2015 has been a historic year for the feminist cause with women in film acting as the poster campaign for the gender equality movement. However, line-ups for 2016 are not appearing all that positively in the favour of the feminist warriors.
The silver screen churned out powerful female performances both on screen and perhaps more surprisingly off screen last year, showcasing the talents of the growing female block in the classically male dominated cinematic industry. Leading ladies such as Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Joy’ and Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in ‘Carol’ were the talk of Tinsel Town and according to Clarisse Loughrey of the Independent, were the reason, “2015 was the year everyone called ‘a benchmark’ for women in film.”
As well as these blockbuster successes, female directors and screen writers paid their dues to the equality movement and dominated cinema screens with massive films such as ‘Pitch Perfect 2’, ‘Trainwreck’ and ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. Even ‘Star Wars’, the classically male orientated empire, jumped on the band – wagon giving the female character Rey a protagonist role as opposed to the classic side – kick position we are used to observing.
It is safe to say Hollywood embraced the whole idea of female empowerment as their mantra for 2015 sales however people fear it was just that: a seasonal trend, something to get the people going, but in the ever evolving entertainment industry, this trend has a shelf life and critics fear it may be about to expire. With only one big groundbreaking female film set to release in the New Year, ‘Ghostbusters’, worry is spreading that the flame ignited in 2015 will be smothered and forgotten before it had time to erupt.
I, personally, do not have such a pessimistic view on the issue. The fact that a classic film originally fronted by an all male cast has been reinvented with a full female team shows a drastic change in the gender division movement. It is a massive success and a groundbreaking achievement for women across the globe.
The Saatchi Gallery intends to carry the feminist attitude into 2016 as it showcases its first all female exhibition, ‘The Champagne Life’. This event is made all the more impactful as it is to occur during the 30th Anniversary year of the iconic gallery, ensuring maximum exposure. This endeavor will be yet another success for the gender equality forces and is bound to cause a chain reaction in the world of culture and art.
Campaigners for the universal cause have vowed to keep women a subject of importance in the world of cinema with the hash tag ‘52 Films By Women’ whereby people are encouraged to watch one film directed by a woman per week. It is initiatives like this publicized on a large platform that inspire hope in me as a female, that 2016 will continue to carry the torch for equality within the sexes, perhaps through new mediums, but carry it firmly nonetheless.
Yes, it is true that people can tend to make mountains out of molehills and drag on about issue until we are all sick of hearing about them but for me, gender equality cannot be a seasonal trend but a constant battle until we have won. On the issue of feminism, I do agree that it can be taken to extreme lengths and while we all need equal rights, obliterating men from the planet is not the way forward. Equality is the dream and I for one am happy to see through the ever present mediums of culture, film and art this dream is becoming more and more of a reality.