In 2022, women in movies are kings and immortals, and we were everything and everywhere (some would say, all at once). And in two of this year’s big award winners, women are speaking out. She said chronicles the efforts of the two journalists who cracked the story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault; The woman speaks It tells a fictional story (based on true events) in which the women of a religious colony must grapple with how to respond to the constant sexual abuse they experience from the men in their isolated community. Both films use the premise of women speaking to explore the heavy burden of being silenced, marginalized, and appropriated. Both films argue, rightly, that in order to tell certain kinds of stories, talking about women has to be the whole point. Both movies are powerful and amazing. But in light of our growing demand for cinematic transparency, I wondered: What movie best fulfills the promise of its title? In which movie did she say the most? Which movie actually has more women talking? I put my stopwatch app to the test to find out.
In solidarity with both women and comfort, I watched each movie lying with my phone on my chest, fingers hovering over the screen. Whenever a woman opened her mouth and words came out, she pressed Start. This includes, for example, women speaking in languages other than English, or on TV in the background of conversations between men – as long as you can often make it clear what they’re saying. this, no Not include crying women, or a female infant (present in both films). During the silence, or when those annoying guys started talking, I pressed to stop. I should note here that my button press may be inaccurate, so your measurements may differ from mine. Also, I’m not a mathematician, so argue with your mother…as many would with their mother in one of these movies.
according to my estimation, The woman speaks It recorded approximately 38 minutes of women and girls debating, praying, and singing in 97 minutes from its first frame to its last (no credit), which means that Female voices make up about 39 percent of the votes The woman speaks. in a She saidOn the other hand, women cajole, empathize, and utter the phrase “on the record” for 58 minutes of its 122-minute running time. And therefore Female votes make up about 48 percent of the vote She said. By total minutes and as a percentage of screen time, She said She has more to say The woman speaks Women speak.
But there is a lot to consider! For example, it is clear that the number of women who talk to other women, as opposed to men or just themselves, is higher in The woman speaks From She said—although we learned our lesson this year about reducing that measure to the Bechdel test. women in The woman speaks They spend most of their time talking to each other, as all the men have gone to town. in a She said, women should talk to men more often, because they report a story to the New York Times, which still insists on hiring men. (If only the actual times had national treasure Andre Braugher on the staff.) Generally speaking, public speaking is more common in She said than it is The woman speaks; The first place is about fast-paced journalists, and the last is about women living in a society that rewards religious meditation in quiet. Both of these films showcase the ways in which our patriarchal culture protects abusers, exposing the far reaches of this culture by sandwiching themselves between very different subjects: the who’s who of Hollywood and the female population of an isolated Mennonite colony.
It’s refreshing to watch these films go beyond simply focusing on women’s perspectives, and instead truly reckon with what it means to ground the discourse on the problems of oppression in the voices of those most affected by it. I found it particularly moving to hear so many female voices in a film, and deeply satisfying when, well, in The woman speaksthe women would silence the only gentleman even if he mumbled a word of well-meaning advice.
It’s when we put these movies side by side, and let go She said And the The woman speaks Talking to each other, we realize that they are saying something much more important about the prevalence of female oppression and institutional (versus situational) power. She said The number of women speaking may be more than The woman speaksBut remember: How much women talk about is never as important What are we talking about About.
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