“Obsession”, Brian de Palma (screenshot)
The world of cinema remains behind as in front of the camera, under the influence of men. On the side of the actors, the inequality of wages between men and women for a role of equal importance are sorely visible. Moreover, the scarcity of the characters non-stereotyped offered to the actresses, and the criteria imposed in the industry perpetuate this domination. A new survey of the company’s analysis and presentation of data, Polygraph, as reported by Esquire, has worked to quantify the time of speech and the distribution of dialogues between the male and female roles in the film across the Atlantic.
“Touch not my time”, said mr.
Over 8000 scripts of feature films have been analyzed to perform this test. This panel, the largest ever known, has enabled it to deliver accurate statistics, and answer, among others, questions such as “how many movies have men as the central subject ?”, or “what are the factors that scenarios are more conducive to the diversity in the representation of gender ?”.
The productions of Disney and Pixar, for example, is a figure of very poor students in the area of gender equality : on 30 animation films, 22 give a time more important to the male characters. The stories worn by a leading female character are no exception to this sad rule : thus, The Little Mermaid and beauty and The beast give 70% of speaking time to the male characters, and the little dragon Mu-shu speaks more than his protégé Mulan…
In contrast, the recent and The snow Queen next to Disney and Vice Versa next Pixar tend to reverse the trend.
In 1991, the essayist american Katha Pollitt had said in a column published by the New York Times that she has called “The syndrome of the Stroumpfette”. It was the recurrence, in animation films for children, the figure of the female character is diving alone in a male universe, and therefore differentiated and essencialisée only according to its kind, whose milk are stereotypical. This “woman’s excuse” becomes THE woman and not the woman, it serves as a showcase and is not in any case imply equality or diversity.
The observation is not more glorious for the film shooting real. As well, romantic comedies, designed by the industry to target an audience that is majority female, give, they also the average amount of time speaking to men and women. And even if a growing number of production grand public have made the choice to opt for a leading female character (like the Alarm clock of the Force, the last Star Wars ), the male characters side-come in number to offset the low power and tilt, once again, the balance of the dialogues on the men’s side.
Rey and Han Solo in “Star Wars : Awakening of the Force”, J. J. Abrams
The analysis of the distribution of the dialogues and the speaking time between male and female roles in the movies is only a tool among many others to prove the persistence of male domination of the film industry. The famous “Bechdel test” is used for example to give an idea of the rate of the presence of the feminine gender in a film not in terms of quantity of text, but the content and modality of the exchanges. This reading grid is factual, which appeared for the first time in 1985 in the boxes of the comic strip Lesbian to follow Alison Bechdel, is based on three criteria : the film has two female characters identifiable, they talk to each other, and their subject is not a male character. According to the site Bechdeltest.comonly half of the production with contemporary american pass this test successfully…
The artists join forces
The past year proved to be rich in statements and speeches in order to denounce the sexism common in Hollywood, especially among actresses. A year ago, Jennifer Lawrence denounced strongly the wage inequality persistent in the industry: “I saw how much I was paid less than the lucky holders of cocks”she said in directing women to fight against this treatment.
More recently, Mila Kunis had published a long letter in which she came back with bitterness on the machismo that had permeated his career as an actress. It described the “micro-aggressions daily, which aimed to devalue the work and the own merit of the actresses”, as well as the manner in which they are “impelled to compromise their integrity in order to maintain the status quo, hoping that the change would come alone”, and claimed with fierceness and hope the opportunity to follow a different path.
Beyond these positions, signs of evolution concrete on the artistic side appear, particularly in the field series, in which creators such as Lena Dunham (Girls) or Jill Soloway (Transparent, I Love Dick) move the lines. Finally, with regard to the film production for the young public, we will not fail to remember that the studios japanese Ghibli one set of heroines, complex, strong and touching, and which are not necessarily in an environment that is majority male, the honour since more than thirty years. Therefore, it is not that hard.