I Want to See Women, Human and Awesome

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.

Say, whaaat?

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.

Only our stories are important.
Only our stories are important.

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.

Behold the first film that had me really interested in movies. Coincidence that it was a kickass woman fighting kickass women? And hey, female roles do not have to be violent to make up for their lack of penis - I've seen great roles since then that didn't involve weaponry or leather suits.
Behold the first film that had me really interested in movies. Coincidence that it featured such a strong female lead? Don’t think so.

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?


19 thoughts on “I Want to See Women, Human and Awesome

    1. I recently learned about it and it also made me laugh… until I thought about it and realise my god, it rarely happens! I suppose the equivalent would be if conversations on-screen between male characters were only about sports.

  1. it’s the way of the world, unfortunately. Men still have most of the power and though women in the western world may have equality in theory, it’s not so in reality. It’s not just the film industry. Look at every profession and industry in the world and you’ll see the vast majority of those in positions of power and on the higher paid scale are men.

    1. Yep! I always surprise people when I mention the fact that we have a wage gap in professional jobs here in Australia. As well as preference for male applicants as shown in blind testing.
      Rich, older men rule the world. Unfortunately it isn’t run by smart, compassionate, brilliant etc members from each facet of life.

  2. I was just thinking about this the other night, when I accidentally caught a bit of ‘You’ve Got Mail’. The gender roles in that movie really bugged me. I would love to see movies with more women, as actual women, not just through the eyes of those straight, white guys.

    And as a side note, I would also love to see less plastic women, it really does give a little more to the role when they can still move their faces 🙂

    1. I still have to see that film but the portrayal of gender roles can be painful. Haha exactly! Just as male actors look real, so should female actors. Nothing wrong with being pretty! …but well, nobody looks runway ready when they wake up in the morning, wipe off the lip gloss from our sleeping beauties.

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