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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Mississippi Grind

Where Are the Women? Mississippi Grind

Women are all but absent here, and when they do appear, they are little more than aggrieved ex-wives or hookers with hearts of gold.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -10

-10
Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +3

+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]


+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -15

-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]


-10
Is there a hooker with a heart of gold? [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: -22

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: With the exception of a riveting one-scene appearance by Alfre Woodard in a role that could easily have been played by a man, women are all but absent here, and when they do briefly appear, they are little more than aggrieved ex-wives or hookers with hearts of gold.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Mississippi Grind! 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 Mississippi Grind.

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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