After reviewing the list of films we have watched throughout this semester and thinking back on the discussions we had in class, I really had a chance to realize how many of these movies portray women as inferior characters who’s only purpose is to be sex symbols and repopulate the earth. The easiest example is Dr. Strangelove in which the only female character is a women previously seen in a Playboy magazine spread and is then seen just lounging around in a bed and only has a handful of lines. She barely contributes to the plot whatsoever. Another example is the end of 28 Days Later in which the soldiers want to drug Selena and Hannah and rape them because they were promised by their commander that they would repopulate the world even though Selena is depicted as a strong female role throughout the film. Furthermore, even in Adventageous, in which there is a lead female role, the entire plot is driven by the fact that Gwen’s age causes her to lose her job when she is known to be the most qualified. Her only other job options involve something that only a female could do such as donating her eggs because society does not want men out of work.
After reviewing these examples, I tried to figure out an explanation as to why women are portrayed in this way. One answer I would like to propose is that in these apocalyptic films, there is a common denominator of desperation in all of the characters. These internal struggles in the characters cause them to take on more primitive instincts which involves reproduction, a core human instinct. I am not justifying portraying women in this way but I can understand why the directors would choose to include these story lines in their films.
However I am curious about one thing…If the roles were reversed, would these films be accepted?