There’s no avoiding it; the gender equality in media is abysmal. We’re talking in film, television, print and online media. We’re talking on-screen portrayals and careers in the media. Essentially, women aren’t being given a fair go. Okay, here’s the part where I would rattle off a whole list of numbers and statistics about women in the media. However the New York Film Academy has just done such a grand job at it already, any attempts by me would just be inadequate.
I don’t know about you but numbers just seem to have a better impact on me when displayed in a visual format. And NYFA have done just that. If you want to see the entire post about women in the media you can see it here. Overall it’s staggering how much women are not being represented in film, and even when they are it’s usually playing a role of a mother or lover. So why is this inequality occurring? (Apart from the centuries of gender inequality being the social norm)
Perhaps it’s due to the lack of gender balance in the media industry. Again, I look to NYFA’s post for an illustration of this.
And this unbalance is occurring in newsrooms, television and newspapers, as well as film. How do we expect women to be properly represented when the people who are presenting them are predominantly male? Maybe that’s something to consider.
It’s not all bad news though, there are shows that are challenging this deep-rooted sexism. Some of my favourites include New Girl, 30 Rock and Orange is the New Black. The latter is one that is really rich in ways that it challenges stereotypes. First of all, the majority of the cast is female which is a win for us ladies. But what interests me the most is not the white upper-middle-class female main character, but the rich diversity of women who are portrayed in the show. Homosexual and bisexual women, older women, women of colour and transgender women all play a central part in this show, which is another win for us ladies considering most women in the media are ones who are young and caucasian.
We’ve got a long way to go, but at least we’re starting to see some change.