The stereotypes we see in movies, books, and other media unconsciously shape our worldview. But seeing strong women in film resets the prevailing idea of a submissive woman. April Seifert, Ph.D, a social cognitive psychotherapist, told:
"The more strong women we see in films and other places, the more our brains will start to automatically associate 'strength' as a feminine trait, and as a result, the more women will be treated as strong, equal members of society."
See your own potential
Kelly Faust McCann is a family therapist who specializes in women-specific issues. She thinks, that film is the mirror that not only reminds us where we have been as women, but where we still need to go.
"Every time a woman plays the president of the United States onscreen, that image implants in our brains and reminds us that, ‘Yes. This is possible,’" – McCann explained.
Seeing women in roles of leadership, rather than as victims, lets women and girls see their own potential. Social worker Silvia M. Dutchevici, president and founder of Critical Therapy Center in N.Y.C., told: "The way women are depicted in film and television influences consciously and subconsciously the way both girls and boys understand what it means to be a woman".
In other words, the movies we show to children now are actually shaping the future, which is all the more reason to make sure men and women are depicted equally.
"We all know that Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Princess Leia (Star Wars), and Nakia (Black Panther) aren’t real, but damn, we want them to be and we want to be them," Robin Hornstein, Ph.D., a psychologist, told.
Hornstein expands on the importance of people seeing those they identify with having strong roles in movies:
"Who we emulate and admire in film becomes so important to people who feel marginalized by class, race, gender identity, sexuality, or religion when one of ‘us’ shows up as the hero of the film."
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