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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The DUFF

WATWduff

The power of a female protagonist is almost overwhelmed by clichés that reduce girls to not much beyond how they look and what they wear.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +25

+25
Is there a female protagonist? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +11

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


+10
Is there a female villain or antagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -5

-5
Is a woman introduced by the camera crawling up her body (either front or back) from her feet to her head? [why this matters]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -30

-5
Is femininity used as a joke (ie, a man crossdressing for humorous intent) in passing? [why this matters]
-20
In a way essential to the movie? [why this matters]


-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: +1

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: Explorations of the particular pressures that teenage girls are under are definitely needed, and we get that here. But we also get a lot of clichés that reduce girls to not much beyond how they look and what they wear, and a standard deployment of a mean-girl villain.


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

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

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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