Posted by: chrissypurcell | October 14, 2012

Women in Hollywood

One of the big ideas for me in this week’s reading was the idea that in our (heterosexual) male-dominated media environment, not only are women portrayed in a fashion that caters to heterosexual men, but the world view portrayed is also filtered through a male lens. As O’Shaughnessy & Stadler explain, “female audiences are asked to look through a male perspective, to see things through men’s eyes (2012, p.275). This reading reminded me that, as a woman, my own construction of self has been shaped by this male perspective whether I like it or not.

Sure, I might be a a savvy feminist who chooses to support media texts that I think send female-positive messages (and who chooses to critically analyze texts that don’t…), but that doesn’t change the fact that I only have access to the texts that are already out there in production – which are primarily created by men.

Here’s a pretty startling graph demonstrating the percent breakdown of women Directors, Writers, Executive Producers, Producers, Editors and Cinematographers employed in the 250 top-grossing Hollywood films of 2011 – women are in black, men in gray (here’s a link to the full article as well:


If we’re ever going to create a media environment that is hospitable towards women – or really, just supportive of equal treatment – we’ll need to work towards a media environment that allows women to have more control in the processes of production. And fast.

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