Media Essay Q. Some critics have argued that questions of media representation are essentially issues of power. Explain what is meant by this argument, illustrating your answer with a range of examples taken from film text in relation to the representation of women. When posed with a question on the representation of women you have to first look at the most influential piece of text in the western hemisphere, the Bible and to its first chapter Genesis. Many people consider Eve to be the source of all evil in the world as she was the first creature on the planet to be disobedient and eat the forbidden fruit.
It is claimed that ever since women have been portrayed as disobedient, untrustworthy, weak and prone to temptation. The idea that men are superior may very well be a direct result of this act however a growing number of people dismiss this idea completely. Women have generally been seen to need help from men in times of danger and as such there are not many action films staring women and there are very few examples of women being on a par with or even being more powerful than men, until recently that is. More and more rapidly we see this new breed of action / adventure film where women take up the staring role and show that they are just as capable if not more capable than men at standing up for themselves and saving the day.
White directors have often steered clear of representing Native American women in film. They prefer to focus on the savage Indian man who battles the brave white man. Simply being a Native American woman, from the perspective of the white spectator, have been seen as contradictions. Motherhood and the care and responsibilities that the role entails humanizes Native Americans and makes their varied ...
These women are all powerful, resourceful and above all things beautiful. Men want them, women want to be them. These films play on Laura Mulvey’s three types of scopophilia, fetishism, voyeurism and narcissistic identification and are designed to tune into the wants and desires of men and women. Men want to be dominated and they derive sexual pleasure from watching these women, women would love to be able to do all the things these heroines do and still be beautiful. There are many examples of this kind of heroine, to name a few Charlie’s angles, Storm from the X men and Trinity from the matrix but the best example of this would have to be Lara Croft.
Lara Croft isn’t just a character any more she is a brand icon has been called the icon of the 1990’s and a cyber Goddess. She started out in November 1996 and the highly popular tomb raider computer game, popular because not only were you able to play a good action adventure game you were playing it was an attractive women who grunted and groaned when climbing walls and jumping over obstacles and men derived sexual pleasure from it. They enjoyed it so much that they have released four more tomb raider titles since and have released two motion pictures. Many people have drawn a comparison to Lara Croft and Indiana Jones (Steven Spielberg 1981-1989).
This is a good example of power issues between men and women. Indiana Jones is one of the all time great action heroes and is male, Lara Croft showed in her film (Tomb Raider Simon West 2001) that she is just as capable as him when it comes to collecting treasures and saving the world, so immediately we see that women can be just as good as men in action adventure film.
However there is that fact that although women are the main protagonists in these films the films are written and directed by men. Because most Hollywood directors are men male ideologies about what women should look like or act like are what the public see. These films are therefore generally created for men by men. Charlie’s angels (MGC 2000) is another good example of these power issues because here we see three women who have detective work and teamwork down to a science.
Full Monty Full Monty is a film which women fulfill their fantasies. Film is talking about a fantasy world where women are power holders and men are objects. Film is based on the idea that after hundred years of industrial reform, which was started on United Kingdom, modernized factories and high technology machines make blue-collar workers unemployed. Those unemployed Englishmen who are losing ...
In the course of Charlie’s angels and Charlie’s angles full throttle (MGC 2002) we see that these women are not only world-class detectives but they are also world-class martial artists (many of the people they defeat in hand to hand combat are men) but they are also amongst other things world-class dirt bike riders and world class jet skiers. Each of them holds all of the skills that any male spy such as Ethan Hunt or James Bond would have. But although they are the main protagonists in their films they still have help from Bosley who is a man and they also take their orders from a man (Charlie).
On some occasions however the angels have had to save Bosley from danger and it is apparent that he is somewhat less intelligent than the angels. In the films they have also been seen to use their sexuality to get what they want from men or to cause a distraction for one of their teammates. These films appeal to everyone in a sense and they take narcissistic identification and fetishism to a new level.
Because unlike in Tomb Raider there are 3 heroines all of whom are quite different from one another so different people would like different angles for different reasons whether it be the appearance of the character of the attitude of the character. We also see in the course of the film that the girls dress up in a variety of costumes from Swedish maids to surfer girls to bikers in leathers and even in Lucy Liu’s case as strict buy sexy boss type characters adding to the fetishistic nature of the film. This film also try’s to show that these women are not only as physically adequate as men but they are also as intellectually gifted. As well as the fact that Drew Barrymore is the executive producer for the film this film is very empowering for women on and off the camera. In the Matrix (Wachowski Brothers 1999) Trinity is also a good example of women being empowered because she shows on numerous occasions she can kill a man. She also displays authority over her comrades and until the very end of the first film she is seen as cold and emotionless.
Women in Front Line Combat When it comes to combat assignments and the needs of the military, men take precedence over all other considerations, including career prospects of female service members. Female military members have been encouraged to pursue opportunities and career enhancement within the armed forces, which limit them only to the needs and good of the service due to women being not as ...
This plays on fetishism again as trinity is dressed in black PVC and leather and through dress iconography and mise-en-scene easily fits the role of the dominatrix. In the film Erin Brockovich (Steven Sod oberg 2000) Julia Roberts plays a mother of three who try’s to get a job without ignoring her maternal responsibilities. In the film we see that she try’s to help the people of a small town get fair compensation from a local water company who are responsible for illness throughout the town. Her character is therefore supposedly of high moral fibre however we do see that on occasion that she uses her sexuality to get what she wants from men. For example she uses her sexuality to convince a young water board attendant to give her information she should not be privy to. This would suggest that Erin believes that men are easy to win over and realises that she is Beautiful and does not consider it wrong to use it to her advantage.
In the movie several of her female colleges who work with her at the law firm complain that her dress is inappropriate however she dresses this way to manipulate her boss. Erin plays a very strong character that always demands a reason for everything but she does show signs of vulnerability and requires the help of a man (next door neighbour George) to take care of her children. Erin takes her work so seriously that she misses key moments in her family life such as her young daughters first words. Indeed the whole situation seems a little far-fetched the character is an example of a woman being portrayed as knowledgeable in the art of male manipulation and therefore carries on the ideas in genesis that women are untrustworthy and would do whatever was necessary to get what they desire. In the X-men film (Brian singer 2000) another female action hero would have to be Storm.
Strom is the most powerful member of the team controlling all the elements (rain, wind, snow, temperature) in battle. We see that she is one of the more mature members of the team and often is the mediator in squabbles between male members of the group in particular Wolverine and Cyclops. “Emotions play a large role in Storm’s character. When in battle, her emotions overtake her.
When she is angered, she becomes extremely aggressive and uncompromising. This also emphasizes the masculine side of Storm. She is a determined character, and shows little warm feelings towards others. However, the new 2000 movie version of the comic presents Storm in a different manner. She is not portrayed as the original character that she was created to be.
Write a detailed commentary on the extract taken from Act 3, Scene 4 When we read 'King Lear' for the first time we are presented, on the whole, with a pessimistic view of men and society. In other parts of the play Regan, Gone rill and Edmund define treachery, whereas the character of Kent creates a stark contrast, showing us a strong sense of loyalty by following and supporting Lear throughout ...
Halle Berry, who plays the role of Storm in the movie, shows a more feminine side. The movie shows Storm as a weaker character than the television or comic series originally presented.” She is seen to be one of the leaders in the group and we often see that it is her who takes the younger mutants under her wing. This would suggest that although she is strong and a very masculine character her maternal and feminine side is not dead particularly in her dress sense as she adopts a very fetishistic leather blue cat suit. We see that although she is strong and has all power she still has the major weakness of being claustrophobic which greatly hinders her and she does seek male assistance in getting through her difficulties. However as I have mentioned there are cases in which she is needed to help the male characters so perhaps there needs to be both male and female characters in these films to maintain some kind of equilibrium.