Normally, I don’t watch movies on the television. The tv’s ability to stretch out a film to fit in an hour or more’s worth of ads hurts me, hurts me, but I found myself watching two films last night. I’m sure there will be some kind of advertisement repercussion, perhaps while walking through the mall I’ll spot a vacuum cleaner and start shouting “Only $199! Only $199!”. Anyway, the films were both centered around the lives of women. Female characters. Ladies.
It was almost odd watching a movie with little male action while it feels normal to not see women in a film. Generally, films are focused on a male character’s life and goal which are both viewed through the perspective of man. Generally, he’s white and straight. You know, you’ve seen movies. I always catch myself when watching a film wishing that there was either a female character (at all), a female character who serves a purpose beyond being a girl, or more than one female character. Preferably doing something for the plot besides sex or to give our male lead a way to express a thought / feeling / idea / past / move along his action. Since I was a kid I have just plain wished for a female character to be relevant and awesome and human.
The issue for me isn’t replacing guys with girls – I don’t want to cull male roles. I just want more female ones.
What’s apparently so icky or unworthy about a woman’s POV / role? Perhaps those aren’t the issue and it has to do with a perception that movies with female roles aren’t going to make money. If the writing is good, the acting is good, the filming is good, then why shouldn’t they do well? And why should a film have to be a BIG success or else it was nothing? I’m not just asking for a whole movie with only women (though those 2 I watched in a row were both entertaining). I want to interject relevant female roles into male dominated movies. Note: relevant. Not girls for the sake of girls. And when I say ‘awesome’ I don’t mean they have to be the hero or villain who is physically able – she can be anything on the spectrum and still be relevant and well-written.
I think this question is asked of all ‘minorities’ (after all, women and people of different ethnicity are actually not in the minority, though people of varying sexuality are). I don’t want to make this an essay on equality however, because there are so many people who are smarter and more eloquent than I am who have already written fabulously on this topic in ways I never could. I just wanted to join the voices saying that female roles are important and wanted.
It would be nice to not have a daughter one day who continually leaves the cinema wishing there had been an awesome woman in the film she just saw, when there was no reason she shouldn’t have been. That’s how I always left the movies as a kid. At least it fueled my imagination because I’d then spend ages coming up with ways a kickass girl could have been in the movie?
What do you guys think – more ladies or films are fine?