Does Hollywood Still See Women as Unequal?


Jacqueline Caraballo, Staff Writer

One of the most well known places in the movie industry is Hollywood, but not many people realize how sexist and ageist the film industry is. Since the advent of talking films, women have had to deal with sexual harassment, a lack of opportunities in directing and producing films, as well as being “aged out” of roles, well before their male counterparts.

On March 7, 2010 a huge step forward for women in the movie industry occurred. Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman ever in 88 years to win an Oscar for best director. She was only the fourth woman ever to be nominated for best director after Lina Wertmueller, Jane Campion, and Sofia Coppola. Since then only one other female director has been nominated in that category. Besides the directing category there’s a lack of female representation in best cinematography with the first female nominee being nominated just two years ago. In 2018 only 3.6% of women directed a top grossing film; and even if they directed a top grossing film, they may not fall into the 17% of female directors to make a second film.

Secondly, a survey conducted by USA Today in conjunction with the Creative Coalition, Women in Film and Television and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that 94% of females have experienced some sort of harassment or assault. They asked around 850 females from all sorts of positions such as director, actors, and editors. Their experiences range from unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, or gestures, being touched in a sexual way, and being shown sexual pictures without consent. Only about 28% of women who reported these incidents have said their situation has gotten better.

Some women who have experienced harassment are Ellen Page, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many more. No matter how old you are you are in danger of being sexually assaulted or harassed, especially in Hollywood and even more so if you are a female.

Another thing that’s wrong with the movie industry is the lack of older women having as many job opportunities as men do. By the age of thirty, women will peak and start to have less and less job opportunities, while men will have opportunities until they are 46 years old and beyond. 

Isn’t it disturbing when you think about the little opportunities women have in Hollywood when they get older, while their male counter parts succeed until they are almost two decades older than the women?

In this day and age there’s been a big change in female roles in Hollywood, but there are still many areas that need improvement. Women still lack opportunities and the respect they deserve in all roles, while also being able to show younger girls there’s a place for them in this industry.

Women are not property: they are human beings just like their fellow male counterparts. It’s about time they get the  same recognition, respect, and opportunities as the men.