Gender inequality still prevalent in Hollywood

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by Sarah Laoyan, Contributor

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In a society where media and film reflects our moral and social values, it’s difficult to find women represented in media the way they are in real life. While it is common fact that our society is evenly split, it’s not shown within our media. In a study conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, there are approximately three men to every woman on screen.

It doesn’t get much better behind the camera. The same study found that across approximately 1,500 creators, only 7 percent of the directors, 13 percent of the writers and 20 percent of producers were female. That means that there are approximately five men to every one woman behind-the-scenes.

In regard to characterization, it is more likely for a woman to be placed in a domesticated setting than a man. Women are also much more likely to be sexualized or depicted wearing tight or revealing clothing. This creates a dichotomy of women characters, placing them into a box of either nurturer or sex toy.

If the world is almost 50/50, why is it that women are constantly being underrepresented in the media? Media representation is extremely influential in our social climate. As stated previously, our media reflects our moral and social values in society. So when women are continually underrepresented and characterized sexually or in a domestic setting, it seems only logical to believe this is the role in society that women are expected to play.

Women, just like men, don’t fit into one category or another. Women are much more complex characters and can rarely be classified as just a sexual goddess or a nurturing mother. The only way women will be more accurately represented would be to have more women involved on and off screen.

The demand for female-led movies has been higher than ever before. The popularity of “The Hunger Games” series, the blockbuster hit “Lucy” and the craze from the announcement of the new “Wonder Woman” movie are all proof these stories are what people want to hear. Women have so many complex and amazing stories to tell, and our society is more than ready to listen to them. Hollywood just has to be willing to help share their stories with the world.

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