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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Salt of the Earth

Where Are the Women? The Salt of the Earth

Though the narration describes the male protagonist photographer’s wife as his essential collaborator, we see absolutely no evidence of this.


Is there a woman who is mostly pretty awesome and perfect who is present to support a man improving himself? [why this matters]


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


[no issues]


Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)



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

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

BOTTOM LINE: Women are present here almost entirely as the subjects of the male protagonist photographer’s work, as people he shares his observations of. The only named woman is the photographer’s wife, who is depicted primarily as someone who stayed home and raised their children while he traveled the world for his work. And though the narration describes her as his essential collaborator, we see absolutely no evidence of this, and she does not appear on camera to discuss how they work together. (The first and only time she appears on camera is at the very end of the film to talk about an entirely unrelated project.)

Click here for the ranking of 2014’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Salt of the Earth! 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 Salt of the Earth.

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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