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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? X+Y (aka A Brilliant Young Mind)

WATWxplusy

Boy genius is confused, upset. Mom and girlfriend will guide him on the path to manhood. Because of course they will.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -20

-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 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: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

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]


-10
Does a man police or attempt to police a woman’s sexual agency? [why this matters]
+10
Is he rebuked for it, either directly (by a character onscreen) or indirectly (by how it is depicted)? [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: -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: Boy genius is confused, upset. Mom with the patience of a saint and new girlfriend — equally brilliant and adolescent and yet somehow poised and wise beyond her years — will guide him on the path to manhood. If women need to grow or change, they can do that offscreen; onscreen, they exist to help men along their journeys.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of X+Y (aka A Brilliant Young Mind)! 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 X+Y (aka A Brilliant Young Mind).

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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