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Media

I'm doing and essay on "How have women's stereotypical roles in films changed over time?" I would really appreciate your views of this subject, and was wondering if you could answer some of my questions:

   

I in no way consider myself a film connoisseur, but I have attempted to answer your questions.

What do you think women's stereotypical roles in Hollywood are today?
Being beautiful and sexy seems the extent of some women's roles. But of course there are increasingly more options for women - such as Lovely and Amazing, which takes on the complexity of women's lives and also movies like Fight Club, which challenge typical male roles.

Do you think that the stereotypical role of women has changed in films?
Progress has been made — women use to be solely ornaments in movies or passive and pathetic. Now they can sometimes be strong and even central to the film not merely a prop to a man's story.

Are female actors on par with male actors in leading Hollywood films?
No — salaries alone prove this.

Is there more independent female actress today than in the past? Why do you think this is?
Independent in role or in their actual lives? Yes on both — but the story line still focus primarily on a conventional trajectory.

What do you think that the male attitude towards female actress in film is?
I think that women are held to lower standards — we expect more from a male performance — but that's also because male material tends to be more challenging and thus rewarding to actor and audiences alike.

Have female characters broken from there stereotypical roles? Do they have to become more masculine to break free of there stereotypical feminine roles, and gain independence?
I think that the most respectful approach for women is to present roles that are broader or more realistic—women deserve the same range that men have been afforded — tough, angry, depressed, powerful, strong, weak.

You might try connecting with Jean Kilbourne or Caryl Rivers — both have examined/assessed the media from a woman's perspective — one for images and the other more for content. Also, Susan Douglas. And in my book — Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism & the Future, there is a chapter analyzing the media. 

— Amy