Hollywood is slowly making progress in terms of giving female actors and women more significant part in the production of films. Although it still has a long way to go but with the release of female-led action film Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the science fiction action-thriller Shell these stereotypes are being challenged with each passing day.
Although Hollywood is deeply entrenched in gender bias but there is comparative improvement in women participation, what with women screen writers, directors and producers. These women are challenging the norms and gearing up to challenge the status quo as more and more join ranks to change this perception that Hollywood is not that approachable for women especially if it is a big budget mega project. Otherwise according to an independent source there were around 50% women director’s at this year’s Sundance film festival. However as soon as it comes to getting a wide receiving film they have to struggle in the industry.
The portrayal of women also indicates a slight sexism that is a direct by-product of this gender inequality. According to the data most of the films released from 2007 to 2012 only 30.8% of speaking characters were women. This number is considerably low and indicates the amount of screen time a woman get is almost a quarter of the film.
Similarly if we compare the percentage of women who wore sexually revealing clothing as compared to men was around 28.8% to the 7% by men. This again highlights the fact that women are to an extent objectified more than men in these films. The roles are only significant up to a level and mostly forgettable as compared to their male counter-parts.
If we talk about the stats concerning how many times a female character is portrayed as partially naked as compared to male is 26.2% as compared to 9.4% of men. These figures have a definite pattern to them and one can easily conclude that there is something definitely wrong with such imbalance in the figures. The fact that women are only portrayed as some object of gratification is abohrant to say the least. This patter needs to be changed and women must also be given significantly constructive and serious roles which involve more than showing skin and falling in love time and again.
Another trend which could easily ascertain to the fact that women are not given their due representation in the major production films is the fact that only 10.7% of movies have a balanced caste where the number of female actors is equal to the male actors. Otherwise on average there are 2.5 male actors for every female actor in a movie and it is considered to be acceptable.
Although with more and more female screenwriters and directors coming into the film industry this ratio of female representation is expected to go up further in the future. According to statistics if a woman screen writer is there or a director the female participation in film is increased by 9 to 10% as far as actors are concerned.
More and more participation by women will ensure that there are more active roles played by women in the film-making industry which is less and less sexualized to help remove the stereotypes.