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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Mr. Turner

WATWmrturner

The artist may treat them like nothing more than sex toys or helpmeets, but women adore him anyway. What a lovely fantasy for a man!

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -10

-10
Is there a woman who is mostly pretty awesome and perfect who is present to support a man improving himself? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +3

+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]


+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -15

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


-10
Is there a female character who is sexually manipulated or abused by a male protagonist as a way to advance his story? [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

No.

TOTAL SCORE: -22

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: The only women with any meaningful presence in the artist’s life, as far as we can see, are the housemaid Turner treats as a sexual toy (yet who is adoringly devoted to him nevertheless) and his mistress, a jolly, high-spirited lady who tolerates his every whim and oddity with good humor from the very moment they first meet. I wonder what their lives were really like…


Click here for the ranking of 2014’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Mr. Turner! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Mr. Turner.

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


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