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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Boy & the World

Where Are the Women? Boy and the World

If not for the title, we’d have no clue at all as to the child protagonist’s gender. Which makes it all the more frustrating that a gender has been imposed.

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: 0

[no significant representation of women in authority]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [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: -15

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: If not for the title, we’d have no clue at all as to the child protagonist’s gender, given the style of animation and the lack of dialogue, including character names. Which only makes it all the more frustrating that a gender has been imposed on the child for us. It’s tempting to say that Kid & the World or Child & the World would be equally effective titles for the film — or, indeed, even Girl & the World — except we know, frustratingly, that Boy is already considered universal enough, so what’s the difference, anyway?


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

Click here for the ranking of 2015’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Boy & the World! 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 Boy & the World.

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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