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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Slow West

Where Are the Women? Slow West

The only woman with any significant presence in this film is not a character: she’s a goal for the male protagonist.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: -10

-10
Is there a manic pixie dream girl? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +2

+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-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]

WILDCARD SCORE: -2

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

The woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? She’s one of a band of outlaws in the Old West, which I initially thought was pretty cool. But the only thing we see her do (in the one scene she appears in) is mother a pair of young orphans the gang picks up.

TOTAL SCORE: -15

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

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

BOTTOM LINE: The only woman with any significant presence in this film is not a character: she’s a goal for the male protagonist, a physical proximity for him to achieve and a romantic object for him to possess. Her presence is more conceptual than actual, something a man thinks and talks about rather than having much to do with what she thinks or wants or does.


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

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

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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