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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Where Are the Women? Maze Runner The Scorch Trials

This is the sort of movie in which, when someone yells, “They’re going after the girl!” they refers only to boys and there’s no question who “the girl” is.

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: +1

+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]


-5
Is there a woman who is kidnapped (either onscreen or off) whose kidnap motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: -5

-5
Is a woman or women used as decorative objects/set dressing? [why this matters]

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: +6

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: There are lots of girls and women here, and even in roles that wield some authority and could have easily been played by men. But they exist only to support the male protagonist, and in many cases only drop into the story when they’re needed before disappearing again. Things could be worse here, but this is still the sort of movie in which, when someone yells, “They’re going after the girl!” they refers only to boys and there’s no question who “the girl” is because she’s the only one who is figuring into the narrative at that point.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials! 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 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

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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