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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Instagram (and Twitter) fun: public shaming of male-dominated movies

So I joined Instagram: I’m @flickfilosopher. (Can you believe @maryannjohanson was taken?! At least it’s not being used.) There’s a link in the sidebar under Follow, too. I confess to not knowing much about Instagram until last night, but it seems that it’s not really suitable for promoting my work here in the same way that other social networks are. (For one thing, it’s really really hard to upload images from the web or from your desktop to Instagram: it’s specifically designed for smartphone and tablet use. Also: no links in captions.) But it’s good for other things.

Like this:


That’s a poster in the tube for the film Slow West (which I’ll review asap), which is not going to get a good score on the Where Are the Women? test.

I have been finding myself grumbling every time I walk by posters like this for movies like this — and since we know how bad the situation is, that’s happening a lot — so I thought, Why not point out the problem for more people to see? Even if the Post-it gets taken down immediately, at least a few people will see it. And posting the image to Instagram (and Twitter, and Facebook, and Pinterest) will allow even more people to see them.

I invite you to join me. All it requires is this:


A packet of Post-its and a Sharpie. Post-its are great, because you’re not doing graffiti or defacing anything. (The preceding does not constitute legal advice.) And a camera, of course. Slap a #WhereAreTheWomen Post-it on appropriate movie posters you see on public transit, in cineplexes, wherever. Tag ’em with #WhereAreTheWomen, upload them to your social networks, and tag me if you like, and I’ll Like/retweet/Favorite/whatever.

Or just send ’em to me, if you prefer, and let me know how I should credit you.

I love this plan. I’m excited to be a part of it. Let’s do it!

posted in:
where are the women
  • LaSargenta

    Oooh. Cool. I’m not on anything with a hashtag, so I’ll send you anything I snap. I assume you need flicks that don’t do well on the WATW? test? Or will all posters potentially be useful?

  • Constable

    That’s a neat idea, might be a tad confusing to people who don’t know about your series.

  • LaSargenta

    Then they should search the damn hashtag!! Isn’t that what they are there for?

    #wherearethewomen brings up a bunch of interesting tweets. And looking through them for ones related to moves definitely brings one to MAJ.

  • As LaSargenta says, that’s why it’s a hashtag. :-)

    And I think it’s pretty obvious if there’s a couple of guys on a poster but no women — or a dozen guys and only one woman — what the problem is.

  • Well, it will be hard to tell sometimes, because often these will be for movies that haven’t opened yet. And yet, if a film *does* end up representing women well and there are no women on the poster, that’s also an issue. So I would say, yeah, just look for posters that feature no women, or only one woman and a bunch of men.

  • LaSargenta


  • Jurgan

    What was that movie a couple years back about a female singing group with a male manager, and the poster showed the man front and center with a couple small pictures of the women in the background?

  • LaSargenta

    It was the DVD cover and it was The Sapphires and it also made all the women look white(r).

    Edited to add here’s the thread: https://www.flickfilosopher.com/2013/08/why-has-anchor-bay-dick-washed-and-whitewashed-the-sapphires.html

  • Constable

    I must confess that I don’t really use twitter all that much, I suppose the meaning is pretty clear.

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