Women Fight Back

How female lead superhero films could lead to a stronger future.

Although women are 50% of the population women still aren’t seeing the same treatment in film as men. So what do women have to do to find representation? 


Women have been watered down, ignored and neglected throughout the science fiction genre. They are the damsel in distress and have been sidekicks for as long as superhero movies have been around. 


“Although films directed by women still represent only 3 percent of the science fiction films released over the last 10 years,” Women’s Media Center states. “The situation is slowly changing, thanks to the activism of filmmakers, journalists, and feminist advocates; some action by studio heads; and demand from audiences whose evolving tastes crave more inclusion in front of and behind the camera.”


But not all entertainment corporations are afraid of strong females. Almost every Disney film feature is a strong female lead who has been inspiring girls for ages. 


“Belle, I really liked books, I still do. I was 8 and scared of the beast and I thought it was really cool how she was kind,” said Halle Northrop. 


But finally, after years of disney making money and inspiring young girls, filmmakers have heard the cry of young girls across the world for strong female characters. Little girls and boys deserve to see strong female characters represented on the big screen.


Just this year alone girls will see three solo lead superhero films, all of which are directed by women.


“From 2009 to 2013, 35 out of 98 sci-fi films (36 percent) had female leads, with only 10 solo leads. But from 2014 to 2018, 60 out of 113 sci-fi films (or 53 percent) had female leads, with 19 solo leads. For comparison, 90 percent of sci-fi films between 2009 and 2013 had male leads, and 94 of the 113 (83 percent) of science fiction films between 2014 and 2018 had male leads, with 53 solo leads. This significant increase in films with female leads resulted from the new Star Wars films as well as the Hunger Games and other young-adult franchises that have proliferated,” said WMC. 


Although we are making progress there is still some push back against these films due to their performance. 


Wonder Woman only made $821.8 million dollars which is only average for a superhero film. Male superhero films are just more familiar to the science fiction audience. But female superhero films can have more of an impact on women outside of happiness.


“Ultimately, the importance of this turn towards women in comic book movies is not limited to what happens in Hollywood. Recent polls suggest that women might be the key voting block who decides the 2020 election. The ways that women are represented in many of Hollywood’s top films this year—as heroes who wield immense power, whose voices matter and who are capable of changing the world—could reverberate with female voters,” said Ms.magazine. 


When women see themselves represented as independent, powerful and important women on the big screen they can begin to see that they have the power to make change in society. When given positive role models girls from all ages can begin to develop a voice for change. 


Girls deserve to see themselves in film the way men have seen themselves for years.