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Sexism in Popular Culture - Dissertation Example

Important here to note is there is a significant portion of the movies in Hollywood and instances in the popular culture, where one can easily find female characters, whether lead or supporting, with similar traits, whether it be film, television, theatre, drama, advertising, comic books, literature, video games, cartoons and others (Stephanie & Brabon, 2009, p. 225). The rise of feminism and the debate about the identity of women has forced many filmmakers directors and producers in the media to move away from the traditional emotionally unstable and weak concept of women and portray women in a more realistic and empowering way. This created a demand of “strong female characters” and over the past couple of decades, many strong female characters have emerged to fill this gap. However, many feminist critics and even other experts have challenged and criticised the idea and depiction of strong female characters. This paper is an attempt to explore and analyse the depiction of women in film and video games, while simultaneously exploring the concept of “strong female characters”, its ideological grounding and the criticism. ...
Towards the end, the Hero would come and save them to live a life happily ever after. However, towards the mid 20th century, the rise of feminism created discontent amongst female viewers and stakeholders of Hollywood that this portrayal of women as “needy” and “weak” creatures in sexist. In order to address the same, writers came up with female characters that would be trapped by the villain only after putting up a strong fight (Hollows & Moseley, 2006, p. 58). These women, to a certain degree, had skills normally possessed by men. They could drive sport cars, use guns, had physical strength, was comfortable with her body and could outdrink any man. Even when she could put a fight, these “strong female characters”, in the end of the movie, would get themselves into trouble and that also in the sexiest way possible. Surprisingly enough, even when she could put a fight to resist the pressures of villain, she would never get a black eye or get physically injured probably because they same would decrease her appeal. The point here is that all the “strength” added to the female character was just an attempt to make her a better and more attractive prize for the hero at the end. (Meyers, 2008, p. 172 (Gillis, et al., 2007, p. 413). The problem with the commonly used phrase “strong female characters” or “strong females or women” is that it is ironic, paradoxical and contradictory within itself. Female characters are viewed as strong only when they are able to exhibit dominance, assertiveness, tendency for violence, boldness, rudeness and impudence that is characterised with male characters (Haase, 2004, p. 340). The point here is that in order to become “strong female characters”, women have to give up the ...Show more
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Summary

Running Head: Sexism in Popular Culture Sexism in Popular Culture Introduction Consider the character of Natalie Portman in “No Strings Attached”, Mila Kunis in “Friends with Benefits”, Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”, Kate Hudson in “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days”, Renee Zellweger in “Jerry Maguire” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, Sandra Bullock in “While You Were Sleeping” and “Two Weeks Notice”…
Sexism in Popular Culture
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