In the last two segments, I addressed the prevalent hyper-sexualized women that appear throughout She. There is a stark contrast with the time period and the popular view of women; it is exotic and foreign. Throughout the Victorian Era, the domestic sphere and womanhood went hand and hand. Women were expected to attend the house and expected to raise the children. But because of the rise of industry, feminist ideas began to spread and take root, which would become the driving force for women’s suffrage.
It’s at this point that I’m reminded of today’s feminism. Today, many self-proclaimed feminists battle with the tropes that have littered literature and media for the last centuries. While it is entirely arguable and reasonable to proclaim that the hyper-sexualized women in She and other points are degrading, there is a point to be said that this trope of having women in an enticing situations for a male audiences makes for an excellent marketing strategy if anything else.
Whatever the case or opinion of the reader, the presence of women being able to vote has given a stronger presence in the media. And as time continues, this will only increase. In the video game industry, for example, research has been devised around the presence of tropes. Since video games are one of the newest forms of media, and storytelling within the medium was limited due to the nature of programming, many basic tropes were used. And since the industry was built around the success of these tropes, they were rooted.
Taking this knowledge and looking at She, I wondered if these types of stories filled with sex, adventure, and intrigue were what pressed certain sexual and ethnic groups to come forward – if literature and media were predecessors to better treatment in the real world – if popular fiction tended to treat certain issues with more casual footsteps. There are many cases where that is the reality. Naturally authors write for a purpose. However, like in my last post, I make the claim that popular fiction gives a clearer picture to the culture in which it is written. They aren’t focused on a certain issue. They are focused on making as much money as possible by appealing to their audience – the first thing taught to a writer.
I stand on this statement. By seeing the present day issues that are centered on the same things that happened in the Victorian Era and throughout all of history, it becomes easier to contextualize the importance of the little things in these popular stories.