Xmen Essay Essay, Research Paper
Discuss the construction and representation of gender in X-men
As well as the films content, the films title can also be discussed, especially when discussing gender representation. X-Men implies mystery and secrecy, but the Men in the title is expected to cover the female members of the cast as well as the male. This may set up audience expectations of who would play the lead roles, what characteristics these lead roles will possess, and how these characters will be represented.
The powers of the female mutants, Doctor Jean Grey, Storm, Rogue and Mystique, all have something in common which sets them apart from their male associates. The female mutants possess hidden powers that are in contrast to the external and visually threatening powers based on strength that Wolverine, Cyclops and Sabortooth present. For example, Rogue is portrayed as mysterious and dangerous.
Characters such as Doctor Jean Grey fulfil a number of roles, such as being an authority figure, a doctor, and a love interest for Cyclops and Wolverine without being a femme fatale. Doctor Jean Grey s sexuality is constantly emphasised by the presentation of her character through tight clothes she wears however teamed with an intellectual look, that being a white doctor s coat or glasses. Doctor Jean Grey is, however, still treated as a sexual object, as Cyclops warns Wolverine to stay away from my girl .
The character that possesses the most sexuality and sense of danger, however, is Mystique. Her provocative skintight costume drew media attention when the film was
released. The emphasis on her form makes Mystique an evil goddess built on ideology, which may have been inspired by the male gaze .
The representation of the male characters Sabortooth and Wolverine is the opposite to the female characters in the film. Sabortooth and Wolverine are depicted as brutal and savage.
The film X-Men may be accused of portraying women as victims. Rogue is a female victim as Magneto plans on using her energy, thus killing her. Also Storm and Jean Grey look terrified as Toad trap them. So women are represented as being dependent on the opposite sex in order to stay alive. Rogue is only saved by the bravery of Wolverine. By sticking to stereotypes, the film is easily digestible to the audience.
The representation of gender in the film X-Men suggests that women are inferior victims, relying on men. The female characters are portrayed as dependent on their male counter parts and are subject to the male gaze by their tight costumes. Men are represented as either intellectual individuals whose characters are explored, or as the strong fearless male, symbolized in the character of Wolverine.