In an article published today on Ms. Magazine‘s website, Natalie Wilson writes eloquently about the fate of women in a man-driven Hollywood world. It isn’t pretty. As she notes, only 11% of film protagonists were female in 2011. On top of that wide margin, she explains, many of the female characters that were featured fell prey to some typical roles and standards used to keep women on the sidelines.
But not so for Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. Despite Potter being mostly male-centric, the article lauds Hermione for not only playing such a strong role in the series, but for being portrayed as a capable leader who is not defined by men, her age, or any other factors. Go Hermione!
The article also has praise for Bridesmaids, The Iron Lady, and the truly ass-kicking Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. As Ms. Wilson points out, Lisbeth is definitely stronger than all of the males that surround her in the film, and is a refreshingly awesome female character, “about as far from the damsel in distress as you can get.”
Despite that, there are many problems with female characters, still. Twilight’s Bella Swan is as damsel-y and victimized as ever, whereas films like Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon sideline women, using them generally as eye-candy, rather than as engaging characters that are integral to the plot.
It’s disappointing that there’s still such a huge disparity between the treatment of characters in 2012, but inspiring to see some of the female characters that have made a difference in film in the last year.
Click on over here to read the full article. Who was your favourite female protagonist last year? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks to Kim M. for the tip!