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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Seventh Son

WATWseventhson

Feints toward feminism quickly descend into a diatribe against women with a villain who is all about revenge against a man who wronged her sexually.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

-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]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: -15

+10
Is there a female villain or antagonist? [why this matters]
-20
Is her villainy/badness defined primarily by her gender (ie, is it related to motherhood, or is it of a sexual nature)? [why this matters]


-5
Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [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] (*in this case, an adult child)

WILDCARD SCORE: -5

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

Olivia Williams portrays the mother of Ben Barnes’ character… but she is only 13 years older than him. And he is supposed to be a seventh son! Maybe his older brothers have different mothers, but still, the age gap between the two is ridiculously small.

TOTAL SCORE: -25

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: A film that begins with some apparent feints toward feminism, with its female villain with genuine power, quickly descends into a diatribe against women with a villain who is all about sexual jealousy and revenge against a man who wronged her romantically. Because what other reason could a woman possibly have to be angry?


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

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

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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where are the women

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