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Madeline Weinberger

Dr. McLaughlin
Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric
10 November 2015
Research Proposal and Exploratory Draft
Topic: I am studying the relationship between womens portrayal in film and the gender
wage gap today, particularly how the stereotypes of women are supported in modern film,
and it is because of these stereotypes that there is still a gender wage gap
Research Questions: How has womens portrayal in film hurt females when it comes to
closing the wage gap between males and females? What are the stereotypes seen in film
today? Why, after almost 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment, are
females still facing discrimination in the workplace? How has womens sexuality
portrayed in film changed overtime, if it has at all? What are some examples of this? Are
there films that break that stereotype? What is the gender wage gap today? How has it
changed over time? Is it constant between jobs?
Audience & Significance: My paper will be directed towards male employers because it
is important for them to realize that women are not less capable men. They should realize
that they should be able to hire women and put them in positions of authority and pay
them the same as men. This is significant because it is not fair for men and women to be
treated differently in the workplace.
Context: This issue is relevant today because after almost one hundred years of females
getting the right to vote, there are still injustices that women experience. It is not fair that
just because traditionally women stay at home and take care of the kids and the men go to
work that women are not treated equally if they want to get a job. More and more females
are joining the workforce, so it is important to them to close the wage gap. It is also
something that I worry about personally considering that I will be joining the workforce
relatively soon, but I do not want to be discriminated against.
Exhibit: To illustrate my discussion of women being portrayed as submissive,
unintelligent, and objects, and how this is the cause of the inequality in the workforce. I
plan to particularly focus on film because it is a huge form of a media that many
Americans actively participate in.
Key Sources So Far
MLA Citation:
Hammer, Tonya R. "Controlling Images, Media, And Women's Development: A Review
Of The Literature." Journal Of Creativity In Mental Health 4.3 (2009): 202-216.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
Type: Scholarly Journal Article
What does the source offer your project?

This source offers good information and theory behind the point that I am trying to make.
It does not specifically talk about the gender wage gap, but it talks about the importance
that film and popular culture has on our perceptions of women, which will go along
perfectly with the idea that mens ideas of women are shaped by film. One of the quotes
that I found that I could use as support is that Regardless of the stereotype portrayed in
the films, studies have found that the public continues to be influenced by what they are
seeing, with the portrayals either affirming or helping to construct its underlying belief
system (212). This can be used to support my claim that films can construct how people
think.
MLA Citation
Biggs, Andrew. "Sex, Workers: Gender Discrimination Does Not Explain the Male
Female Pay Gap." National Review 62.19 (18 Oct. 2010). Rpt. in The Wage Gap.Ed. Nol
Merino. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2014. Current Controversies.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Type: Scholarly Journal Article
What does the source offer your project?
This article focuses on the gender pay gap. I think that this will be useful for my
counterargument because it talks about some underlying reasons that could be
contributing to the gender gap, but it also provides evidence that to support that the
gender wage gap exists. It also has a couple of quotes from President Obama about the
gender wage gap, which would enhance the credibility of my paper.
MLA Citation
Olson, Joan Runnheim. "Breaking the gender barrier." Techniques 88.5 (2013): 16+.
Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
Type: Scholarly Journal Article
What does the source offer your project?
This source can be used to present examples of gender stereotypes in film today, and it
does mention statistics on the gender wage gap. These statistics can also be used in order
to support my claim. This article does a great job talking about how these gender
stereotypes are instilled from such a young age and the media only furthers these
stereotypes. It also discusses Actress Greena Davis effort to try to stop these stereotypes
because she has witnessed them first hand and wants them to change. It also gives
statistics on the percentages of males and females in different careers, and then it goes
onto analyzing why it is the case.
MLA Citation
Smith, Stacy L., Dr., Marc Choueiti, and Katherine Pieper, Dr. "Gender Bias Without
Borders." (2014): n. pag. Annenburg.usc.edu. University of Southern California, 2014.
Web. 8 Nov. 2015.
Type: Scholarly Journal Article
What does the source offer your project?
This source presents the results of a study that was done about the female characters in
films. It does a great job talking about the effects of women being stereotyped in the
movies. There were a couple of quotes that I found particularly useful. For example, the

percentage of female speaking characters in top-grossing movies has not meaningfully


changed in roughly half a century and our previous research shows that few women
hold positions of power and importance on screen (1). It also provides useful statistics
that can be used to make me more credible. It gives statistics about the percentage
difference of characters that speak in film between males and females. It also gives
statistics about the amount of times that women are put on the screen, and they are judged
in some way by their appearance. The most useful part of this article however is when
they breakdown the percentages of men versus women holding positions of high power in
companies.
Exploratory Draft
I plan to argue that the reason that women are paid less than men is because of
their portrayal in film today. I chose this topic because it is one of the most frustrating
things to me that women get paid less than men for doing to same job. It also angers me
to think that women are so stereotyped from such a young age of being the typical
housewife who has the husband that goes off to work while she stays at home. People are
aware that there is a wage gap, but I do not think that people often think of the reason
why there is the wage gap. Some men genuinely think that women are incapable, while
others assume based off of what they have seen in film. There are women who try to
bring this front and center as an issue while there are others who accept it. Many men
argue that the wage gap exists because females prefer jobs that are not as labor intensive
and do not get paid as much; however, there are other people who have studied that
women get paid less than men for doing the exact same job. I would like for people to
realize the injustices that females have in the workforce, so that hopefully on day we will
be treated equally.
The targeted audience for my paper is the male employer population. The men
need to realize that women can do any of the jobs that they are hiring for, and that they
should start hiring more of them. It is important for these men to recognize that their idea
of women has ben molded by the films that they have been watching from an early age.
They should know that just because women are stereotyped as the ones who raise the
children and do housework does not mean that is the only thing they can do. The only
way for this problem to change is for these powerful men to realize the value of women,
so this is why that I think it is most appropriate to address it to them. Women are ready to
take leadership positions in companies and close the gender wage gap, but men are not
ready to accept that.
At this point, I see my thesis being something along the lines of females are
stereotyped in film which leads to the gender gap. My main points to support this will be
that women are shown to be housewives, inferior, and less intelligent. I see my essay
starting off my giving the history of womens portrayal in film and stereotypes given to
females. From that, I would like to transition into proving that women are shown to be
housewives in film and then have my next paragraph talk about how women are shown to
be inferior and then less intelligent. After this I would like to transition into the wage gap
and start talking about how it has existed and remains a problem. Then I would like to

combine the two together at the end to make the overarching claim that I made at the
beginning.
Outline
I.
II.

III.

IV.
V.

Introduction
a. Thesis: The gender wage gap still exists today because of the way that
women are stereotyped in modern film.
Stereotypes
a. Talk about women being stereotyped as housewives
i. Women shown in film as the stay at home wife and people assume
that this is what women are supposed to do
b. Women being stereotyped as inferior
i. Use and example where women are treated inferior and use that go
say that because men see women as inferior in films, they assume
that they are supposed to treat them that way
c. Women being stereotyped as less intelligent
i. Talk about because women are seen as less intelligent that men do
not think that they are smart enough to do the job
ii. Put in a statistic or two about the intelligence of women
Address the wage gap
a. Talk about the difference between males and females in the workforce
i. Women in leadership positions and their wage in comparison to
males
b. Provide a counterargument to the wage gap that it still exists and is a
problem
i. People will talk about women not holding as high of positions and
respond with
1. Many would like these high positions, but men are often
given the job over them
2. It has been proven that women get paid less than men for
doing the same job
Wrap up the connection between the wage gap and the stereotypes in film
Conclude

So far I have found many more sources than I was expecting. The source that I found
by a USC professor is especially helpful because it does mention the stereotypes in film,
and then connects that to the problems that women are currently facing. My audience will
expect to have examples and statistics to support my claim. I have already found quite a
few statistics, but I need to do some more research to find strong examples of film, which
demonstrate the gender stereotypes. I plan on having one or two examples of film in each
of my body paragraphs about stereotypes in order to show that it is not simply one movie
that probes this. I expect some males to disagree with me by saying that there is a wage
gap because females in general prefer jobs that do not have as high of salaries. I found
one of these articles on the opposing viewpoints website which will be nice to reference

during my counterargument to make sure that I will address all aspects of the opposing
viewpoints.
One of my main concerns about this project is fitting it all into the page requirement.
I will have to really focus on picking out the most important ideas. I think that I might
have to narrow my topic some, but I am not really sure what to narrow it down to. I am
worried that if I narrow my topic any more that I will not be able to find enough sources.
I know for a fact right now that it I will go over, so something needs to change. My other
concern is connecting the wage gap and the stereotypes in film together well so that it is
easy for people to follow. I am worried that my paper could seem somewhat
disconnected, but I feel as long as I use transitions that I can integrate them together well.