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Female Characters on Television and in the Movies

The media play a significant role in shaping people’s perceptions of gender and what it means to be male or female in contemporary society. Characters in film and on television serve as social models, demonstrate status, and normalize behaviors through standardized character types and gendered stereotypes. Historically, women have been portrayed through a narrow range of types that see them sidelined and sexualized in roles largely concerned with domesticity, interpersonal relationships, and adornment.

In contemporary film and television, women continue to be underrepresented as protagonists and main characters and typically adhere to character types that include, but are not limited to, the housewife, dumb blonde, femme fatale, witch, tough girl, and warrior woman. However, as social attitudes and practices around gender change, these established types can ...

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