Media and Gender
Are genre gendered? How can we think about action films in relation to gender representation?
The action genre is a class of original works characterised by a larger importance on exciting action sequence than on character developments; they may include a lot of physical action, be very fast paced, have a number of chases, some may have spectacular fights, some may even have special effects but one thing an action movie always has is a hero. A hero is someone who solves everyone’s problems, whether it is the simplest formula or putting their lives at risk. A hero in an action movie could also be described as the saviour. As well as having a hero in action movies, there always has to be a villain. The hero needs a challenge which is hard to defeat, this is the villain’s role, to make the heroes life hard. There are a lot of important roles featured in action movies; I will be discussing them in detail in relation to gender representation.
Some people may feel that action movies are very cliche, for example without a doubt there always has to be a hero as well as a villain, the hero usually has a love interest, a problem occurs which is usually down to the villain, the action begins and the hero saves the day. Although this is what usually happens in a action movie, this genre has become very popular since the 1920s.
Traditionally action movies have been aimed at a male audience, from early teens to mid 30s, but from the 1990s film makers added female heroines in response to the society which defined the strong female role models.
The expression action genre is not only made up by its characteristics, it is built up by the spectatorship, audience and viewers expectations which I will discuss further in the essay.
Action movies is a male dominated genre, where women are either represented as empowered role models or highly sexualised women with gadgets such as guns.
In the movie Die Hard (1988) John McClane is.