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My feelings on Women in Cinema

02/04/2015

I read an article a friend of mine posted on Facebook (so of course I can’t find it now because I don’t remember who posted it) and basically the article was written by a feminist who was completely insulted that Fantasy is primarily an all-boys-club of characters. The example she used was of the Hobbit, and how there are only male characters, and the female character and Legolas weren’t even supposed to be in the second and third movies.

Please note: I love the Hobbit. After watching the first movie in my living room my Fiancé proposed to me. I also love it on its own merits as an interesting adventure, even if they didn’t keep with the novel (really… you expected a movie to be like it’s book? When has that ever happened?)

Anyway, after reading the article I started thinking about movies that I like, and how they all seem to have a principally male cast. Red is the only movie I can think of that has female characters who hold their own with the men and they’re funny to boot! But really, why do you watch Kate and Leopold? Do you watch it for Meg Ryan? Aw hell no! You watch it for Hugh Jackman and a smexy English accent!

It also gets me that Superheroes tend to have unfulfilled crushes on the boring female characters. In Arrow, why must Ollie, our hero, like Laurel, a self-obsessed lawyer with no sense of humor whose intelligence is superficial, when he has a pretty, snarky, smart, and funny secretary/hacker who works right beside him for both his jobs? Barry in the Flash likes a barista (who should not have so much spending cash, even if she lives with her dad). There isn’t another viable female character in the show yet (though the girl I like in Arrow guest starts a few times since the shows are linked), but really? Must our heroes like boring girls who are inherently unable to figure out that something is even up with the hero? And another cool thing: The Flash has Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanagh!

I think it kind of goes to show how the rolls of actresses aren’t nearly as interesting as those of actors. I was also watching some old movies with my dad over the weekend, and I realized that female actors have always been very cookie-cutter, even in 1930s movies! Here is a challenge: without looking anything up on the internet, name 3 famous actors and actresses from before you were born. I have Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, and John Wayne. All men.

This probably doesn’t have any indication of how people feel about women. I think it just represents that there are very few good parts for women in movies and television, and that if we want to have female leads sell more movies then they need to play characters as interesting as Catniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

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From → Entertainment, Social

3 Comments
  1. I love Felicity too. I kinda figured thats who you were most likely talking about. I also love the new stuff on Laurel, she’s finally interesting. I had high hopes for her too based on casting. I dont know if you ever watched Supernatural, but she was amazing in it. And check out Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly, and Rosalind Russel for actresses before you were born. Specifically Gone With The Wind (it has a bad reputation but she basically carries her family and her crushes family back to wealth on her own), Rear Window and His Girl Friday. I love them!

    It’s definitely a problem but I couldn’t heko but share these women and their characters, though none are in fantasy movies. I am looking forward to Jupiter Ascending to see what happens there. Oh, and for a good women’s fantasy book check oug anything by Anne McCaffrey.

    • I love Rear Window! Anything Alfred Hitchcock, really. Unfortunately, my history with Gone with the Wind is spotty – literally! There’s about a 30 minute bit in the first half I always seem to miss, and it bums me out. I also like Jane Russell a lot, especially in Bob Hope’s Paleface and Son of Paleface movies (really funny stuff!) It’s so awesome to meet someone who likes old movies and can name off actors/actresses!

      For books, though, that’s a totally different subject! Anne Bishop writes a ton of strong female characters, too (and Anne McCaffrey is awesome!!!) I’m also a fan of Melanie Rawn and her female-dominant societies, though her recent stuff is pretty bleh. Lately I’ve been reading Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire Series, which is waaaay better than Laurel K. Hamilton’s, but that’s mostly because I couldn’t get into Hamilton at all (lots of typos in her first book).

      • It is always unexpected to find someone else who likes old movies! And Hitchcock is always amazing!
        I’m not generally familiar with that many fiction writers anymore, but I’ll have to check these out, I do love a good vamp series and couldn’t get into Hamilton, so maybe Neill will work. Thanks for the recommendations!

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