The myth of strong female leadership (2023)

unmatched intelligence; physical abilities bordering on the superhuman; unmatched self-confidence; all attributes ascribed to the modern female lead, who is either a single woman dominating the world of work or a superhero asserting her power over a weaker and often male counterpart. It is a time of transition, where women in films are no longer portrayed simply as damsels in distress, but given the lead role that leaves us feeling empowered and hopeful that we are finally getting a realistic portrayal in the popular world; but are we?

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That's the question I have to ask myself every time I wrap up a movie or series with a supposedly strong female lead, who plays her role cleavage and often engages in hypersexualized dialogue about her body. Hollywood has declared 2012 the "Year of the Woman" for the film industry, a reflection that the strong woman is the new powerful man in our society, but many people find itRepresentations remain largely favor of men.

There is a severe lack of writing for women, particularly as anything but a supporting character, and those who get a chance to play the lead are often portrayed in a heavily feminised light. Which often appears asindependent and self-sufficient charactersAt first glance, they turn out to be hysterical women who are forced to enlist the help of others to solve their common and very feminine problems. It is usually an emotional hurdle that the female character must overcome, as opposed to the critical thinking problems that the male characters are tasked with solving. That's not to say that the complications and naivety of the female characters' struggles aren't real or don't deserve to be singled out as highlights in a person's life; It's just that the lack of neutral symbolism perpetuates the notion that women face and cannot understand anything other than emotional stressors.

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It's the misconception that the female heroine being supernatural or superhuman in some way is an example of female strength that is preventing the film industry from moving forward. And when a strong female character emerges, it's in a gendered way; she either takes on a masculine role as a way of balancing her femininity, or she is overly feminine and therefore not taken seriously in her position of power.

This joke isn't reserved for summer blockbusters and other fictional media either; A good example of the media's apparent double standard in portraying real women was the coverage of Hillary Clinton when she was first running for President. Most discussions were based on what Clinton was wearing rather than the important messages she was sending andwhile the focus on her clothing isn't explicitly sexist, Reporting on male politicians almost never highlights their attire, so it's worth noting. Distorted reporting reduces your position of power and causes viewers to unconsciously ignore your position on important political issues.

we celebrate theminflux of female superheroes, we let our guard down a bit as she's right there on screen dictating the situation looking like her male counterparts. But there's something else he commands, and it quickly becomes apparent that his body's power is being used in more ways than one.

We are aware that sex sells and that fact is not inherently gender specific. Male superhero characters are given tight-fitting costumes and require unrealistic muscles, just as female characters are asked not to leave anything to the imagination when fighting crime. Beyond the basic image, however, there is a deeper implication. The revealing nature of the man's clothing is said to emphasize his immense strength; Your physiology is decorated to prove your superiority. On the other hand, the female figure's scant clothing emphasizes her sexuality; Her power does not come from physical strength but from her ability to deflect and woo with her fertile curves. She is not a strong woman; she is delicate, with often unnatural proportions.

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The myth of strong female leadership (3)

Famke Janssen played the phoenix in five live-action X-Men films

The myth of strong female leadership (4)

X-Men Phoenix / Arte de Greg Land, Matt Ryan, Justin Ponsor

While a male character's powers often demonstrate purely physical abilities, a female character's are often based on her emotions, with her own control over her instability becoming an implicit achievement. He is capable of influencing others mentally or emotionally, and is sometimes called upon to disappear entirely in order to get his way. Phoenix, for example, has telepathic and telekinetic powers. She is portrayed as a caring and caring character, but also struggles to control her powers, which are sometimes too much for her to handle alone, forcing her to rely on others to work them out. And the only physical representation of a female superhero is the counterpart of an existing male character; In addition, these secondary characters often become victims later in the fictional plot.

While no explicitly negative message is conveyed in the hyper-feminized portrayal of the strong female lead, one could argue that the blatant eroticization of female characters affects viewers in quite obvious ways. It becomes difficult for a viewer to block out the visual stimuli and still notice other qualities, one of which is that women are capable of strength and independence. Men, boys, and other women internalize the message and respond with personal and social behaviors that serve to shape our environment.

The proliferation of the hypersexualized woman trope creates a social climate in which the objectification of women remains acceptable and the pressure to conform to these projected fictional ideals becomes a daily struggle for women and girls. When self-esteem falls, the rate of eating disorders and other mental disorders increasesrises quickly.And without an identifiable female character to act as a realistic heroine, these fake characters become the status quo for women; the expectations to which they are influenced. When a light is myopically focused on the imaginary woman, the truly strong women of the world will fall into darkness, their voices unheard.

The scrutiny of strong female figures in the media is not about stronger representation per se, but equal representation; It's an environment where women are portrayed realistically and where that reality is celebrated rather than condemned. It's a subtle shift in societal expectations, to the point where media companies no longer have all the power to make decisions, but people do. It is the realization that these gender differences still exist in our culture and that they weigh heavily on our consciousness and self-perception. And finally, it is a simple awareness that these ideals and expectations are not real, that this pressure is unfair and unattainable, and that the only way to achieve any kind of change is to be aware of the messages behind the tiny and sexual clothes to be. Dialog. ; there will always be distorted information, the only question then is whether to listen to it or not.

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Morgan Kraljewic

Morgan is a freelance writer with a BA in Journalism and Women's Studies. An avid reader and knowledgeable coffee lover, she can often be found at local cafes reading and writing in her well-worn diary. Hoping to one day see every square inch of the world, he often spends hours traveling the world in his dreams. Follow Morganbloodto view other items and various cat-based supplements.

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