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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Ten Thousand Saints

Where Are the Women? Ten Thousand Saints

A young woman is reduced to little more than a vessel for an unborn child, and an object for feelings by the male protagonist.

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: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -10

-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]


-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: -5

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

The personal journey of the only major female character in the story revolves entirely around what she should do about an unexpected pregnancy. The male protagonist, in addition to deciding whether and how he can help her even though he is not the baby’s father, also gets to make major decisions about where to live, whether or not to go to school, and what avocation to follow (which could become a career). Though obviously these are issues that a young woman would also have to be thinking about, they are never mentioned.

TOTAL SCORE: -5

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? Yes, one of two credited (Shari Springer Berman) (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, one of two credited (Shari Springer Berman) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: A young woman is reduced to little more than a vessel for an unborn child, and an object for feelings by the male protagonist, who isn’t even the father, about her and the baby. It’s a shame that the film bypasses opportunities to treat her as a well-rounded person.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Ten Thousand Saints! 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 Ten Thousand Saints.

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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