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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Home

WATWhome

It’s absolutely wonderful to see a mixed-race teenaged girl as a coprotagonist. But why are even pastel-colored alien blobs mostly presented as “male”?

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +2

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


+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) [why this matters]
+2
Is she nonwhite? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +5

+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]
+2
More than one? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [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: +2

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: It’s absolutely wonderful to see a mixed-race teenaged girl with so much screen time, and whose actions help drive the plot. But it’s a shame, though, that she is just about the only female human or alien with any meaningful presence in the story (her mother, who barely appears, is the only other one). Why are even pastel-colored alien blobs mostly presented as “male”?


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Home! 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 Home.

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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  • Zach Lyons

    I found it odd and off-putting that they changed the gender of the cat to male from female, as it was in the book. For one thing, Calico cats are almost never male, it seemed odd to me and I wasn’t surprised the cat was female in the book. It’s as if they’re afraid to have too many female characters in a movie.

  • I’m not sure the gender of the cat makes any difference. Certainly, a female cat would not have improved this movie’s WATW score.

  • RogerBW

    Female Cats Review Movies seems perhaps a bit too niche.

  • LaSargenta

    No, but changing the cat’s gender is weird.

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