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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Containment (aka Infected)

Where Are the Women? Containment

This is how you do it: You don’t relegate women to mere sidekicks to men, and you give the women things to do that actually drive the plot. Easy peasy.

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: +9

+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]


+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: +19

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 is how you do women’s representation right: You include as many women as men (especially if your movie is meant to have a real-world vibe), you don’t relegate them to mere sidekicks and support to the men, and you give the women things to do that actually drive the plot. Easy peasy.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Containment (aka Infected)! 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 Containment (aka Infected).

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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  • Nathan

    This is somewhat unrelated, but recently a video game creator tried to justify ludicrous clothing for one of the female characters in his game by saying “she breaths through her skin.” Now whenever a female character in a movie poses in skimpy clothing I’ll just assume she also breaths through her skin. Problem solved. There is no male gaze, there is only skin breathers.

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