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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Gallows

Where Are the Women? The Gallows

“Jokey” adolescent misogyny and a “she’s just the girlfriend” negatively impact the horror genre’s typically fairly good representation of women.

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: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -5

-5
Is there a female character with significant screen time who dresses less appropriately for the environment than her male counterparts do? [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: 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: -5

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 “jokey” adolescent misogyny of one of the male members of the ensemble and the “she’s just the girlfriend” positioning of one of the women negatively impact the horror genre’s typically fairly good representation of women. The terror of pretty girls isn’t even sexualized here the way it often is.


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

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

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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