Portrayal of Heroines in TV/Movies - Essentialism?

Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2015 07:17 am
Hi everyone Smile

I'm currently writing my BA about the topic in the title and I came upon a question that I couldn't really solve:
Feminism nowadays wants a more realistic portrayal of women but I can't seem to find a way to define what that "realism" is supposed to mean. Given that I don't want to implay Essentialism has any merit, I'm stuck with trying to figure out what exactly it is the feminism POV wants to see in those characters.
I also argue that many of the heroines portrayed in movies and films during the 80s and 90s where pretty much just men with boobs in how masculine they acted but that again gets me to the field of Essentialism - how do I argue what exacty feminine and masculine traits are?

Thanks for any help!
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Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2015 08:26 am
I'm not sure but I would suggest Google Scholar - https://scholar.google.com/
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Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2015 08:30 am
Would say part of how this should be done is using the same terms for female-versions as male ones, as with "heroes." Not "heroines," or "comediennes," or "actresses." If women and men wish to be equal refer to them as equals. Just as in the military you refer to female officers as "Sir" just like any male officer because it's the rank you're respecting, not the individual.

Style of dress needs to match up as well. If women wish to be equal to men quit wearing skirts, dresses, and top that show off your female characteristics. No man wears a business suit that shows off his chest or legs. When women do so they are no where close to their male equals because they've chosen not to be. They've chosen instead to remind everyone they're different from men and here's my legs and breasts in case you forget.

For sexual equality to happen, women need to quit opting to highlight their differences first and foremost. I don't regard a woman in a skirt showing her clevage as my equal in a business enviroment. Can dress like a woman on your days off to your heart's content. But if you wanna be my equal and be treated as such, look the part.
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2015 09:36 am
Sorry, but I don't agree with you at all on that. Women can dress however they prefer and it shouldn't diminish anyone's respect for them. If seeing a womans cleveage during a business meeting diminishes your respect for her, then that's your problem, not hers. Not to mention that you are basically saying women need to "bow down" to men's standards and make themselves seem more masculine so we can't distinguish any differences between the genders. Which in my opinion is a completely wrong approach. And why should women do that and not men? How is feminism an issue that has to only be tackled by men? Your argument is really flawed.

Your argument also doesn't help my issues at all either:

I need a way to argue that female representation has gotten better or, at the very least, is something feminism tries to change. And as "better" I chose to define "more realistic".
But I can't argue that female characteristics were being subdued in 80s/90s action movies in favour of making heroines more masculine and "strong" because that would imply women have - de facto - always patriarchical stereotypical female characteristics.
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