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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Maze Runner

WATWmazerunner

This is a sample scoring of the film The Maze Runner for its overall representation of girls and women, to demonstrate my proposed feminist protest project for 2015. (See other samples for Interstellar, Nightcrawler, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.) Please go here to see all the proposed criteria and scores, and to comment on them and suggest others. See more on the project here. Donate to the Kickstarter to fund it here.

None of the pages related to demonstrating and funding this project are behind the paywall, and so they won’t decrease your available weekly pageviews. Please browse them freely (literally).

ETA: The proposed criteria have been updated (though not in a way that impacts this film’s score). Please see and comment on the latest criteria here.


0
Is there a female protagonist?

-10
Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist)

+10
Is there a female character with significant screen time who grows, changes, and/or learns something over the course of the story? (for an ensemble cast, or a film with a male protagonist)
-5
Is she the only woman in an otherwise all-male ensemble?

0
Is there a supporting female character with significant screen time in a position of authority?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a supporting female character with significant screen time who dresses less appropriately for the environment than her male counterparts do?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a supporting female character with significant screen time who bares her breasts?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a supporting female character with significant screen time who appears fully nude?
0
More than one?
0
Does a man appear fully nude?
0
More than one?

+1
Is there a supporting female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a supporting female character with insignificant screen time who dresses less appropriately for the environment than her male counterparts do?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a supporting female character with insignificant screen time who bares her breasts?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a supporting female character with insignificant screen time who appears fully nude?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a scene set in a strip club for no good reason?
0
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man?
0
More than one?

0
Is there a female character whose primary goal is romantic (to get married, enter into a longterm relationship with a man, etc)?
0
Is the object or potential object of her affection and attraction a woman or women?

0
Is there a female character whose primary goal is to become a mother?

-5
Is there a supporting female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men?

0
Is there a supporting female character who is sexually manipulated or abused by a male protagonist as a way to advance his story?

0
Is there a supporting female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children?

0
Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist?
0
Is there a woman who is raped (either onscreen or off) whose rape motivates a male protagonist?
0
Is there a woman who is both raped and murdered (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist?

0
Is there a woman who is mostly pretty awesome and perfect who is present to support a man improving himself?

0
Is there a manic pixie dream girl?

0
Is there a hooker with a heart of gold?

0
Is a dead mother mentioned?
0
Is a dead father also mentioned?

0
Does the film take place in a primarily all-male environment (ie, prison, historical military)?
-10
Did it need to? (points deducted if not)

SCORE: -19

BOTTOM LINE: The unexplained and unsupported reason for girls to be entirely excluded from the Glade (until one with a connection to the male protagonist shows up) is a major problem.

Read my review: The Maze Runner


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  • David C-D

    “Is there a woman who is raped (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist?”

    I’m assuming in this instance the woman needn’t die. Might want to reword for clarity.

  • That was just a typo/editing error, and I’ve fixed it now. And I’ll go fix it in the other sample ratings posts.

    Thanks for pointing this out!

  • Jessica Schamberger

    I know that I’m a bit late but I just wanted to clarify something here. As a huge fan of the maze runner series, I am aware that there is a flaw in your accusation. In James Dashner’s books, it was focused on a male protagonists, yes, however, there was a second glade being run by a large group of females. In fact, they managed to escape the maze before the guys escaped theirs. The second book in the series, Scorch Trials, does explain that there was other mazes like the gladers were in, most of which, included a large amount of females. So, your “bottom line” statement is not correct.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    1) at the time of this film (or the book, for that matter), this was not known. At best, it is a problem corrected in later material. However, given that the second book had been published before this film got made, the filmmakers had the option to correct it in this film, and chose not to.

    2) Because it apparently can’t be said enough… https://youtu.be/qvkZ8sCd5EI?t=1m40s

  • I’m talking about the movie, not the book.

    Isn’t it interesting that the women in the book get completely excised onscreen? Why do you think that happened?

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