ONTD Political

7 Ways Women and Girls Are Stereotyped, Sexualized, and Underrepresented on Screen

6:15 pm - 11/30/2012
New report highlights staggering gender disparities in film and TV—even children's shows.
—By Dana Liebelson and Asawin Suebsaeng | Fri Nov. 30, 2012 2:24 PM PST

It's no big revelation that women and minority actors have long struggled to land prominent roles in big-budget Hollywood fare. And entertainment and media's oversexualization of women (even in Olympics coverage) has always been pretty damn bald-faced.

But how about kids' TV shows, or family movies?

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (founded in 2004 by Oscar-winning actress and United Nations special envoy Geena Davis) has published a new report (PDF) detailing the stereotypes, barriers, and straight-up exploitation that still define how badly women and girls are treated on screen. The study takes a deep dive into prime-time television, as well as children's programming and family-friendly films. Women scarcer in prime-time shows and family films, and those films depict "fewer women in prestigious occupational positions," the study notes. "Females are not only missing from popular media, when they are on screen, they seem to be there merely for decoration."

Check out some of the stunning stats below:


NOT surprising but still depressing.
anolinde 1st-Dec-2012 07:22 am (UTC)
I'm surprised the numbers for thin female characters aren't higher.
lanwut 1st-Dec-2012 08:24 am (UTC)
Thin by what standards though? Where does thin begin and end for the people doing this? I'd like to know that, too.
ivysaur 1st-Dec-2012 08:57 am (UTC)
I thought that at first, too, but then I added up the percentage numbers of men and women and they equal 100, so it's not a percentage of thin women as opposed to women of other body types, but a percentage of thin women as opposed to thin men. There are more men than women, and therefore it's likelier that there'll be more thin men than women.
maladaptive 1st-Dec-2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
That was my thought, 'cause when I turn on the TV I'd say it's closer to 95% of women on TV are thin-- except certain talk shows or the comic relief "fat lady," they are almost all thin.

I wonder if the other numbers are like "magical talking animals" or something.
sihaya09 1st-Dec-2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
That was my first thought. It is SO rare to have a non-thin female character on TV. Like, I can think of maaaaaybe 10 off the top of my head. Maaaaaybe, and the only lead character is from Mike and Molly.
veracity 1st-Dec-2012 08:15 am (UTC)
I love this org. They practically write my paper for my conference in March for me.
usnbfs 1st-Dec-2012 11:32 am (UTC)
I'd love to know how and what they counted. In the pdf it says "A purposive sample of approximately a week of prime-time shows was selected from 10 popular broadcast and cable channels. In general, shows were randomly sampled from series regularly airing between February 6 and March 4, 2012. Several types of programs were sampled but excluded from analysis: breaking news, sports, movies, specials, award shows, and programs with an atypical duration (i.e., double length, condensed broadcast) within a series. After exclusions, a total of 275 repeatedly scheduled TV shows were sampled from scripted and reality-based broadcast and cable programming"
That sounds like a pretty good sample, but it doesn't say anything about how thinness was defined.
magli 1st-Dec-2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
Is the outfit the guy opposite Ariel is wearing considered "sexy attire"? She's half-naked and he's wearing shirt and pants.
chasingtides 1st-Dec-2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
I think it's that they are both characters from the same franchise.
hellaine 1st-Dec-2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
I think this is sort of on topic, but I've spent the past week doing a crash course in Warcraft lore (I love my Warcraft) and man we females sort of get the short end of the stick there. Wish there were more characters for us to sort of dig/hero for but most all of the heros/leaders are male and most of the few badass females we get used as plot devices only (aka Azshara).
elialshadowpine 1st-Dec-2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
WoW has some great badass women characters... but, they are almost entirely characters that you meet questing. They aren't the lore figures that are prominent in the books and such, which often get treated poorly (TYRANDE, enough fucking said). I'm pretty sure they have different teams handling the lore for the quests, vs. the overall world lore, so that may be part of it. Cause in quests, there are some particularly awesome women characters.

Unfortunately, they almost always end up getting dropped at the end of their quest line, although this seems to be less true in the new expansion. Shokia and Kiryn, for example, are pretty freaking badass and you see them in multiple different zones.
flyingwild 2nd-Dec-2012 07:21 am (UTC)
One of the things I've always loved about the Guild Wars universe is how many amazingly badass women are present in the games.
recorded 1st-Dec-2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
On a more positive note:

tedxwomen is live-streaming right now.

Anyone wanna make a live-post for this?
bestdaywelived 1st-Dec-2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
velvetunicorn 2nd-Dec-2012 03:15 am (UTC)
lol i love you for this comment. not that it's a good thing but it's definitely not equatable.
This page was loaded Apr 25th 2018, 2:40 am GMT.