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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Women in the Movies  

2011-04-01 04:53:10|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Women in the Movies - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 这是一篇我最近在《华盛顿邮报》看到的报道,它呼吁人们关注最近在好莱坞影片中强力女主角的缺乏。在读文章前,我已经大致意识到在电影里,男影星的出境率比女演员明显地要高。而这篇文章让我更清晰地认识到这种差别和其中一些可能的原因。

An article that I recently read in the newspaper The Washington Post called attention to a pronounced lack of strong female leads in recent Hollywood movies. Before reading the article, I had already been vaguely aware that movies starring men are much more prevalent than those starring women, but this article gave me a more concrete idea of the disparity and of the some of the possible reasons for it.

Drawing evidence from box office ticket sales, the author, Ann Hornaday, notes that dramas featuring women in serious roles tend to be financial failures. Apparently, part of the reason for these films' failure is that women go to the movies less frequently than men. Young men are the most likely to go to the movies, accounting for the success of action and comedy films, which are generally popular with that demographic. Some of the experts that Hornaday interviewed use this evidence to claim that the lack of strong women roles is not due to any sort of systematic sexism in the film industry, but rather, the result of purely commercial considerations. Film companies simply want to earn money, and if women-centered movies are not selling, they are not going to make them.

While it does seem doubtful to me that film companies are not making movies starring women as an act of intentional sexism, I think that the difference in commercial success between movies with male leads and those with female leads is indicative of a trend that bears commenting on. The fact that female-centered movies' lack of success is explained away by women's low attendance of movies in general seems to me to indicate that women are the only ones expected to go see these sort of movies. There is no reason that movies about women could not enjoy the same success that movies about men do if men were willing to go see them. However, as this article seems to suggest, movies about women are for the most part only appealing to women, who do not go to the movies enough to make these movies commercially viable. Reading this article made me wonder why exactly movies about women are usually so unappealing to men. My impression is that women are generally more willing to see movies with a protagonist of the opposite sex than men are. Is this because the themes in movies with female protagonists are more gender specific? Or is it because men are simply uninterested in female protagonists?


If you're interested in reading the full article, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/23/AR2009102300194.html?sid=ST2009102204685


讨论问题:你认为,男观众会不愿意看女性主演的片子吗?若是这样,为什么呢?  (Discussion Question: Do you think men are unwilling to see movies with female protagonists? If so, why do you think this might be?)


Photo: American Actress Bette Davis Trailer screenshot (Dark Victory trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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