Gender and James Cameron

30Dec08

I found an old sociology paper that I wrote when I was, I think, a sophomore in college for a Sex and Gender class. Within the paper I discuss James Cameron’s portrayal of gender in three of his films (Aliens, Terminator 2, and True Lies). Here’s my introductory paragraph:

Filmmaker James Cameron, creator of the Terminator trilogy, has spent his career making action films, usually in the science fiction genre. As well as penning the famous catch phrase “I’ll be back,” Cameron directed the second movie of the successful Alien film series and one of the highest-grossing films of all times, Titanic, which swept the 1998 Oscars and won almost every award for which it was nominated. Though the historical romance differs greatly from the slime-filled Aliens, both films, as well as most of the films in Cameron’s filmography, reveal their director’s interest in toying with notions of masculinity and femininity within the action movie genre. Instead of always relying on the stereotypical image of a limp woman clinging to the muscled hero who rescues her countless times, Cameron includes multiple portrayals of masculinity and femininity within his films. While Cameron does try to explore gender roles in his projects, he ultimately conforms to society’s norms, limited perhaps by the type of films he has chosen to make, specifically mainstream action movies.

I talk about all three films pretty separately from each other, so I thought that they lent themselves well to being posted here, but I decided to separate them because a blog is not a place to plop down a ten-page academic paper. Now, remember I was, like 19 or 20 when I wrote these. My writing…needed some help.

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