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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Fathers & Daughters

Where Are the Women? Fathers and Daughters

For a film with a female coprotagonist and lots of women in authoritative supporting roles, it does a lousy job of representing women.

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: -2

+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 she nonwhite? [why this matters]


+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]


+10
Is there a female villain or antagonist? [why this matters]
-20
Is her villainy/badness defined primarily by her gender (ie, is it related to motherhood, or is it of a sexual nature)? [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 dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -13

-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]


-3
Is a dead mother mentioned? [why this matters]


-5
Is a woman paired romantically with a man old enough to be her father? [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: -5

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 a film with a female coprotagonist and lots of women in supporting roles who are in positions of authority — roles that could easily have been played by men — and it still manages to end up doing a lousy job of representing women, thanks to its gendered female villain (who is also romantically paired with a man old enough to be her father) and multiple dead mothers.


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Fathers & Daughters! 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 Fathers & Daughters.

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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