argue that is it’s a buddy cop movie, of course there aren’t going to be any strong women because that’s just the genre. Well, if I recall, the film The Nice Guys was also a buddy cop film, and even though it did have more adult appropriate moments in it, the women were much more important to the storyline.

Even PG movies which are suitable for children are over sexualised. Myself and some friends went to see Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders a few days ago. With a main cast of six male characters there is only one female character, Cat Woman. Cat Woman is portrayed to be obsessed with Batman and constantly after his affection. I should mention that this film was animated and so naturally an unachievable female body type was used. Long story short, Cat Woman’s only real super power is her sexuality and although she plays a small part in story development, if she were cut, the film wouldn’t lose much.

Admittedly, it is unfair to say that every film does not contain enough woman or does not portray woman fairly because this is not always the case. For instance, the new Ghostbuster film has four leading ladies. In the film they do not rely on men to get things done, they are not oversexualised and the relationship aspect of the film focuses on friendship. However, a film like this is one in a million. Not to mention it had a massive backlash because of its female cast.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that I am fed up of my gender being constantly forgotten or oversexualised. Movies SHOULD have more women in them.

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