Negative Depictions of Women in Contemporary Nollywood Films: A Critical Analysis of Shanty Town Film

The negative representation of women, as opposed to their male counterparts, as revealed in Nollywood films has attracted attention from many from all walks of life. This has pushed feminist scholars into criticising and clamouring for a change of narratives and review of the way and manner at which women are depicted in films, considering the power of films (ability to reach many, influence behaviours and opinions) and the extent of damage such portrayals/ projections can cause to women and their place in the society, globally and internationally. Consequently, this study reviewed some of these negative portrayals as evident in already existing literature and compared them to the portrayals of men in Nollywood films as well. Thus, revealing the gender biases and negative cum stereotypical portrayals between men and women. To further shed deeper light to the issues of stereotype and gender inequality in films (highly contentious), the study painstakingly reviewed the newly- released movie shanty town and summarised the negative portrayals of women evident in the film theme by theme. Some of the identified themes include portrayals of women as: thieves; objects for collateral; whores; inferior and subjective/dependent to men; weak and useless; objects and tools for men’s sexual gratifications; money-making ventures; and lastly, brain-washed individuals who lack confidence in themselves. The study found that these stereotypical depictions, although highly contentious over several years, are still prevalent in films and are unaddressed; as such, recommended certain strategies and ways needed to address the situation as well as provide a new beginning for women in the entertainment industry.

Keywords: Representaion1; Negative Portraya1s of Women2; NollywoodFilms3; Gender Stereotypes4