Where Are the Women? Testament of Youth

Where Are the Women Testament of Youth

Set a century ago during World War I, when suffragette was a dirty word, this film better represents women than many set today.


Is there a female protagonist? [why this matters]


Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]
More than one? [why this matters]


[no issues]


Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [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 film directly confronts issues that an intelligent, independent-minded young woman of the early 20th century would have had to deal with, the anxieties and prejudices that dogged any women who dared to be unconventional.
One scene is strikingly female-gazey, as the female protagonist takes close note of the throat, the cheek, the bare arm of a man she is attracted to.


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

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes (Juliette Towhidi) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: From its depiction of a woman making her own way in a world that is not kind to a woman’s ambitions to its multiple women in positions of authority, this film, set a century ago — during World War I, when suffragette was a dirty word — better represents women than many set today.

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

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

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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