Star Wars, where are the women?

Love this post from Laura Hudson on Wired.



If you’ve never really noticed the absence of women in Star Wars (or movies at large), consider yourself living proof of how the limiting narratives of culture and media can warp our expectations, to the point where the presence of one woman in a cast of dozens of memorable male characters can seem like perfect equality.

Women accounted for a mere 33 percent of the roles in the top 100 Hollywood films in 2011, according to a study commissioned by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. When it came to the leading characters, women were even more dramatically under-represented, comprising only 11 percent of identifiable protagonists.

It gets even worse when you look at all-ages entertainment. Women — who, by the way, make up half the human population — comprised only 28 percent of speaking roles in top-grossing family films last year. And when women did appear, they were far less likely to hold roles of power or influence: making up only 3 percent of executive portrayals, for example, compared to 25 percent in real life….

Criticisms about representations of gender (or race and other diversity) are often countered in fandom by sociological or scientific analyses attempting to explain why the inequality happens according to the internal logic of the fictional world. As though there is any real reason that anything happens in a story except that someone chose to write it that way.

What are kids learning about gender when they watch “Star Wars” again and again and again? All those fantastic creatures the creators of “Star Wars” came up with, but their creativity screeched to a stop when it came to imagining females.

Please read the whole, great post here:

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