Super-hero movies are war movies, or at least they aren’t far removed.
Jonathan Allred
92

I definitely see your point here and I really appreciate you taking the time to lay out your thoughts.

I don’t actually think that writers end up with gender disparity in their films on purpose. They may not even notice that there are more male characters than females. Actually, watching several of the movies on this list I really thought certain movies were balanced. It felt like there were so many female characters and they were so involved in the plot line that it must have been roughly even. But it wasn’t.

And yes, I see what you mean about superhero films. I wasn’t implying that the theme wasn’t “war-based”, just that unlike a movie in which the story revolves around an actual war, superhero stories are fictional. Yes, characters like Captain America tend to be the headliners, and I’m not even saying that he shouldn’t be (he’s an iconic and well-known comic-book character, it makes sense). But when you have a battle pulling in all sorts of random superheroes and out of 12 people you only end up with two women, that’s uneven. When there are tons of extras with small, relatively inconsequential roles (including in non-fighting scenes) and most of those go to men, you end up with an inequality.

As for the non-war movies, I’d suggest reading this great Twitter thread about dialogue in all of 2016’s animated films. The writer (@haleshannon) looked at the number of named characters with speaking roles, so the analysis is a little different, but she found that across all of the animated movies last year, only 33% of the characters were female. This is across a wide range of family-movies that have basically nothing to do with violence or war. In the world, human and most animal gender ratios tend to be right around 50/50. But in movies, regardless of the plot, females continue to represent only about 1/3 of the characters.

Also, excluding female characters from stories because more men have been a part of that story in the past is sending a pretty sad message to girls and women around the world.

This concept of plot or theme being inherently skewed towards male/female characters is something I thought about a lot when I was working on this project, so I’m glad to be able to discuss it. Thank you for discussing it kindly :)