Academic Master


Women and American Film

The journey for women in the film industry has been long and slow. From the beginning of the film industry, the women in action were few as compared to the men. This resulted from the perception that the society had on the women. The role of the women was taken to be that which belonged in the house rather than participating in the rest of the activities. For this reason, few of the women got the interest or even the courage to join the filed.However, with time, more women have joined the industry and continue to do well as the male counterparts. However, the comparison remains a surprise for the female as the male actors continue taking the largest share of the film industry. For instance, many of the directors, actors, scriptwriters and others are male and only a few are women. It has been estimated that only 15% of all the directors account for the women share.

The first female nominee in the film industry was Josephine Lovett who won a nomination for her role as Joan Crawford vehicle in the “our dancing daughters” film. Greta Garbo was also a pioneer in the male nomination after she received a nomination for her role as John Gilbert in the “A woman of affairs” movie. On the other hand, Anne Bauchens had the privilege of being nominated as the first female editor for her role in the editing of “Cleopatra” in the year 1934 (Clover n.p). Also, she went ahead and was nominated for her role in editing “The ten commandments” and “the greatest show on earth”.

Women continued winning in different other film categories. Dorothy Jeakins and Karinska won the best costume design in the “Joan and Arc” movie, which was given in the year 1948 (Clover n.p). The two were nominated in the color category among other men.

Another category that has been conspicuous over the years was that of the first female to be nominated for the best film director. Before the 21st century, there had never been any woman nominated for the category of the best film director. Kathryn Bigelow had the privilege of being nominated as the best film director in the year 2009. This came from the role that she played in “the hurt locker” movie. This paved the way for more directors to join the ring as they felt that Kathryn had paved the way for them.

The songwriters and composers have also taken the stage in the film industry. Barbra Streisand became the first woman to be nominated for her son, “evergreen”, which was a love song in the year 1976 (Clover n.p). She doubled as an actor, and had a role in the “funny girl” movie, played and released in the year 1968.

For a long time, the film industry has been dominated by the male counterparts. Major efforts have been induced to ensure that the industry receives more backing from the government as well as the non-governmental organizations. The many campaigns to have more women join the acting rig has been faced with many challenges. The major challenge is the negative view of the society on the role of women (O’Connor n.p). It is still believed that men can do better and fit in the film industry than the women do. This has resulted in the feminist movements from time to time. However, the discrimination continues to be high than among at the expense of the women it is, however, crucial to acknowledge that the various nominations pave an effective way for other women to join the industry. However, more needs to be done to eradicate the large gap between the two genders. More empowerment needs to be induced to enable more women across all regions join and become productive in the film industry.

Works cited

Clover, Carol J. Men, women, and chain saws: Gender in the modern horror film. Princeton University Press, 2015.

O’Connor, John E., and Martin A. Jackson, eds. American History/American Film: Interpreting the Hollywood Image. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.



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