Perhaps the most depressing part about this next sentence is that no one will be shocked by it. A study released by the Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism at USC surveyed 4,342 characters with speaking roles in the top 100 grossing films of 2009 and compared it to the top 100 grossing films of 2007 and 2008 and found that in all years, 32.8 percent of actors were women and 67.2 were men—making less than 17 percent of films gender balanced. However, women compose half of movie ticket-buyers.
The study also noted that when women are on screen they are more likely to b
e in sexualized scenes. “They’re more likely to be seen in sexy clothing (25.8 percent to men at 4.7 percent) and more likely to be partially naked (23.6 percent to 7.4 percent),” the Huffington Post reported.
The suggested the part of this lack of women representation—and over-sexualization—stems from the fact that women are underrepresented in the Hollywood on the whole. Only 3.6 percent of directors are women, 13.5 percent of writers are women and only 21.6 percent of producers are women.
Perhaps part of the problem may also lie with movie viewers. If women, who as noted above, constitute half of all ticket buyers, think twice before plunking your dollars down for a film. Ask yourself if you agree with how a woman is being portrayed in the film. If money is power, then where women are spending, or not spending, their cash will be noticed and could start the path toward change.