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Representation Of Women In Sci-fi Action Films

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Representation Of Women In Sci-fi Action Films

Postby Ixaka » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:17 am

Hi :)

For my coursework I need to explore the representation of females in sci-fi action movies such as Electra, DOA , Resident Evil or Tomb Rider. As an action heroine / sex object. It would be great if you could help me by telling me whats your opinion on their representation and what do you feel they are really represented as. Is it positive or negative etc. Just please share your opinion! Thank you!
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Representation Of Women In Sci-fi Action Films

Postby Acharon » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:29 am


Well, it's a bit difficult to say! The thing about women in movies is that they almost always have to be beautiful/sexy, so that audiences will want to look at them(and not just male audiences; studies from TV soap operas show that female audiences also want to look at beautiful and glamorous women). So to condemn female movie stars as sex objects would be to ignore all the other(and more positive) things they also represent. I think, in terms of movies and other visual media, we should just take it for granted that women(and men, too) are shown in idealized archetypes, both so that we want to look at them and so that we often want to be them!

So I don't think action heroines should be dismissed as sex objects and thus as a negative and oppressive depiction of women. Rather the opposite. Those heroines represent *empowered* women - and so do pop groups like for instance the Spice Girls(to take one of the early examples of the phenomenon). Such women become the idols of young girls because they show them that girls can also have a say in society; can set the agenda and be successful. They don't just have to be passive. It has been shown that young girls have become much more independent and self-confident by following the example of their strong female pop culture idols.

Movie heroines like the ones in the movies you mention represent women as being powerful and aggressive; as being full of initiative and passion, and not afraid to show it. And as being a force for good. Strong female characters represent a development towards increasing equality with men. And we will no doubt see more and more movies, TV show and books starring strong female characters. I think this is a very positive thing, and a consequence of social trends that are developing towards greater gender equality.

- Tue Sorensen
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