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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Maggie

Where Are the Women? Maggie

When bad things happen to women, men’s feelings about this are more important than anything else, including how the women feel.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +10

+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: +2

+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -13

-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]


-3
Is a dead mother mentioned? [why this matters]


-5
Is a woman paired romantically with a man old enough to be her father? [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)

Is a woman turned into a zombie in order to motivate a male protagonist? Why yes, yes she is. [why it matters when women are hurt as part of a man’s personal journey]

TOTAL SCORE: -6

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: This isn’t the worst example ever, but this does fall into the category of “Movies about how, when bad things happen to women, men’s feelings about this are more important than anything else, including how the women feel.”


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

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

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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