Representations of Femininity-The Crime Genre.


Within the Crime Genre, the representation of women has altered as women, previously innocent victims or femme fatales, started to move beyond this stereotyping and actually appear as stronger, more proactive figures over time. For instance look at the clip from the 1950’s cop show Dragnet, a show which was arguably the blueprint for all subsequent detective shows on T.V. This clip demonstrates the difference between the portrayal of males and females within this genre in its early days: 

    Over time the role of women within society became more empowered (think back to the 1950’s career girl clip) and this was reflected in previously male dominated preserves such as the police force. Female officers began to make their presence felt  in what was a previously male-only environment . This following clip, from Life on Mars, is particularly useful as it shows us (in a semi-comic fashion) the differences between our own time and the 1970’s, when officers such as Annie Cartwright were making the first steps on behalf of female detectives but still had to deal with a sustained amount of ignorance and institutional sexism.  N.B: (Watch the Life on Mars: Reassessment clip on YouTube. The BBC has disabled embedding by request.) Contrast these clips with the opening scenes of Prime Suspect: Scent of Darkness. What kind of portrayal of womanhood are we getting in the form of Jane Tennison? What has moved on and what do you think has remained the same?  


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