Gender Inequalities in Film Industry

Over the years, gender inequality has remained as one of the primary hurdles to human development. Despite substantial progress over the years, gender equity has not yet been attained by women and girls. The difficulties that girls and women face are a major cause of inequality. Women frequently experience various forms of discrimination in the areas of politics, health, employment, and education, which seriously impedes their capacity to grow and exercise their right to free choice. Only four of the 135 countries studied recently had gender equality.  The four countries included Norway, Sweden, Cuba, and Costa Rica. Notably, the causes and extent of gender inequality vary all over the globe and in different sectors. A focus on the film industry exposes the many dynamics of gender segregation, where on-and-off-screen disparities run rampant. Of movies released in 2014, women made up only 28.7% of movie speaking roles. Further, an analysis of over 2,000 films showed that women had fewer dialogues. The number of women directors is also dramatically low and unexposed. Research by showed that of movies released between 2003 and 2012, only 16.3% had women directors. On March 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first and only women to win an Oscar Award in film directing. Surprisingly, most actresses and female directors receive less pay than men playing similar roles. This paper will critically explore the degree of gender inequality in the film industry, and employs Catherine Mackinnon’s theory to allude to institutional bigotry in the film sector.

Gender Inequality in Film Industry a Manifestation of Institutional Bigotry

Based on facts and figures, it is without a doubt that the film industry is an epitome of institutional prejudice. Notably, not only are there fewer women in the industry, they are underpaid, underexposed and unappreciated compared to their male counterparts. According to Catherine Mackinnon’s “Towards a Feminist Theory of State,” the film industry categorizes society into two sexes: men and women (3). Sexuality is the primary determinant of social relations. There seems to be a systematic confiscation of sexuality in the film industry. In other words, a person’s sex determines whether or not to be accepted in a film, which role to play, and how much to earn. Naturally, women are significantly disadvantaged; they are given limited roles and make less. Over the years, the film industry has perpetuated and internalized these disparities to a point they appear normal rather than unjust (Mackinnon 4). Notably, never a time in history have there been more women than men in the movie sector. Further, regardless of their prowess and bravura, women; naturally receive low pay and exposure.

In defense, men in the film industry have dismissed claims that the sector thrives on rampant gender inequalities. They criticize feminists of focusing on sexual relations whereas the industry thrives on Marxism; control of work. Influential stakeholders in the industry, as ascertained by Catherine Mackinnon, emphasize that feminism and Marxism cannot exist side by side. In other words, one gender must dominate over the other. Male movie directors, actors, writers opine that women too can scale the ladders of their careers in the film sector. In disagreement, women argue that men have continued to dominate the film sector for years without altering women’s inequality to men. According to Mill’s idea of universal suffrage, men and women in the same social class face similar challenges, have same perspectives, yet men are given first consideration in movies at the expense of women (Mackinnion 5). While some male directors and scriptwriters opine that there are some roles that women cannot play due to their physical attributes, the biology-based inequalities are dubious and inaccurate, incompetent and thus unjust. Given the intolerance towards women, the film industry offers an epitome of institutional bigotry.

Work Cited

MacKinnon, Catharine A. Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1989. Print.

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