I came across a great article written just this morning on E! online questioning the effects the success of The Hunger Games will have in Hollywood. It seems that the huge success of the movie (grossing "$152.5 million in its opening weekend") may lead to more strong female characters in movies and more "female-centric projects". This makes complete sense, because if something makes money, everyone is naturally going to jump on it.
However, if you step back and really consider this, it's very interesting. Feminists have been trying for so many years to emphasize the potential of females and the strength of the gender, yet when does everyone start to really pay attention and support this portrayal of women? When a strong female character makes big bucks in Hollywood. In this way, our society truly revolves around the media. So was the popularity of the Hunger Games partially caused by growing support for strong females in our society? Or is the Hunger Games just a good story that happens to have a female main character?
If you believe the latter, then what better way to get public support of an idea? If we introduce these topics that we want to garner support for in new, entertaining ways, the public almost subconsciously starts to see the topic in a new light. Simply telling people that women can break stereotypical gender roles is nowhere near as effective as showing them.
According to another article on the effect the media has on gender, children learn these gender stereotypes from a young age, and mostly through TV and movies. The article contains many interesting statistics, including the frequency of female characters in the media, as well as the way in which they are portrayed, and the effect it seems to have on children growing up watching these portrayals.
In all, it seems that the best way to influence the public view on a topic is through portrayal in the media. So why isn't this used more often?? Why don't we see more of this subdued version of propaganda, used to manipulate our minds into thinking in whatever way the media intends? Or is it used so often that we don't even notice it anymore?