The Wolf of Wall Street: A Representational Slander
By: 25090003 and 24020012
Based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street hit the cinemas in 2014, making $392 million. The humor and the fun life of the rich were appealing to much of the audience, but a criticism it faced was of representation of women in the film. Sure, it was humorous, but this kind of sexist comedy can be considered as harmful media production. All the female characters in the film are highly sexualized. It put forward the idea that
men can be accepted in all shapes and sizes, but only a specific body type was accepted with women. Not only this, there was a lack of female employees in Jordan’s office, and those that were employed held lowly jobs and were shown to do anything for money. As in one scene, a female employee shaved her head to get cash for breast implants. Moreover, Jordan’s second (and as indicated by the film, much hotter) wife, Naomi, only
used Jordan for his wealth; she endured all his abuse and only left him when he got
broke. The film portrayed women abominably by putting forward the idea that women have all beauty and no brains. It was sexism at its finest, and as Gill (2011) said, this form of sexism keeps men privileged.
The film portrays the existence of a woman’s role as always being in relation to that of a man, while men in the film existed as independent identities for whom it was completely fine to engage in casual harassment. Stuart Hall regarded media to be a significant factor in the production of meaning in society, and these notions perpetuate a culture of masculine superiority and that of degrading females in society. For the people watching such movies, it becomes an ideal. It sets an idea that rich men can do what they want, and this is highly problematic.