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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Pan


Women here are nasty nuns, absent mothers, manic pixie princesses, or pretty mermaids, all helping a little boy on his adventures.


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 or biological relationship with a child or children? [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)

Similar to the trope of the woman who is kidnapped in order to motivate a male protagonist [why this is a problem] is how the male protagonist here is driven by a desire to find his mother, who is missing from his life through circumstances that result in her being absent from the story as a character and “worth” nothing but how she can prod him along on his journey.
Blackbeard the pirate describes his island of misfit boys as a place where people of “all races, all colors, all creeds” are working together (for his cause, of course)… except there are no girls there at all, and no one even seems to notice this. Are girls icky? Or are girls not people?
There is a scene in which Hook acts like such an insulting, condescending jerk to Tiger Lily that she slaps him… but then when she turns away, she smiles, indicating that she is actually charmed by him. It’s an ugly depiction of the trope of abusive behavior as a sign of a man’s attraction for a woman, one that she will secretly welcome in spite of her protests.


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 here — of which there are vanishingly few — are nasty nuns, absent mothers, manic pixie princesses, or pretty mermaids who don’t speak but do rescue little boys so they can continue on their adventures. As long as little boys can continue on their adventures, what else are women for?

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

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

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)

This project was launched by my generous Kickstarter supporters. You can support this work now by:

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posted in:
where are the women

  • LA Julian

    And this is the sceenwriter, Jason Fuchs, who’s already been given the privilege of writing the Wonder Woman movie! His first version of Pan had Hook outright sexually assaulting Tiger Lily, who was Native American in that version, repeatedly AFTER she said “No” thus the slap…but only after she melts in his arms from being kissed “like she should be,” something her fiance Kiowa (!) couln’t manage but a white man could! So it was even worse, assault played as rom-com, with overt talk of conquest to make it even worse.

  • Danielm80

    I like this version of Wonder Woman:


    I hope they base the movie on her.

  • Bluejay

    And this is the sceenwriter, Jason Fuchs, who’s already been given the privilege of writing the Wonder Woman movie!

    Oh. Oh god.


  • LA Julian

    Google Fuchs Pan PDF and you can see how deep the rabbit hole goes hackish a script can make the Blacklist! (I’m not even sure how to cope with the fact that Fuchs spent a LOT of time working out the logistics of how a human could copulate with one of Tinkerbell’s people, aside from trying not to…)

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