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Rise of Feminism

Female Protagonists In Films

feminist movement


By Paul J A Sullivan, student ID: 614256

Bachelor's Applied Arts - Film Production

EDENZ/Life Way Collage, Auckland, New Zealand.


I wish to discuss the rising of feminism the gender swapped movies leading roles throughout the years and

how movies of equality are a reflection of ourselves, given to us in true style of Hollywood.

● Feminism
● Social forces
● Female Protagonists

By Paul J A Sullivan
1 of 6
Sociology – Art 120 – A01.
Rise of Feminism

Most criticism of Stephen Kings book Carrie has purely focused on males who are afraid of women being

the main character and powerful. But people in the "anti-Carrie party" who find her death at the end of the

film signifying the death of the monstrous feminine signaling a victory of sexism. But the author King who

said negative comments from the "anti-Carrie party" which inspired the movie. But Kings honesty what

inspired in his book as expression of feminist nightmare (Derr ,2013).

“Carrie is largely about how women find their own channels of power, but also what men
fear about women and women’s sexuality.” – Stephen King

Based on New York Times number one Best seller Novel Carrie, written by Steven King
first edition 1974 http://stephenking.com/library/movie/carrie.html

During the 1970s a wave of feminism concerted a serious threat, men at the time felt threatened by the

number of women standing up for themselves, attempting this radical social change has being recognized

under the law as equal to their male counterparts. (Derr ,2013).

By Paul J A Sullivan
2 of 6
Sociology – Art 120 – A01.
Rise of Feminism

Social forces
Blood of Carrie a sign of cruelty referring to the infamous shower scene is a meeting of two fractions

elements her mother clearly had failed in preparation of her maturity becoming a young woman, after she

gets her first period Carrie panics naturally like most young girls, only to be tormented once again. (Derr


"Like sniffing dogs, grinning and slobbering, trying to find out where that smell is.”-

Holly L. Derr

In this scene Holly L Derr describes the dominating girls as if they were like dogs sniffing around tracking

down where the smell of blood or other is located, and upon discovery. For a male movie observer to

witness unexpected blood between a females legs is distressing and having a mental image of male

castration Carrie (2013) film director Kimberly Peirce adds a lot more blood than the original film director

Brian De Palma. (Derr ,2013)

Main film charartor Carrie White being the lower class since birth has been sheltered by her deeply religious

mother soon discovers telekinetic powers and eventually rises up challenges her mother’s religion theology

that she believes Carrie shouldn't go out to her prom night. When her telekinetic powers awaken and its her

mothers turn to be locked in the closet then carries date visit her home to take her too the high school prom,

unknown to her knowledge that shes the main target of a high school prank latter that evening when she gets

overed in pigs blood, this reactives her telekinetic powers and further her motivation to seek revenge and

contune her rampage.

Another example of a movie which is one of my personal favorite’s Resident Evil – female actress Milla

Jovovich plays role of Alice, who main objective to stop an evil force while facing a blockade of emery

soldiers and another obstruct, also killing zombies. Resident Evil which is also based on a game with same

name. first one made in 2002, to date the six movies total made the latest this year.

By Paul J A Sullivan
3 of 6
Sociology – Art 120 – A01.
Rise of Feminism

The level of feminism has been rising over the year's like in some USA Television shows and movies , from

Wonder Woman – to Super Girl.

Female Protagonists
An article published on The Script Lab website titled “Top 10 Female Characters Who Know What They

Want” by Madeline Dennis-Yates, during her 2015 reseach she found a large of number remakable

performances by the boldest women of cinema, Dennis-Yates also quoted

“… “ above all, they know exactly what they want and are willing do whatever it takes to

get it”. M Dennis-Yates, 2015

Her top list of women in films in 2015 are;

Bette Davis, Now Voyager (1942), Betty Garrett, On the Town (1949), Lake Bell, In a World (2013), Audrey

Hepburn, Roman Holiday (1953), Kim Novak, Bell, Book and Candle (1958), Jennifer Lawrence, Silver

Linings Playbook (2012), Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce (1945), Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn (2015), Lauren

Bacall, To Have and Have Not (1944), Anne Baxter, All About Eve (1950), Samiya Mumtaz, Dukhtar (2014)

and Bette Davis, Now Voyager (1942). (Dennis-Yates, 2016)

An article by Ally Sinyard published on The Script Lab website, titled “Top 10 Female Protagonists in

Film”. Sinyard admits reseaching female protagonists in moives was a difficult complex topic but the

actresses can hold their position in this industry and find them amazing in Hollywoon movies during Sinyard

reseach and forecasting her favourite ten female protagonist movies are;Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the

Dragon Tattoo (2009) , Maggie Fitzgerald, Million Dollar Baby (2004) , Aileen Wuornos, Monster (2003) ,

Juno MacGuff, Juno (2007) , Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer, Thelma & Louise (1991) , Scarlett

O’Hara, Gone with the Wind (1939) , Erin Brockovich, Erin Brockovich (2000) , Sarah Connor, The

Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2 (1991) , Clarice Starling, The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Ellen

Ripley , Alien (1979-1997). (Sinyard, "n.d".)

By Paul J A Sullivan
4 of 6
Sociology – Art 120 – A01.
Rise of Feminism

In 2010 an article titled “The Rise of the Indie Leading Lady” published on website femalefirst.co.uk in by

Helen Earnshaw, she has identfired in recent years there has been a change in female characters, the blonde

haired and most of them not very bright which is sexest and dsicrimanation are out, the indie girl is in,

Hollywood wants this type of character because shes strong minded, smart, sassy and most of all beautiful.

(Earnshaw, 2010)

Not to mention other films such as;

Uma Thurman, Kill Bill, film series (2003-2004,) the third and final still in preproduction shes also the

Producer and co-writer , Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, The Heat (2013) and Sara Bullock, Miss

Congeniality (2000) and Miss Congeniality 2 (2005).

Seeing a rise of female leading roles in movies gender swapped from male lead roles, but for most women

facing these obstacles are feeling anxiety, and some women who turn down leading roles belive playing the

main charartor to large to conquer. But above all movies like Carrie or Resident Evil, its a battle of upper

and lower social fractions and finding equalty.

By Paul J A Sullivan
5 of 6
Sociology – Art 120 – A01.
Rise of Feminism

1, DERR, H. L. (2013, November 1). The Blood of Carrie: A Feminist Review of the Re-Make -

Sociological Images. Retrieved September 2, 2016, from


2, DENNIS-YATES, M. (2016). Top 10 Female Characters Who Know What They Want - The ... Retrieved
September 8, 2016, from http://thescriptlab.com/features/the-lists/3456-top-10-female-characters-who-

3, SINYARD, A. (n.d.). Top 10 Female Protagonists in Film. Retrieved September 8, 2016, from

4, EARNSHAW, H. (2010, April 1). The Rise of the Indie Leading Lady - femalefirst.co.uk. Retrieved
September 8, 2016, from http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/movies/Emilie+De+Ravin-8424.html

By Paul J A Sullivan
6 of 6
Sociology – Art 120 – A01.