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maryann johanson | takeaway only

Where Are the Women? Insidious: Chapter 3

Where Are the Women? Insidious Chapter 3

With not one female protagonist but two, this is a fine example of how stories about women appeal to wide mainstream audiences.


Is there a female protagonist? [why this matters]


Is there a female character (either a protagonist or a supporting character with significant screen time) in a position of authority (politics, law, medicine, etc.)? [why this matters]

Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [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 a dead mother mentioned? [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)

A dead mother is mentioned [why this matters], but in a way that is possible in a movie about supernatural communication and interaction with the dead, she is actually a character in the film, so the problematic aspects of this trope are negated.


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

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

BOTTOM LINE: With not one female protagonist but two, and jointly engaged in a task that has nothing to do with romance or babysitting, this is a fine example of how stories about women can appeal to wide mainstream audiences and don’t have to become sermons on feminism. (Not that many do, but this seems to be the fear of those who worry about injecting women in movies where they don’t “belong.”)

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

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Insidious: Chapter 3! 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 Insidious: Chapter 3.

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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where are the women

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