söndag 3 januari 2016

Diversity that confirms the norm

I just started watching ”Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2”. Then I stopped to write this.

This is just such a perfect example a typical Hollywood "children movie", who´s ambition
when casting the characters seems to be to make it diverse and reflect a range of different people, but the way they do it actually confirms the norm:
Look at the picture:

One, the main character is white, young male.  Then you got:
One ”old”
One black
One latino
One fat
One amimal
One woman (The Girlfriend)

They all differ in one, and only one, aspect from the male, young, white norm.

So the woman is not black. Or old.
The monkey is not a she.
This is also why you dont have four different female characters and one male.
Because that would not fit the genre. That would be a ”girls movie”. Now it´s a "children movie". But it is not neutral, it is very strongly based in old patriarchal and colonial norms.

The same patterns we find in other stories
Winnie the Pooh
Donald Duck
Peter Pan
most ot the Adam Sandler movies.
The lego movie
The Harry Potter movies (in general)
And a bunch of other films

 It´s really annoying.

I would like to have a labeling or classification on films on Netflix and Apple TV, to help me pick out better films for my children. It could be based on a count on female caracters, or use the Bechdel Test to analyze the gender balance in the movie. That is just a start, until the movie industry changes for the better in more aspects.

Check out and like the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media page for more updates on changing the male dominated movie industry.