In a post-feminist world, many stories are no longer necessary.
“There’s an entire movement going on to redefine gender, and it’s happening right now,” says Rachelle Gifford, a film critic and author of “The Art of Narrative,” about the art of storytelling.
The shift has made it easier to tell stories without a rigid gender narrative, says Giffords.
“We’re just so much more open to the idea that a story is about anything and anything can happen,” she says.
Here are the three most common ways a story can change without forcing gender onto a viewer.
In “The Good Wife,” a former New York prosecutor and a retired cop decide to make a film about the men and women who died in the 9/11 attacks.
But as they are making their first big-budget documentary, they decide to introduce their story to the world in the title.
The story is one of women and men working together, with no one person in the group being the primary focus.
It also allows the viewer to see the men as equals.
“You can see that this is a powerful story without putting a male protagonist in the lead role,” says Gafford.
“It can be about people working together for a common cause.”
Some filmmakers use a female protagonist, like “The Matrix,” to tell the story of the woman who discovers her identity as a hacker and eventually becomes the villain of her own film.
“The female lead is the heroine of the story,” says Susan Hennessey, author of the forthcoming “The Bigger Picture.”
And in the “Matrix” example, the character of Agent K is a strong female character who fights to make her own way.
But the filmmakers didn’t want to create a plot where the protagonist would have to take on a man’s role, Hennes, a screenwriter and producer, says.
“So they took a completely different approach,” she adds.
“They used a woman who was in a position of power, who was the woman in charge, and gave her a very strong role.
She became the hero of the movie, but she was still a woman.”
The gender of the characters.
There are a few exceptions to this rule.
“I can’t imagine that I’d ever recommend that anyone ever take a gender-neutral, no-nonsense narrative,” says author and director Jodi Picoult, who teaches filmmaking at the University of Southern California.
“And yet I would imagine that a lot of us are going to find it challenging, and perhaps challenging to have someone telling a story who is male or female in order to be able to tell it.
So we do have to be careful not to try to push our story too far.”
The best way to tell female stories without forcing them on a viewers is by giving the audience a different perspective, says Hennes.
“If the story has no gender to it, then you can just have that person tell it, because they are telling the story.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with gender identity or gender expression, Giff and Giff’s book is a great place to start.
“In the book, they discuss how gender identity is so fluid, that it’s not just about what we are or who we are,” says Hennys.
“This is not a binary, or binary for everybody.
We have to know what’s appropriate and not appropriate for each person.
We need to learn about our own experiences with gender, gender expression and how they interact with one another.”
“I think that’s a big thing that I think has been lost in the gender revolution,” Giff says.
And in this era of social change, it can be difficult to figure out what you really want.
“But the idea of having the answer is the answer,” she tells The Huffington Post.
“That’s what I think really makes it important to be honest about who we really are and what our experiences are.
It’s important to know that you’re not the only person who has experienced what it is like to be the person you are.
We are all human beings.
We all have our own story to tell.”