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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Birdman

WATWbirdman

It’s rare that a film makes it this explicit that women are little more than supporting characters in a man’s story.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: 0

[no significant representation of girls/women]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +5

+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [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]

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 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: It’s rare that a film makes it this explicit — this much a part of the actual text — that women are little more than supporting characters in a man’s story. One woman actually says, when asked how she knows a man (who turns out to be her husband), “We share a vagina,” as if it belongs as much to him as it does to her.


Click here for the ranking of 2014’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

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

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

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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