Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Ladies in the East End

The representation of women in television and film has changed somewhat over the last 50 years, developing strong female leads such as Sigorney Weaver in Alien, the romantic lead of Amelie and the psychotic Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Brilliantly strong characters that fight the traditional and aging housewife image, who capture the screen for their portrayals of women fighting through life and what is thrown at them.

Despite these characters, there are films and shows that just don't justify the representation of women,. tar Wars for example only has one female lead character out of a cast of many men. Even now, there are very few female directors too, accounting for 8% of the top 250 grossing films of all time.

However, I am disgressing slightly, what I really wanted to make a point of was an article about the representation of women in the Christmas day Eastenders episode. Lisa Northover, reported as Bournemouths most followed individual on Twitter, has written an article about the representation of women in the ..ahem.. festive episode, where you see the constant degrading and belittling of women against the dominating male characters. What century are we in? This is the 21st when I last checked, and the world is full of strong headed women living and fighting for themselves. Read the article here, which covers various roles in the show including that of domestic violence and motherhood.

Merry Christmas from Albert Square

I am not a follower of Eastenders but I know that they frequently use domestic violence as a key storyline, most significantly Mo Slater who murdered her violent husband with an iron a fair few festive seasons ago. In my experience of Christmas, it is never like the dreary and dramatic soap. I think we all can appreciate the producers raising awareness of the issues of domestic violence among other key issues, however they fail to raise it's significance for the rest of the year. Glancing at the BBCs Eastenders website, they slightly fail to really campaign about the issues raised. There is only a small box at the bottom that links to a long list of groups and charities that support causes. The BBC need to make this a key feature on their website so it is easily accessable to all, whether to support or inform viewers and not made to be such an insignificant feature.

LinksWomen and Film by the BFI
Lisa Northover on Twitter
Women in Film Stats from Women Make Movies
Eastenders at the BBC

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