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bell hooks

Bell Hooks attributed much of the sexism in films, to the people who are producing the films. In the reading by Laura Mulvey, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Mulvey touches on a theory of Freud's that said, scopophilia is part of ones sexuality, that gazing is natural. The relation between the two, is if men are producing most of the films seen though out the population, wouldn't it be natural for them to focus on what Freud pondered to be the basic human instinct of attraction? And because the majority of the producers are wealthy, white, and male, they keep producing one sided views of sexuality. Is it just a vicious cycle then? Then, I am curious to know if these male produced films are mostly created on fantasy, compared to the real thoughts, feelings, and actions of women?


I think you make a really good connection. The amount of leading roles for women as compared to men is laughable in Hollywood. When a female is the lead, it's assumed that the movie most only appeal to a female audience, as if the actions and thoughts of a woman are not as credible or interesting. Then again, you have mostly male producers/directors/writers, so the thoughts and actions are not as interesting because they don't come from a real place. It's a very tricky situation.

When Hollywood does respond, it seems to be in a half-hazard way. Take, for example, the tacked on female love interest, especially in male-centric films, used to placate the female audience. It's almost more insulting than not having a woman in the film at all.

I agree with what you say about the people producing the films who are creating the sex based bias in films. I would also go further to say that it is also the people who write the scripts who initially create the bias. This means that I believe the producer only enhance or intensifies the sex bias in the films in order to make it more appealing to the audience which is typically white. I also agree with Freud in that gazing is natural for both sexes. What I do not agree with really is that it is the producer feeding on his or her own desires to create a sexually based bias in film but rather them responding to what they know will bring in revenue from a prodominantly white audience.