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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? Joy

Where Are the Women? Joy

Any story about a woman pursuing goals beyond love and motherhood is a positive turn. Minus a few points, however, for making fun of feminine tastes.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +25

+25
Is there a female protagonist? [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +1

+1
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -10

-5
Is femininity used as a joke (ie, a man crossdressing for humorous intent) in passing*? (*in this case, both a love of daytime soaps and over-the-top female dress are held up for ridicule) [why this matters]


-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children*? (*in this case, adult children) [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

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

No.

TOTAL SCORE: +16

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

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? Yes, one of two credited (Annie Mumolo) (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: Any story about a woman pursuing goals beyond love and motherhood is a turn for the better. This one does lose a few points, however, for making fun of peculiarly feminine tastes — for soap operas (via the female protagonist’s mother), for dressing in extremely feminine ways (via the HSN hosts whose look the female protagonist rebels against) — without even hinting for the reasons why women might be drawn to such things. Still, the film remains in overall positive territory when it comes to women’s representation.


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

Click here for the ranking of 2015’s Oscar-nominated films for female representation.

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

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


This project was launched by my generous Kickstarter supporters. You can support this work now by:

buying some Where Are the Women? merch
becoming a monthly or yearly subscriber of FlickFilospher.com
making a pledge at Patreon
• making a one-time donation via Paypal


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