entertainment

Women treated as eye candy in films even when they play leaders, finds study

29 Comments
By Sonia Elks

Playing a boss does not stop women being treated as eye candy in films, according to a study published on Tuesday that found "harmful stereotypes" still dominate the big screen.

Actors have hailed a widening of roles for women - including reports of a female 007 in next James Bond film - but sexism is still rampant, according to rights group Plan International and the Geena Davis research institute.

Female leaders were four times more likely to be shown naked on screen than similar male roles, they found, after studying the 56 top-grossing films of 2018 in 20 countries.

"A woman 007 or superhero in film is welcome. But our research shows they are exceptions and not the rule," said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, chief executive of Plan International.

"The bigger picture is that gender discrimination and harmful stereotypes still dominate on screen ... We need to stop the sexualization and the objectification of women and girls on screen and everywhere else."

Women are still under-represented on screen, according to research by San Diego State University, which found they were often relegated to supporting roles, and only one in three speaking characters in top-grossing films of 2018 were female.

But even when they do appear in powerful roles, they are often objectified, according to the new study, which used machine learning to examine 56 top films in countries from United States to India, Sweden, Uganda and South Sudan.

It found that nearly a third of powerful female characters were shown wearing revealing clothing compared to less than 10% of similar male characters.

Women bosses were four times more likely to be shown completely naked, at 2% compared to 0.5%.

The report also highlighted the prevalance of men behind the camera. None of the films analyzed in the report was directed by a woman, and only 10% had at least one woman among its writers.

"Girls need to see themselves reflected on screen and to see positive and authentic characters that can inspire them," said Geena Davis, the Oscar-winning star of "Thelma and Louise" who set up the institute to address harmful gender stereotypes.

"Content creators and storytellers in entertainment and media have an opportunity to support and influence the aspirations of girls and women and stop reinforcing damaging gender stereotypes."

© Thomson Reuters Foundation

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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Oh dear, more humbug from the feminists.

A female James Bond?

Stroll on!

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Cmon feminists, all these "studys" are getting old.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

There seems to be an obsession with creating an artificial equality everything. There will always be fields of interest which attract more men or women. The focus should be on giving equal opportunity regardless of gender etc.

And besides it's not like male actors are hired for their sex appeal right? Would Titanic be one of the biggest grossing films of all time if Gilbert Gottfried played the main character?

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Sorry but you can't deny mother nature and hundreds of thousands of years of evolution and instincts.

Males and females are different. What's attractive to one gender isn't necessarily attractive to the other. Some are but many aren't. Give women their due and a place at the table but don't try to fool mother nature.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

This article is an attempt to shame us into denying evolutionary psychology.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Okay, we’re looking for an ugly chick to lead in this movie. Anyone?

(nobody raises their hands)

next movie is about a beautiful and powerful woman who has an amazing body.

(All the women raise their hands)

Women WANT to be seen as attractive. Change my mind.

Gina Davis can go produce her own movies if she wants whatever it is she wants.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

A female James Bond completely misses the point and shows a complete lack of creativity. How about another Lisbeth Salander or Lorraine Broughton??

2 ( +7 / -5 )

"Girls need to see themselves reflected on screen and to see positive and authentic characters that can inspire them," said Geena Davis,

The Geena Davis who is best known for a movie that ends with two women driving off a cliff together? That kind of inspiration?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I want my daughters to see positive role models in entertainment, But these artificial female warriors who can take out a half dozen armed and battle hardened men with a few karate kicks are simply delusional models.

It's ironic that these "feminists" seem to find empowerment in basically imitating men in roles written with men in mind - essentially male characters that a woman has been inserted to. There is quite a conflict going on inside the minds of women who call that equality.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Study (reading the above posts) shows that the above study is nonsense.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Oh....and the men are not conforming to what women want? Not many dirt poor and powerless male heroes with women flocking to the theaters to see them is there? We all want what we want and women are no exception with unfair and over-reaching demands. Most of us try to conform in many difficult ways to fit the standards of the opposite sex. Mostly I think its those that failed who become the rank and file of these groups. And they fall behind someone like Geena Davis? Just last night I was rifling through old movie clips and saw her in soaked lingerie being eye candy.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

commanteerToday  09:14 am JST

"Girls need to see themselves reflected on screen and to see positive and authentic characters that can inspire them," said Geena Davis,

The Geena Davis who is best known for a movie that ends with two women driving off a cliff together? That kind of inspiration?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The whole notion of using the term "eye candy" as though it was obviously a bad thing is just BS, anyway. Heterosexual men like looking at good-looking women, heterosexual women like looking at good-looking men. The evidence suggests that heterosexual men like looking at naked women more than heterosexual women like looking at naked men.

"We need to stop the sexualization and the objectification of women and girls on screen and everywhere else."

Everywhere else? Are you sure?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Another morality lecture from the 'woke crowd'. They are worse than the 50's churches. At least the churches gave us hospitals, schools, volunteer groups, etc. These people offer nothing.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

So men in those comic book movies not? What's wrong with appreciating the female or male body. We are all human.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I'm getting really fed up with this topic.

Who cares?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Look at female armour v male armour in many shows and games. Goblins and trolls are like "Why is that warrior wearing a metal bikini?"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Capuchin:

Gilbert Gottfried (iago the bird in alladin and adoption agency guy from problem child) as main character in titanic.

I would so watch that...just for fun. Even better if Gottfried played Rose.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So wear a burqa or potato sack. Problem solved. By the way 99.9% of men do not have the body of Captain America.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

We need to stop the sexualization and the objectification of women and girls on screen and everywhere else."

Dear Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen: Please set up a colony somewhere and do this on your own time and see how it goes. For the colony I suggest the moon, but really, just go somewhere and please leave the rest of us alone. I think the REAL problem with society is the DESEXUALIZATION of women which has led to a pent up, frustrated society of deeply unhappy people. Such people tend to sit back and come up with grand schemes for the rest of society...ring a bell?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's so great to see all you men talk about how this is a waste of your time...... As a woman, this comes as no surprise to me. Most of what popular culture has taught me is I have to be hot and servile to men to succeed. I'm glad to see people talk about it, because it does affect me and many others around me. You sound so incredibly narrow-minded and selfish with some of these comments.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

 Most of what popular culture has taught me is I have to be hot and servile to men to succeed.

Oh, grow up. Men have to be tall and attractive with a strong jaw, and preferably a full head of hair, to succeed. Actually, they don't have to, but it provides a clear advantage. You can stomp around and complain about human nature all you want, but learning what it is and adapting to it is a much more successful strategy.

My wife and my daughters are anything but servile, and I think they would laugh at your generalization - maybe because it is derived from pop culture and not from real life. If you are having problems with this, it's probably because you are swallowing the type of weak nonsense promoted in this article. Women are naturally strong. Be a woman, and play the field as a woman. Geena Davis is not a great example. She can make her own films, but she chooses to whine instead.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Better than fat ones that are not eye candy.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Men have to be tall and attractive with a strong jaw, and preferably a full head of hair, to succeed.

Exactly. Men are treated no differently. Look at any movie with an out of shape male character. They're almost always treated as comic relief or as a joke. Best case, they might be the lead and somehow manage to prove to the 'eye candy' female lead that they're worth dating despite being unattractive. Both men and women are treated as 'eye candy' in films, but don't point it out or you're the sexist one.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Be a woman, and play the field as a woman.

She is...by using psychological tactics....whining and blaming men for everything. These are key weapons in the female arsenal for gaining sympathy to get what they want. Men are weak to these.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

extanker

Both men and women are treated as 'eye candy' in films, but don't point it out or you're the sexist one.

Mister Rogers says, 'Can you say "Burt Reynolds", "Robert Redford", "Paul Newman", Tom Cruise", "Leonard DiCaprio". "Will Smith"? When I was in HS, the girls watched 'General Hospital' because of the 'Rock Doc' Rick Springfield. All these guys and more - hunka hunkas burning love.

Geena Davis needs to stop whining. People in Hollywood who got 'the look' get the most notoriety and hype and that's a fact. Hollywood needs to start making fresh original movies again. The critics said in 2016 if you don't like the new 'Ghostbusters' (in name only) with an all-female cast then you were sexist. Wrong! The trailers showed that it was a pointless uninteresting uninspired piece of garbage. Cast members' sex had nothing to do with it. Some things are best left alone!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I would love to see Miley as a Jamie Bond. I would definitely go see it. The woman they have selected now does nothing for me. I wish her luck though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would love to see Miley as a Jamie Bond.

As in Miley Cyrus...? Why?? I really hope that there's another Miley that I am forgetting because I can't understand why you would want to see Hannah Montana on crack playing 007.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A female James Bond?

Nope.

A female 007. James Bond is still James Bond.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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