After watching Miss Representation last week in class, the one thing that stayed with me was the idea of a female protagonist. Now the documentary wasn't telling me something new about women in men dominated work fields like politics or news. But the idea of the lack of fictional female main characters did make me think more about their presents in films and television shows. And they are lacking. So why would I bring up that small detail from the documentary? Growing up (and still to this day) I read tons of books—in the Young Adult genre—with many strong female protagonists. These characters embodied the type of person I wish I could be in real life. Their experiences engrossed me outside of the real world, and it is this feeling that I now always seek when reading a piece. So the idea that female protagonists out there in some form of medium are lacking has never been in my mind before.
This brings me to my next point about female main characters from YA literature. In Miss Representation the success of Twilight, the YA romance novel by Stephanie Meyers, was mentioned from the director, Catherine Hardwicke. That same day I found this article talking about the upcoming YA novels-turned-movies coming to theaters thanks to the success of Twilight. The main reason I thought this short article was a great mention was because it mentions the disregard of the teenage girl demographic that Twilight tapped into when it came to studios. I felt like this goes along with what some of the women were mentioning in the documentary. I remember Rosario Dawson talked about getting stories written down by women out there. And that is exactly what is happening with movies nowadays. Many of the adaptations of YA books that I know of are written by females with female protagonists (and the same is said for teenage boys) and the authors usually have some involvement in the production of the adaptation.
|This is a still of the female protagonist Clary Fray from the upcoming Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones movie adapted from the novel City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.|
|This is another YA series by Lauren Oliver that has been offered a pilot on Fox's network that showcases a strong plot line and a strong female character.|
So for me much of what the women were saying about there being a lack of in the film industry I was finding elsewhere. That is my main point: it’s out there; it’s just harder to find. And now it’s even melting into the films and shows we are exposed to. Is this a good thing that the YA genre is getting filmed more now? Can any bad come from this? Are these adaptations tapping into what the ladies were talking about in Miss Representation, about the lack of female protagonist or even an age group like teens and children? Or am I just focusing too much on one tiny detail that this documentary made me think about (and am I even making sense)?