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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Minions

Where Are the Women? Minions

Maleness: the default for characters worth telling stories about as far as Hollywood is concerned, even if they are little yellow blobs.


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 female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]

Is there a female villain or antagonist? [why this matters]


[no issues]


Is femininity used as a joke (ie, a man crossdressing for humorous intent) in passing? [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)

That all the Minions are coded “male” — to the point of every single named Minion sporting a male name — is problematic on its own, but when the opening sequence of the film is an extended joke about the Minions’ evolution, the complete absence of female Minions really stands out as a bizarre omission.


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

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

BOTTOM LINE: They are little yellow blobs. There is absolutely no reason why they must all be male. And yet they are. Because maleness is the default for characters worth telling stories about as far as Hollywood is concerned, even if they are little yellow blobs.

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

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

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

  • RogerBW

    Did they even need to have names at all?

    (Of course they did. That’s how long-suffering parents know which toy to buy. Hint: all of them.)

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