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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Monsters: Dark Continent

Where Are the Women? Monsters Dark Continent

Even grading on the “Women exist only to support men’s stories” curve, women are treated abysmally here.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -10

-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]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -10

-5
Is a woman or women used as decorative objects/set dressing? [why this matters]
-5
Does this include gratuitous “booty” shots? [why this matters]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -10

-5
Is femininity used as a joke (ie, a man crossdressing for humorous intent) in passing? [why this matters]


-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]

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)

A scene in which a group of male friends party before being shipped overseas with the military includes completely gratuitous and almost pornographic depictions of anonymous naked women servicing them sexually. This serves no purpose except titillation for the viewer, and it’s more extreme than we typically see in mainstream (non-porn) movies.

TOTAL SCORE: -35

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 in the world of this movie are a nagging wife who expects (apparently unreasonably) her husband to hang around after she’s just given birth to his baby, an exotic foreigner who expands a man’s horizons, and nameless and faceless sex toys. And they appear in the briefest, most limited ways possible. That right: even grading on the “Women exist only to support men’s stories” curve, women are treated abysmally here.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Monsters: Dark Continent! 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 Monsters: Dark Continent.

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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