Women have fulfilled film roles that exhibit their historically subservient or sexualised positions in society, among others. Over the decades, the gender identity of women has fluctuated to include powerful women, emotionally strong women, lesbian women, and even neurologically atypical women. These identities reflect the change in societal norms and what is now acknowledged as more likely and more mainstream.
The evolution of society’s views of women can be mapped through these roles; from 1950’s America where women were depicted as the counterpart to male characters and their masculinity either as a threat or support to the patriarchal norms; to more recent times, where these norms have been questioned, challenged, deconstructed and reconstructed to include women in a more equitable balance. The fight for equal access, equal pay and equal standing still exists in all walks of life and different cultures requiring continued scrutiny of the norms that made that fight necessary.
The essays offer a unique vantage of the changing culture and conversations that allowed, encouraged, and praised an evolution of women’s roles. They strive to represent the issues faced by women, from the early heyday of Hollywood through to films as recent as 2007; examining depictions of the masculine gaze, mental and physical oppression, the mother figure, as well as how these roles may develop in the future.
The book contains valuable material for film students at an undergraduate or post-graduate level, as well as scholars from a range of disciplines including cultural studies, media studies, film studies and women’s and gender studies.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Claire Menard, PhD, Cornell University
Anne-Caroline Sieffert, PhD, Alfred University
Part I. Effects and Consequences of the Male Gaze – an Old Way of Seeing
Chapter 1 The Danger of Obsession: Questions of Power and Freedom in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo
Lisa V. Mazey
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Chapter 2 Multiple Gaze and Transnational Assemblage in Chanwook Park’s The Handmaiden
Part II. Stirring Female Roles – a Current Way of Seeing
Chapter 3 Debra Granik’s Resilient Tomboys
Mary Jane Androne
Chapter 4 Belief in Our World: Feminine Transcendence in Contemporary Post-secular Cinema
Part III. Imagined and Future Females – a Possible Way to See
Chapter 5 She’s the Captain and the Caretaker: Imperial Domesticity and Salvation Narratives in Star Trek: Voyager
E. Leigh McKagen
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Chapter 6 Brains, Brawn, and Beguilement: Major Female Characters on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow
Karen J. Tuthill-Jones
Connecticut Technical High School System
Chapter 7 Drone Warfare and Female Warrior: Good Kill (2015) and Eye in the Sky (2016)
William and Mary
Chapter 8 “What a Lovely Day!”: Using Mad Max: Fury Road to Explore Female Representation in Post-Apocalyptic Pop Culture