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Feminist Approach in the Film Industry

Analysis of gender inequality in the film industry.

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Feminist Approach in the Film Industry

  1. 1. Feminist Approach in the Film Industry By: Ellie Curtis
  2. 2. Article Summary ➔ The Article I chose to read was found on theguardian.com, it began by discussing the statistical evidence of how men and women compare in the film industry, and ultimately explaining that men are more dominant. ➔ The next point the article makes is that segments of the industry are dominated by women, but the segments that are, are the ones that are deemed of lesser value or importance. ➔ Next the author admits that whilst partaking in the research to formulate this article he had hoped the evidence found would promote a change in the industry and make the problem known.
  3. 3. Article Summary Continued ➔ The author then admits that while conducting his research instead of finding an increase in women working in the film industry he found a decrease as the years progressed. ➔ There is then an interview in the article with Beryl Richards (female director and producer) that discusses why the industry is the way it is. She ultimately blames it on people not wanting to realize there's a problem. ➔ We then got into the different genres of film and what genres include and portray women in the best light. ➔ The article ends restating the importance of equal representation in the industry and how we (the film industry) need to strive to achieve it.
  4. 4. The Feminist Approaches in Communication The Feminist Approach states that men and women have different ways of getting work done, and doing that work with a purpose. Much of any organization is predominantly based off that of its male employees (ie. organization life). Due to all of this some organizations are patriarchal meaning men hold the power over the women.
  5. 5. To Help Paint the Picture This side of the chart shows from years 1998 to 2012 the fluctuations of women working behind the scenes in the film industry. This side of the chart shows the most recent data for women compared to that of men working behind the scenes. The amount of men working behind the scenes is more than double that of women.
  6. 6. Gender Disparity in the Film Industry ➔ By reading the previous slide I am hoping it has became clear the true problem that the film industry possess. In the industry “more than three- quarters of the crew involved in making 2,000 of the biggest grossing films over the past 20 years have been men, while only 22% were women” (theguardian. com). This number shows that while women were apart of big blockbuster films, men ultimately were in control.
  7. 7. Hegemony in the Film Industry ➔ Hegemony is when power and control are held by one group or individual that dominates the rest of the people in the organization, they hold the power. ➔ Hegemony is a common and well stated idea when it comes to women in this industry. Men (the dominant group) hold the power over the women in most cases by out numbering them, causing the women of the industry to feel subordinate to the men.
  8. 8. Hegemony Continued ➔ In the article it discusses what jobs men and women are likely to have in the film industry. The writer states “Women made up a majority only in costume and wardrobe departments and casting, all of which, traditionally, have been perceived as feminine workplaces. Visual effects, usually the largest department for big feature films, had an average of only 17.5% of women, while music had just 16%, and camera and electricals were, on average, 95% male” (theguardian.com). Jobs that are considered of a higher education level or of more importance are the jobs men are deemed dominant in, only making the subordinate role go to women even more so by giving them jobs that aren’t thought to hold as much importance as male dominated departments.
  9. 9. Ideology and the Film Industry ➔ Ideology is assumptions of reality that we rarely question or judge. In a nutshell ideology refers to the idea that if you are exposed to the same reaction to a situation enough times you’ll just accept that as normal even if in the great scheme of things it isn’t. ➔ For Example: In many organizations we view a hierarchy structure as normal because many workplaces are commonly run as such. If you think about it though those whom are subordinate are just accepting there subordinance where in other instances in there lives they may not do that.
  10. 10. Ideology Cont. ➔ The idea of ideology plays into the film industry, if you take a look at the structure of almost all blockbuster film crews you’ll see it is hierarchical. The chart to the right shows who holds power and is need during the development of a film and then once the film is underway.
  11. 11. Emancipation in the Film Industry ➔ Emancipation is the function of creating awareness and recognition while providing communicative action to those suppressed in an organization. ➔ In the film industry speaking strictly toward the feminist approach women are the one suppressed. According to the article the film industry has yet to see a positive shift for women in their workforces. In an interview with Beryl Richards (female director and producer) she states “On so many sets women are seen as lesser beings in terms of status and many women still find it hard to be taken seriously” (theguardian.com). The major problem here is that communicative action isn’t being taken allowing the rationality of the issue to be pushed aside.
  12. 12. How Can We Fix the Lack of Emancipation? Aka -- Resistance ➔ The main solution to this problem is creating a force of people that are on the feminist side, and those willing to represent the repressed side of the industry. A few women fighting for the cause are Lena Dunham, Emma Watson, and Kathryn Bigelow. These women are some of the few to speak up, they have spoken publically and openly about the issues of gender equality in the film industry in an effort to make strides towards equal representation. Lena Dunham Emma Watson Kathryn Bigelow
  13. 13. Major Milestones for Women in Film 1896 April Women directs a motion picture for the first time, her name was Alice Guy-Blache. 1919 February Mary Pickford is the first female to receive a payment of 1 million dollars per year. 1976 April First female to anchor a major network news broadcast, Barbara Walters. February First female nominee for Best Director at the Academy Awards. 1977 January Sherry Lansing, becomes the first female to head a major film studio by being named president of 20th Century Fox. 1980 September Katie Couric, first female to be a solo news anchor on broadcast television evening news on week nights. 2006 All information found on www.hollywoodreporter.com
  14. 14. Reflection on Milestone Findings ➔ After discovering my findings I must say I am shocked, to find out that women started making strides in 1896 and haven't really made it that far. Going back to the article it states “The 2,000 films surveyed revealed that women accounted for only 13% of the editors, 10% of the writers and just 5% of the directors” (theguardian.com). In my opinion those numbers should be equivalent to those of males or at least much closer than what they are.
  15. 15. Issues Regarding Sexual Harassment ➔ Sexual Harassment is when a person(s) make undesired or unwanted sexual remarks, gestures, advances, etc. Basically any unwanted sexual acts is deemed to be that of harassment. ➔ Relating this to the film industry not only in major blockbuster hits is sexual harassment portrayed as funny or harmless but also as something that just happens, giving the idea that nothing can really be done to dissolve the issue. ➔ For example: Clueless the 1995 chick flick beloved by so many to this day has a scene in which the lead character is walking across campus and men are grabbing and making comments to her which she attempts to stop by pushing a man off of her. With it’s funny comments and witty remarks most viewers sit and laugh but is a women having to resort to violence in an effort to not be violated truly something to laugh at?
  16. 16. Sexual Harassment Cont. ➔ Looking at the chart to the right, you’ll see that while filming on screen women have to reveal their bodies in many more instances than males. The two I wish to bring attention to the most are “28.8% of women wore sexually revealing clothes as opposed to 7.0% of men” and “26.2% of women actors get partially naked while 9.4% of men do”. Why must women’s bodies be portrayed sexual in more instances than men’s? Perhaps this technique is leading to more and more sexual harassment in the workplace.
  17. 17. Questions? ➔ Why have women in the film industry put of with this type of treatment so long? Hasn’t always being put below a male infuriated you after all this time? If so why? And if not why? ➔ What do you think women need to do to gain equal representation in the film industry? Would you being willing to do it? ➔ It is stated in the article that women only hold dominance in a few areas of film, those being makeup crew, costume design, and casting. Why do you think that is?
  18. 18. Questions? Cont. ➔ Are you happy with your job in the film industry? If so what about your job do you like so much to make it worth everything you must go through being a women in this industry? ➔ If another women were to come to you and tell you that they wanted to pursue a career in the film industry what would be the best advice you could give them? ➔ What is your solution for gaining equal gender representation in the film industry?
  19. 19. Solutions For This Issue ➔ I have one solution for this problem, it may seem implausible but frankly I think it’s worth a shot. I think laws need to be made about equal representation of all genders in the workplace. We need to evenly divide up segments between each gender. For example let's just say for simplicity sake that you must divide all jobs evenly between males and females meaning no matter what the job be whether it’s directing, producing, designing, casting, or any other position 50% must go to men and 50% must go to women. After so many years of this law being in place I feel it can be disband, but until this industry can wrap its head around the fact that women are just as capable if not more capable in some cases of doing the exact same jobs as men nothing is going to change. So the solution is you force them to realize the issue.
  20. 20. Ellis-Petersen, Hannah. "Gender Bias in the Film Industry: 75% of Blockbuster Crews Are Male." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 22 July 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. "Gender Inequality in Film - An Infographic." New York Film Academy Blog. The New York Film Academy, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. "Women in Entertainment Timeline." The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. Works Cited

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Analysis of gender inequality in the film industry.


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