Where Are the Women? Kingsman: The Secret Service


No matter how smart, competent, or ambitious a woman is, her place is in support of a man, or — preferably — as a sexual reward for a job well done.


Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]


Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]
More than one? [why this matters]
Is there a woman who dies (either onscreen or off) whose death motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]


Is a woman introduced by the camera crawling up her body (either front or back) from her feet to her head? [why this matters]


Is there a female character who is sexually manipulated or abused by a male protagonist as a way to advance his story? [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)

The female sidekick to the villain is mostly pretty awesome and perfect — she could have been the villain herself — and she’s present not only to support him in his evil ways but to be a decorative object for the audience’s (and the villain’s) appreciation.
A supporting female character with a significant and distinctive moral authority is reduced to a sexual object by the protagonist, and for the viewing pleasure of him and the audience.


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

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

BOTTOM LINE: A couple of female characters among the potential Kingsman recruits cannot make up for the film’s overall attitude toward women: that no matter how smart, competent, or ambitious they are, their place is in support of men, or most properly as their sexual playthings and a reward for a job well done.

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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Kingsman: The Secret Service! 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 Kingsman: The Secret Service.

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

This rating is brought to you without paywall restrictions by my generous Kickstarter supporters. If you missed out on the Kickstarter and would like to support this project, you may:

become a monthly or yearly subscriber of FlickFilospher.com
make a pledge at Patreon
• make a donation via Paypal

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap