Do we have to be broken before we can be independent? – The Movies tell us so….

I was talking to a female friend at the weekend and we were discussing my post about Lara Croft as a role model. She mentioned an article about female portrayal in movies and talking about movies supporting female empowerment. We then realised that we struggled to name many movies which had one or more prominent female characters, who when they met up didn’t spend 90% of the conversation discussing a man (most often the lead role) or their love lives.

Why do men have to ‘push’ use to be strong women, Can we not be strong in our own right? Or does that have to be created by a positive or negative male influence

Legally Blonde – Go getting ditzy female, is supposed to be a feel good flick about a woman turning her life around to create her own successful future. However only goes to study Law to try to win back her lazy cheating boyfriend, great!

Bridget Jones – A supposedly helpless but independent Londoner however all she goes on about is her weight, her pants, and wondering if men like her. She only stands up for herself eventually after she gets cheated on. Even then when she is in a healthy normal relationship she seems to regress into a paranoid wreck

Charlie’s Angels – A story of three fearless successful independent woman who stop crime and bad things and look great at the same time, oh wait… They work for a man. Who can’t even be bothered to meet them face to face, charming. Could they not own and run that agency on their own?

James Bond – Now don’t get me wrong I love the movies but to have the main protagonist who is a perpetual womanizer than gets idolised and his behaviour accepted by his peers and even the government? Furthermore the only two female role are Miss Moneypenny – a woman who seems to constantly want to be with James even though she knows he’s a womanizer and M (Judi Dench at the time) a powerful female role model to get to such a high position in MI6 however in the World is Not Enough she seems silly enough to get captured until a man comes to the rescue. Men idolize these movies, does that mean we condone that behaviour as acceptable?

I’m not saying all movies should be strong feminist portrayals but I feel it is a shame in today’s world that women seem to only be portrayed as strong, independent, successful people after either men have helped them in some way or damaged them by cheating on them, or having tried to physically hurt them. For me this conjures up a belief that women somehow cannot be independent or successful in their own right, due to their own intrinsic morals values and beliefs. For me this is a shame.

The worst thing, the more we see this portrayal of women in television and in movies, the more we believe that it is true in our own lives.

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