The Changing Role Of Women In Film

The role of women in film is changing.  Whether they play free slot machines or fire stolen machine guns, there are a variety of roles now held by women that might have been unimaginable even a few years ago.  As times change, so too does the perception of women – and thus the types of roles women are offered will naturally change as well.

The Gambler

Gambling has often been seen as a primarily male vice.  When a movie has taken place in Vegas, male protagonists have tended to be the norm.  Now, women are seen gambling just as much as men, flipping many stereotypes on their heads.  While female gamblers tend to keep the glamour and glitz associated with the role, many female gamblers are also portrayed as aloof, driven, and even outright villainous.  Female gamblers have become a regular staple of any movie that features games of chance.

The Warrior

Action heroes have predominantly been men in the past, but that doesn’t hold true for the future.  Starting with early battle-oriented heroines in video games and comic books, some of the toughest warriors in entertainment are now females.  Women, especially those with MMA backgrounds, are finding themselves in roles that would have gone to men only a few years earlier, often without their gender playing a role.  As more women come out the world of combat sports and more movies are targeted towards female audiences, one can easily expect such roles to be expanded.

The Player

The roguish lothario was, almost by definition, a typically male role.  Women were the ones closer to the earth, interested in relationships and certainly not the predatory characters looking to get a more innocent character in bed.  In recent years, though, women have been embraced in such roles whole-heartedly.  While this change may have started largely in comedies, women are moving towards a very similar role as men in terms of sexuality in many major action/drama films.  It’s possible to see a future where such roles might be cast in gender neutral terms, opening up a new world for female actors.

The Loser

One of the biggest changes in how women are portrayed in film has to be in their level of desirability.  In the recent past, a woman was either a sex symbol, a mother symbol, or the comic relief.  The role of the lovable loser – a charming person with real flaws – was primarily a male role.  In the last few years, though, women have been increasingly prevalent in such roles.  It’s a huge move forward for women in comedic roles, taking them firmly out of the romantic comedy genre into something much more substantial.

It’s hard to tell what the future will bring for women in film.  Some traditionally male roles will naturally gravitate towards women, while others might keep more traditional casting.  The only thing that seems certain, though, is that new opportunities are opening up all the time and that many actresses will find success in new and surprising roles.



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