“The Smurfette Principle is the tendency for works of fiction to have exactly one female in an ensemble of male characters, in spite of the fact that roughly half of the human race is female.”
The website Feminist Frequency has recently started posting videos that explore the tropes women are placed into when they are depicted in popular media. These short videos explain that a trope is a “common pattern in a story or recognizable attribute in a character that conveys information to the audience. A trope becomes a cliche when it is overused.” Often, these tropes depict stereotypes. Enter the Smurfette Principle.
We’re constantly being bombared by all sorts of different images in the media and whether we like it or not these depictions begin to inform our perception of reality. Therefore the meager presence of women, especially women with diverse looks and opinions, in our mainstream media, serves to undercut the equality of women and men. The lack of visibility of women serves to propogate the idea that women are the minority and makes it seem as though issues that impact women are only interesting to women. It creates a sort of “otherness.” The lack of females in the media are a reflection of a male centered society, illustrating that we place priorities on men, men’s stories and the things men do.
The video elaporates: