Move over, men: Women empowered in popular media show changes on horizon

Alex O'Brien

Alex O'Brien, Reporter, Photographer, Videographer

Who says that female-driven movies can’t sell? Movies that feature female leads have become popular over the last decade because of the positive role model these leads set for girls of all ages.

How about changing up the social norms?”

— junior Princess Dikko

From Mulan to Legally Blonde, movies that feature strong female leads set positive examples for girls of every age. The modern movie industry seems male-dominated, but recently the ladies have stepped into the spotlight. With the release of such films as Legally Blonde, movies featuring women have been steadily on the rise in popularity. More strong women are being cast as leads because of the positive feedback that accompanied the release of the movie.

“Movies that feature women as the lead role are a little different because most movies feature men as the lead role, but I think its good to promote gender equality,” junior Widmayer Dorzema said.

The need for gender equality in movies is also a pressing matter because the representation of women in movies is not always fair.  Women are presented as the damsel in distress and usually a really weak character, which does not send a positive message to young girls. Recently, however, there has been an increase in dominant female characters that take the lead and send a positive and inspiring message to young girls.

This message tells these girls that they can become whoever they want to become in life and they don’t have to stop for anything.

“Frankly, there aren’t enough women in movies as is unless we’re talking romantic comedies or romances, but also when women are in movies they are usually highly sexualized or they’re extremely weak characters who are either dumb or otherwise useless and that sends a really bad message to the girls in the world because they grow up and wonder if that’s all that’s there for them. And that’s all they see, and that’s why there needs to be more strong women in movies,” senior Sarah Mockalis said.

The limited presence of strong female leads can seriously harm young girls perception of what they should become when they grow up. Weak female characters teach girls that all they should care about is being pretty and making sure that boys like them and many people see this as a large weakness of the movie industry.

“It annoys me. Usually when women are featured as leads it is always romanticized instead of focusing on the woman as an individual. The movies usually tend to follow escapades leading up to her ‘happy ending’ and her ‘true love.’ This is fine once in a while, but how about changing up the social norms?” junior Princess Dikko said.

The strong women that are beginning to emerge in popular movie represent only a taste of the movie industry deciding to change things up and challenge norms set up by society. Women finally can receive a chance to step out of the shadows and onto center stage as equals.