Breadth of representations of women

There has certainly been an increase in the forms of femininity which are available in media over the last few decades, with – for example – women in the main roles of popular television series and films that are not just aimed at women, for example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, The Hours, Juno, and Black Swan. However, there remains a focus on women’s relationships with others as a central concern. For example, media aimed at women such as women’s magazines, ‘chick flicks’, ‘chick lit’, and popular television series like Sex and The City or Girls overwhelmingly focus on women’s relationships with men. Their careers, and other aspects of their lives, are generally incidental[164]. Common tropes in wider media also frequently represent women in relation to male protagonists rather than in their own right, for example as love interests, mothers, or sidekicks. One common recent example is the manic pixie dream girl, whose only purpose is to enable the brooding male hero to open up to life and love[165]. Projects such as Miss.Representation have highlighted the low percentage of women across media industries, particularly in film direction (5%) and entertainment television (25%)[166], linking this to continued narrow representations.

Intersections with age, race, class, and sexuality

164. Gill, R. & Herdieckerhoff, E. (2006). Rewriting the Romance: New Femininities in chick lit? Feminist Media Studies, 6(4): 487-50.
165. TV Tropes, http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ManicPixieDreamGirl
166. http://www.missrepresentation.org/

Intersections with age, race, class, and sexuality

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