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SIM/UB UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM
ESL 407 JANUARY 2014 ESSAY COVER SHEET

NAME: Tan Jia Feng Jane
STUDENT NUMBER: 50099977
COURSE: ESL407
ESL407 CLASS: L06
INSTRUCTORS NAME: Mrs. Kirti Harnal
ESSAY TITLE: Male Discrimination In Movies
THESIS STATEMENT: Thus, in general, male characters in films are often
discriminated against.
STRONGEST QUALITY OF YOUR ESSAY: Strong claims
WHAT YOU COULD IMPROVE IN YOUR ESSAY: Weak arguments, sentence
structure.

Declaration by student:

I have read the UB Statement of Principle on Academic Integrity provided in the
course outline and accept responsibility of academic honesty. I have used my
own ideas, personal experiences, and common knowledge to support the thesis in
my essay. I declare that this essay is my own work and is free from plagiarism.
Signature: ______________________________ Date: ________________

Thesis: Thus, in general, male characters in films are often stereotyped.

I. Claim: Males are generally depicted as the villains in movies.

A. Most movies usually have the males to play the villains
B. Young men are taught through this that in order to be successful means to be
manipulative.

II. Claim: Secondly, men are often shown in movies to express their emotions through
violence.

A. Disney Films (Princes as compared to princesses have no backstory)
a. Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast
i. Boys are shown how they should act and what they should look
like if they want to be real men
ii. In Cinderella, King is violent
iii. In Beauty and the Beast, it displays violence as the outlet of male
emotion

III. Claim: When it comes to films, male characters do also lack much character
development.

A. Twilight, The Hunger Games, Frozen
a. Males are shown to be physically attractive with no backstory
i. Male viewers would feel pressured to conform

Conclusion: Personally, I feel that writers discriminate males in movies because they
feel pressured by societal norms and subconsciously instill male portrayal in their
movies.



With the rise of feminism in our modern day, men are often overlooked in
movies and are subtly discriminated. Most people would be more concerned over
female discrimination. Do stereotypes not affect men too? There are tests such as the
Bechdel test, introduced by Alison Bechdel, whether the movie has at least two
women talking to one another about something other than a man. Feminist movie
critics have often used it. Although I do agree that there is much female
discrimination in movies, male discrimination should not be overlooked. In the
journal article Images of Gender, Race, Age and Sexual Orientation in Disney
Feature-Length Animated Films, it states how men are often misinterpreted and
misrepresented. (Towbin, 2008). Thus, in general, male characters in films are often
discriminated against.
Males are generally depicted as the villains in movies. Most action movies
such as X-Men, Green Lantern, Batman, Spiderman, 300, and Pirates of the
Caribbean just to name a few. Even in Disney films, although there are female
villains, most are still men. This promotes the wrong impression and image as it is
subtly stating that males will commit more evil than women and males would usually
be blamed as the cause of crimes. It also implicitly suggests that females are more
pure and innocent as compared to males and the chances of them being caught in an
evil act would be as good as never. There are more male villains in movies than
females, which is coherent with the amount of imprisoned males in the United States.
(Haney, 2005)
Critics may argue that women are also depicted as villains in movies and often
portrayed as more vicious than males, especially in Cinderella (1950) and Snow
White (1937). Both the Stepmother and the Evil Queen are shown to be cruel and
vicious creatures. Males in Robin Hood (1973), and Peter Pan (1953) show their
weaknesses in laughable ways. In Robin Hood (1973), Prince John when in fear is
shown to suck his thumbs and whimper for his mommy and in Peter Pan (1953),
Captain Hook would jump in the arms of his assistant when the crocodile appears.
(Rabison, 2008) This may give the wrong impression to viewers that women have
more cruel intents as compared to males. However, these are examples from Disney
films. Most of the other action films show males to be the ones with much more
inhumane characters as compared to women.
Secondly, men are often shown in movies to express their emotions through
violence. Through Disney films such as Pocahontas and Beauty and the Beast, boys
are subtly told how they should act and what they should look like if they want to be
real men. The men depicted in movies have had violent tendencies when things do not
work out to their favor. This sends the wrong message to the younger boys and
teenagers watching that there is nothing wrong with violence. In Cinderella, the king
acts with violence by throwing things around and yelling at his son, and in Beauty and
the Beast violence was how the Beast vented when things did not go his way and he
also physically abused Belle in the movie. Such perceptions of men further promote a
prejudiced view of men that they are not only aggressive, but also hostile and
physically dangerous. It subtly shows that physical abuse is acceptable.
When it comes to films, male characters do lack character development. In
movies such as, Twilight, the Hunger Games and even in Disney films where men are
often shoved to the back without much character development, and only appear
physically attractive. The writers of these movies focus too much on the backstories
of the female characters while they write the male characters to appear masculine, tall
and broad with the buff body to appeal to viewers. In Twilight, throughout the entire
film, Jacob Black the werewolf was shirtless 80% of the time and he was portrayed as
someone who was angry throughout the film with no backstory as to who he was.
This would send the wrong message to viewers especially to teenagers that in order to
look attractive, this is how you should appear.
The opposing view on this point may be that female characters are the ones
who are thrown in the backseat more often than men are. However, with the rising
movement of feminism, movie producers feel more obligated to produce films that
promote women more than men these days, as seen in Frozen, Brave, and the Hunger
Games.
Though I do agree that women are discriminated more in movies as compared
to men, men are overlooked as well. The focus in recent years has been on feminism
and how important it is for women to be of the same caliber as men in terms of power.
The subtle signals that movies send of males are becoming more apparent and
obvious too. These gender stereotypes are indirectly sending the message to boys
around that they do not look good enough or in order to be successful, you would
have to look a particular way. Personally, I feel that writers discriminate males in
movies because they feel pressured by societal norms thus, subconsciously portray
males that way. All in all, I believe that men and women should be treated equally
without any biasedness to either gender.







Reference:
Haney, C. (2005). Death by design: capital punishment as social psychological
system. New York: Oxford University Press.
Rabison, R. (2008). Deviance in Disney. Representations of Crime in Disney Films:
A Qualitative Analysis. Retrieved from http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/
Towbin, M.A., Haddock, S.A., Zimmerman, T.S., Lund L.K. & Tanner, L.R. (2004).
Images of Gender, Race, Age, and Sexual Orientation in Disney Feature-Length
Animated Films, Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 15:4, 19-44, doi:
10.1300/J086v15n04_02