How do crime TV shows portray women’s involvement in violent acts?
Our research question concerns how women are stereotypically pigeonholed into certain roles in television, specifically within the crime genre. Through our research on women’s representation in crime TV shows, we hope to explore the validity of the notion that women are wrongfully exploited on TV. During our initial research process, we were able to obtain information about gender representation across a large range of multimedia: from advertisements, to movies, and finally to TV shows. As we came across a particular peer-reviewed papers, we were intrigued by how TV shows dating back from even the 1970s victimized women and portrayed them as insecure and vulnerable individuals. An article analyzing the James Bond franchise points out how female characters have played nearly identical roles in all of the movies, most of which were minor or sexual partners of Bond. Furthermore, an article by Los Angeles Review of Books provided an interesting insight into the conflict that crime TV shows face in portraying deep, compelling female characters in crime shows as it uses Detector Kate Beckett in “Castle”, for example. We’re interested to see how crime TV, as a whole, employs female characters in their stories; are we getting more complex, motivated lead detectives, or damsels in distress?
The representation of women on crime TV doesn’t just affect crime TV and actresses in the business. Misrepresentation on TV can lead to a lot assumptions in young people, and when not corrected, they persist into adulthood. Through our research, we hope to discover whether or not such a problem exists with gender in crime television. Our question is important because the first step to change is understanding the problem. TV should represent genders equally, and although it doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic, it should be fair. TV is a huge influencer in the public’s lives, and crime a hugely popular genre within it, so it should present information that supports equality between genders.