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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Good Dinosaur

Where Are the Women? The Good Dinosaur

Boy dinosaur goes on journey and becomes a better person. His mom and sister? They stay home. No journeys or personal improvement for them!

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: +4

+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: -10

-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]


-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [why this matters]


-3
Is a dead mother mentioned? [why this matters]
+3
Is a dead father also mentioned? [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: -16

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

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, one of five credited (Meg LeFauve) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: Boy dinosaur (who could easily have been a girl dinosaur) goes on journey, where he meets a boy human (who could have easily been a girl human) and is helped by other creatures who are also mostly male (but who could have easily been mostly female) to overcome his fear, learn to be brave, and become a better person in the process. His mom and sister? They stay home, of course. No journeys or personal improvement for them!


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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Good Dinosaur! 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 The Good Dinosaur.

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
  • RogerBW

    And with even less justification than usual, since reptile sexuality is quite unlike that of other classes. A good SF story might use that difference in mindset as the main thing it was about.

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