The Shame of Family Films

The The Shame of Family Films In the article “The Shame of Family Films” the author, Julia Baird, discusses how there is a lack of female heroines or female main characters in children’s movies. She then goes on to describe a study done by Stacy Smith and Marc Choueiti at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, who analyzed 122 family films, including the fifty top-grossing ones during the years 2006 to 2009, ranging from G to PG-13. In the study they found that 29. 2 percent of the characters were female.

They also found that one in four characters were portrayed “sexy, tight, or alluring attire”, which was compared to one in twenty-five male characters. The author then went on discuss how many women were found behind all these children’s movies. She referred to a study called The Annenburg Study that was commissioned by Geena Davis Institute and it found that the percentage of animators who were female, the percentage of women who form crowd scenes in family films, and the percentage of female narrators were all seventeen percent.

Related article: Shame is Worth a Try Summary

This article made me think back to the movies I watched as a child and I realized that a lot of those movies were also sexist. Many of the movies were and are made with traditional gender roles set in them. They portrayed a feeble main female character that was saved by a strong male character or a main character was a very strong minded male who was assisted by a female sidekick. I agree with Baird that there is a lack of heroines in children’s movies. Many children may continue to follow the traditional gender roles because of the movies they watch.

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Boys will think that they are suppose to be strong, powerful, and intelligent and the girls will think that they have to be weak and that even if they are strong and have power, a male will always have more power. I would like to see more female characters in children’s movies not abiding by the traditional gender roles because I think little girls should know that they can give boys a run for their money when it comes to becoming strong and powerful. I grew up with the traditional gender roles and I hated that I had to.

I didn’t like when my brothers and I would play “doctor’s office” or “school”, I had to be the nurse or teacher when they were able to be the doctor or principal. It made me feel like I was second best compared to them and I don’t think any little girl should feel the way I used to feel. Every child should feel like they can become whatever he or she wants and should not limit themselves because of the gender roles many are taught as a child. Reference: http://www. newsweek. com/2010/09/22/why-family-films-are-so-sexist. html

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