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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Survivor

Where Are the Women? Survivor

Every single role played by a woman in this film — and there are many — could have been played by a man without changing a single line of dialogue.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +25

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

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +11

+5
Is there a female character (either a protagonist or a supporting character with significant screen time) in a position of authority (politics, law, medicine, etc.)? [why this matters]


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


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

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: 0

[no issues]

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: +36

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: Every single role played by a woman in this film — and there are many, including ones in significant positions of authority and professional expertise — could have been played by a man without changing a single line of dialogue. Women’s competence, intelligence, and professionalism are taken for granted, and they are not sexualized, abused, or demeaned because of their gender in any way at all. This might be a fantasy in real life, but seeing it onscreen is a step in the direction of making it a reality.


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

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

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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  • RogerBW

    Yay, scriptwriter, you managed to avoid hitting the generic female character clichés in your headlong career along Cliché Alley.

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