20 Facts Everyone Should Know About Gender Bias in Movies
Huffington Post | Soraya Chemaly
A new study, Gender Bias Without Borders, was released by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media this week. Conducted by Dr. Stacy Smith and a team at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, it looks at 120 films in the 10 most profitable film markets, globally. These films, rated G, PG, or PG-13.5 or their equivalents, were compared to similar films in the U.S. A category for U.S./UK collaboration was created since it was so common. The U.S. ranks consistently low in almost every metric.
To discuss their findings, the Institute hosted its second annual Global Symposium on Gender in Media, which I attended. The primary response I had was, how is it possible that people, especially people in this industry, remain unaware of these facts and what they mean? My second was, how do we get this information to audiences who live with the effects of this bias, but are demonstrably unaware? Studies, other studies, show that everyday sexism is invisible to most people. One form that sexism takes, including vis-a-vis media, is that people overestimate the presence of women and their speech. It happens everywhere. It’s not that we think women are necessarily apparent or speaking as much as men, but that we expect them to be, relatively speaking, invisible and not speaking, so, by comparison, any appearance and speech is “too much.” This says a lot about status and mainstream cultural assumptions about social roles and of power. Continue Reading…