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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Little Boy

Where Are the Women? Little Boy

The only female character with any presence is the mother of the young male protagonist… and she barely even does any mothering.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

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: -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: The only female character with any presence is the mother of the young male protagonist… and she barely even does any mothering. The child hero’s spiritual and personal journey is guided almost solely by a Catholic priest (who is, of course, male), and it revolves around the relationship the boy has with his absent father, who is away fighting in a war; this is a far more prominent relationship than the one he has with his mother, who is actually physically present.


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

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

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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