The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Women in TV

Jane Lynch

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards took place earlier this week and although many viewers have expressed dismay at the same shows winning over and over again (I’m looking at you Mad Men and Modern Family) the event did highlight the bumper year for women in television and film. 

Jane Lynch (of Glee fame) was hilarious as the evening’s host, but the true celebration of sisterhood came in the announcement of the award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. In a move apparently masterminded by Amy Poehler of Parks and Recreation, the nominees broke with tradition by jumping on stage as their names were read out, earning a standing ovation from many in the audience. When Melissa McCartney was announced as the winner for her work in Mike & Molly she was handed a glitzy pageant queen crown ensuring that the evening descended momentarily into an off-beat Miss America pageant.

Although it cannot be given the full credit  for this sea change in the favour of women, the success of the movie Bridesmaids earlier this year is sure to have had a significant impact. Even though marketers deemed the best way to promote this film was by pointing out that it didn’t suck like any other movie with a predominately female cast, the Judd Apatow produced comedy has surpassed Sex and the City as the number one grossing female-oriented R-rated comedy of all time. And it seems that as a result, film and television execs are finally waking up to the fact that not only are women actually funny but projects can still be profitable when they are given edgier leading roles.

So what does this trend mean for girls? Well fingers crossed it will continue, and as a result allow our screens to be filled with with not only more positive female role models but also more accurate representations of girls and women. If grittier roles and more high-quality shows are created for female actors and viewers, a whole new generation of young women may be inspired and the boys’ club of Hollywood could possibly find itself diminished as the playing field becomes more gender neutral.  

The list of strong female directed shows and films this year is already growing - The Good Wife, 2 Broke Girls, The New Girl, The Help, and Hanna to name but a few - are providing much needed relief from the Cougar Town, Gossip Girl, Kardashian saturated female viewing Hollywood has previously seen fit to market towards women. It seems that we’re finally moving away from the days when Sex and the City was considered the pinnacle of female viewing. And don’t it feel good.

-Briar Barry
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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