CATS 4 Essay Proposal

“Discuss changing representations of femininity and masculinity in visual culture, and the factors which have influenced them.”

In this essay, I shall analyse the female and male dynamics and gender representations in television, film and photography. I will also debate the social implications and the influences of this in stereotypical and archetypal gender roles.

A main argument that will be referenced in this essay is feminism and gender equality. In television, specifically in news broadcasting, you can see the masculinity and femininity changes over the past twenty years. It is more common nowadays for a female-male presenting duo on the six o’clock and ten o’clock news, and on the twenty-four hour news channels such as BBC News and Sky News. This is a step forward in equality as in today’s culture, the medium of television news want to represent both genders on screen, rather than a solely male-presented programme, as it used to be in the past.

Another issue I will address throughout the essay will be female and male portrayals within film. Particularly in action and superhero movies; the males are considered the saviours and the women are, more often than not, depicted as the damsels in distress. This is still seen in film today. Of course, examples of masculinity and femininity in these action genres are visual representations of male and female characters from comic books. Most comic books are geared towards a male audience, which could be a contributing factor as to how masculinity and femininity in characters is presented.