‘Minions’ most sexist kids’ movie of the year, rated Triple S for gender stereotyping

Yesterday, when my three daughters and I went to see “Minions,” two lingering questions I’ve had– are they really all male and if so, how did they come into being– were answered.

minions-poster-1

So, yes, now I know: the minions are all boys. When I’ve complained in the past about the utter lack of female minions, commenters responded that they’re “genderless.” In kidworld, where everything from robots to cars to planes are assigned a gender, I doubted this was the case, but I watched the new movie carefully just in case I was mistaken, that the minions were an exception to this rule. Guess what? Not only does every minion mentioned have a male name, but they are also repeatedly referred to as boys with lines delivered like: “Growing boy creatures need their strength” or “Good luck in there, boys!” or “Buckle up, boys!” So, please don’t waste your time emailing me that a 6 year old kid won’t notice what gender these creatures are.

Now, for question #2. The movie opens with a scene where the minions seem to evolve from amoeba like creatures that come out of the sea. Clearly, no female is involved in their reproduction. A male narrator describes their creation story and also how and why minions came to be: to serve an evil master. As evolution continues on the screen, we hear the narrator introduce “man.” We then see a caveman, followed by a series of other male leaders including a pharaoh and Napoleon. Around this point in the movie one of the minions, I think it was Bob, emerges from the sea wearing a pair of starfish on his chest in the first of several breast/ female jokes. Another minion sees Bob and quips: “He’s an idiot.”

Right after the narrator assures us this is going to be the same old, same old narrative we always see where one male saves the world, announcing: “One minion had a plan and his name was Kevin” I turned to my oldest daughter, who is 11. I told her I had to take a bathroom break and to watch for any female character who speaks, as none had come into the movie yet at all. My daughter responded, “Mama, the villain is a girl.” She was referring to Scarlet Overkill who she was familiar with from the many, many previews we saw of the movie. I, too, had high hopes for Scarlett even though as the only main female character in the movie, I was pretty sure she would be limited by the narrative to a Minority Feisty role.

For those who aren’t familiar with Reel Girl, Minority Feisty is the term I’ve assigned female characters in children’s movies. These females are “strong” and therefore often referred to as “feisty” by reviewers. “Feisty” is a sexist adjective. A reviewer would not label a male character, such as Superman “feisty.” “Feisty” refers to someone who isn’t really strong but plays at being strong. “Feisty” isn’t a real threat to any power structure. The Minority Feisty can refer to one or more female characters in a movie, the point being that though there can be more than one, females are shown as a minority population. The Minority Feisty represents our slow, slow, slow progress from the Smurfette Principle, a term coined by feminist writer Katha Pollitt. The Minority Feisty serves to pacify parents, so we can sigh in relief and say to ourselves: “There’s a strong female or two, this movie is feminist!” And thus, we’re all supposed to ignore and forget that girls– half of the kid population– are reduced to a tiny minority in the movie and almost never represent the protagonist.

Scarlet Overkill is one of the WORST EVER representations of the Minority Feisty. The male narrator introduces her at Villain Con: “There’s a new bad man in town and that man is a woman.” Then Scarlet is on the stage in her red dress and stilettos, saying: “Hey, a girl’s got to make a living.” She is the keynote speaker at the conference, defined as “the world’s first female supervillain.” Before Overkill came to town, she tells us, it was believed that “a woman could never rob a bank as well as a man.” Overkill proves them wrong, so YAY feminism, right? Let me remind you that the minions represent a fantasy world where little, yellow pill shaped creatures have sprouted from the sea. Why, why, why in “Minions,” and most other children’s movies, do we recycle sexism into so many stories that are otherwise imaginative and creative, because “that’s just the way it is in the real world?” Why does Scarlett Overkill have to be represented as an exception to her gender? Why can’t we show children a fantasy world where gender equality exists?  “Minions” does the opposite, reproducing and in fact, managing to exaggerate sexism so that females have hardly any place or representation in the world at all.

You wouldn’t think it possible, but things get even worse for sexism and Overkill’s character. She wants the minions to steal the crown for her because she wants to be a princess– not a queen!– “because everyone loves princesses.” Is any kid watching this movie going to get a message of female empowerment from this single, sexist character? If you still have doubt, at the end of the movie, this first female greatest villain of all time, cedes her status to Gru who you know from the “Despicable Me” movies. It is he who is the real greatest villain of all time, Overkill’s 15 minutes are up.

I’m appalled and disgusted that movies like “Minions” are allowed to be made in 2015 and shown to little kids, teaching a new generation to expect and accept a world where girls go missing. If you think I’m overreacting, imagine the reverse: A movie about three female characters– Kara, Stella, and Becky, who lead an all female tribe. They defeat the first male super villain ever, while pursued in a world populated by hundreds of female villains, groups of all female police officers, troops of all female guards, and visit English pubs where almost everyone– except for the pink suited king– is also female. Would you notice the sexism? Would your kids? The fact that the lack of females in children’s movies– from protagonists to crowd scenes, from heroes to villains– isn’t glaringly obvious to us and our children shows how sexist the world is. In the fantasy world, anything is possible, even gender equality. If we can’t even imagine it, we can’t create it. Unfortunately, “Minions” teaches kids, one more time, that females don’t matter much at all.

Reel Girl rates “Minions” ***SSS*** for gender stereotyping

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(Photo features 2 of my daughters, ages 6 and 8)

Reel Girl’s Gallery of Girls Gone Missing From Children’s Movies in 2014

See Reel Girl’s Gallery of Girls Gone Missing From Children’s Movies in 2013

Reel Girl’s Gallery of Girls Gone Missing From Children’s Movies in 2012

Reel Girl’s Gallery of Girls Gone Missing From Children’s Movies in 2011

In the 5 years since I started Reel Girl, I’ve never done this before but comments on this post are now closed. Generally, I let most commenters post because the imbeciles inadvertently prove all of my points. But I’ve reached a point where there are too many trolls who repeat the same comments over and over and over, the same arguments (if they can be called that) which I’ve already rebutted numerous times. My energy needs to be focused on writing and creating, not reacting and responding.

323 thoughts on “‘Minions’ most sexist kids’ movie of the year, rated Triple S for gender stereotyping

  1. Your sexist bigot how dare you say that names like Kevin bacon, Bob Saget and John Stuart are only men names they can easily be woman you are going against your own views and the basic central ideologies of a view that you so honorably follow.

  2. Hi Margot,

    Thanks for your post. I haven’t plonked any money down for this film (I did see the first one), but I did notice Minions advertised on Australian Apple TV with the following movie poster (I guess, for whatever reason, there are multiple posters produced for each movie.)

    http://www.impawards.com/2015/posters/minions_ver3.jpg

    I thought of you when I saw it, because you’ve said in the past that promotional media are influential media in their own right, and my takeaway points from the promotional poster alone:

    A headless woman
    With an exaggeratedly slim waist, accentuating a certain kind of femininity, as if her femininity is part of what makes her so evil (since it’s not expected such a woman would be a supervillain)
    Not one but three male characters faces included
    And one of them appears to be actually peering up her skirt.

    A friend tells me she has no problem with the minions ‘because they are funny’, which they are, of course, to many. It seems in the current climate of children’s character franchises humour is used to excuse all sorts of awful retrograde sexism. Previous commenters suggest that since the minions are supposed to be funny, we’re all obliged to avoid ‘overanalysis’ otherwise *Shrill Harpy* (etc). This subculture of not-thinking… Not a fan.

    It’s said you can tell a lot about a person by what they find funny. This film seems to be a Rorschach test for sexism.

  3. The comments here are incredible Margot. They perfectly illustrate how completely men hate women. They are moved to rage when freaking little yellow pill men are criticized, that’s how deep the manly solidarity goes.

    ‘Did you swallow too many sperms?’ ‘Seek mental help’. Classic.

    I wonder how it feels to be such a pathetically insecure creature, so aware of your own true inferiority that ‘minion’s’ being criticized reads as a threat to your patriarchal dominion over women worldwide.

  4. “Minions are genderless, they are all the default gender, which is male!” – said unironically by thousands upon thousands of dopes + fools

    also THANK YOU, the word ‘feisty’ had always pissed me off but could never quite articulate why.

  5. Obivously we didn’t see the same movie, as I don’t see any sexism in this movie.

    Overkill just overpower all the other villains of the movie, except for Gru, and even the queen that we barely see in the movie, is, in one of those moments, just beating a gorilla at arm wrestling, without any effort, so, is she weak to???

    And yes, minions ARE genderless, but giving them female AND male names would obviously create genders, as well as giving female names only (yeah, most of the clichés are still “what, she is a girl, she should wear pink!!”). So if you really think, anyway there would have been genders, but giving them only male names is the most common thing above the three choices and the genderless of all three…

    Another thing… this IS NOT a complete fantasy world, this is THE REAL world with fantasy in it, and it takes place in a time when society was still pretty male-ruled, so yes, people at the time thought women couldn’t do as good as men. And among ALL the really well known vilains in the whole history, there is really few of them who were female, and that’s a fact, female aren’t done for the same thing as men. They are usually better than men in many things (everything about languages, art, etc), as well as men are usually better than women in scientific stuff (don’t make me say what I didn’t say, they are NOT ALWAYS, but usually) which is normal, because those different things have been done by thousands of years of genetic evolution. And that’s good. What people like you don’t see is men and women ARE NOT THE SAME, they are different, and equality doesn’t mean being the same, just having equal rights in equal circumstances.

    And about your last paragraph, yes, a movie like you describe, I would notice the sexism, because what you describe, what you talk about, isn’t a world with gender equality, but a feminist world, and what most of people don’t understand is that FEMINISM ISN’T EQUALITY!! Equality is for everyone not to be judged about what he/she may think or want, this is about little boys being able to ask for a pink doll and not being judged, for a girl to ask for soccer shoes to play with her team if she wants without people telling her she should play dolls, etc.

    The world was as it was, and since this story takes place in the 70’s, Scarlett Overkill probably had the same education than most people at the time which says ‘little girls should want to be princesses and try so, and boys should want to be manly and potent and provide to their family needs’. So yes, she wants to be a princess, and what? are you already judging her about what she wants? so she isn’t right to think another way than you??

    • Women are better at languages and arts and men are better at science? Wow, just wow. It’s because of people like you that progress is so slow at moving towards gender equality. There is NOTHING in our “genetic evolution” that makes men or women better at one field than another. I find that so offensive of you to assume such an ignorant thing.

      • The “all male minions” are submissive to the almighty powerful scarlet overkill so if anything this movie is so feminist it should be a crime. This argument is entirely inherently flawed…
        Also, not really sure how you can find anything wrong with the evolution scene, man (that is man with a penis) built the primitive world and did most of the work at the time. I can’t believe anyone could find this movie sexist unless they were really trying to go out of their way.

  6. Minions don’t even have fucking genders. They are genetically engineered I believe. The don’t have genders.

  7. Thank you for presenting that point of view. For people who are still beginning see the world with the lens of gender-equality, sometimes it’s hard to realize things by ourselves, we need that kind of help.
    And congrats for raise your girls that way, I’m sure they will develop a strong critical sense and won’t write absurd comments as those I saw here.

    Best Regards from a brazilian feminist.

  8. The horrific comments on this article prove that sexism is alive and well in the 21st century. Women are still being told to shut up, as well as being called vile names, if we express dissenting opinions about media that still tends to present us as objects rather than people.

  9. Quite simply, you are a fucking idiot. Good luck bringing up kids in your miserable household, you’ve made two children isolated from others their age and made them fucking miserable. ITS A KIDS FILM, GROW THE FUCK UP YOU IGNORANT BITCH.

    • And you’re a very nasty person with nothing better to do than call someone foul names on a review of a children’s movie. Why are you so very offended by a persons opinion? You have anger management issues you should really sort out.

    • These types of comments only go ahead to prove that internet is indeed providing a ridiculous platform to lure such cowardly nefarious imbeciles into having a false sense of security while leaving such foul comments shamelessly.
      In fact, I pity your parents for bringing you up!

  10. ‘Right after the narrator assures us this is going to be the same old, same old narrative we always see where one male saves the world, announcing: “One minion had a plan and his name was Kevin” I turned to my oldest daughter, who is 11. I told her I had to take a bathroom break and to watch for any female character who speaks, as none had come into the movie yet at all.’
    Your daughter is 11 fucking years old. You don’t need to ruin her movie viewing experience with your idiotic feminism.

  11. Yeah so..how many people bet that if there were female minions, people would still call the movie sexist because they’d be as dumb as the other minions?

  12. First world white girl problems…
    Get a life, there isn’t any sexism here. Perhaps if you were more secure in your gender then you would understand.

  13. Minion is a new “race” create to support a human that would not take time from the main characters. This way most of the interaction can have a purpose or just be a stupid action to be silly. Assuming that everyone can have visions and dreams to imagine anything they want, minions “race” could be hermaphrodite on the minds of the creator. Can you explain which sex or gender the predators or aliens are ? Stop to force people to put the same or opposite gender/sex on a imaginary world. Think on the action and not whoever does it. If person trip and fall and its funny… sex/gender would not change it.

    • Lets start with kids movies like this portray to children like they can be that person and the film is not about some yellow pill like creatures but a journey of triumph in which the children can relate to. Basically its more about the story line not the specify characters.

      The scene at the beginning were they all come out the water if a far amount were women they would have more features to portray that fact like eyelashes, a different figure and a bigger chest as that’s what women naturally have, so would you rather have your child witness the chest of a women (as they had no clothes through a fair amount of the movie) or see a creature that all around don’t represent a gender.

      I do believe that more women should be shown other than the two (Scarlet Overkill and the Queen) but them to women are the most two powerful people in the film in which everyone looks up to.

      As i stated before its more about the story that specific characteristics.

  14. ‘So, please don’t waste your time emailing me that a 6 year old kid won’t notice what gender these creatures are.’

    A six year old won’t care what gender they are

  15. Thank you for writing about this! It’s been bothering me for awhile, and now I have all the more reason to steer clear of this latest movie in the franchise. Keep on writing! I see a lot of hate in the comments here, but they are misinformed people who underestimate the power of media to the eyes of a child (although I’m sure you know that already!). I always look forward to reading your critiques of movies!

    • This is a movie made for kids! Its not meant to have a whole lot of depth. Its simply provides an enjoyable way to spend some time. The only possible agenda in this movie would be to sell some toys and that is not a crime. There are many things that are not appropriate to show a child, this film is fine for a child with a reasonable amount of self awareness. Yes the main three minions are most likely male but why should that matter at all, the only way this can be inferred as male is though their names.

      My daughter loved every bit of this movie and snuggles with her minion plushie every night and brings it everywhere we go. It is evident that many “feminists” today have a raging victim complex (I’d like to point out that I am female) and are only happy when they can complain about oppression in their sheltered 1st world countries. I suggest you focus on reviewing the film instead of finding ways to push you agenda.

      Just my two cents 🙂

  16. The director and minion creator, Pierre Coffin, has already come out and said all minions are male because he can’t imagine a female being as clueless and dumb as minions can tend to be. He respects women too much to make them that idiotic.

    As for Scarlet. The film was set during the 60s, if I recall trailers correctly, when equality for women barely extended beyond the ability of vote until the latter half of the decade with the hippies. Her being introduced as she was and making comments about her standing up and doing what men can do is all a reflection of the time period. If you go in with that in mind she is a remarkably strong character.

    I am all for feminism and equality, but you have to look at this objectively and understand why before making a long drawn out post about a children’s movie that actually did their research.

    • Hi JJ Hartel,

      Almost every time I write about sexism, I get the argument that is just how it is, be in 60s London, the Hobbit’s shire, the world of pirates or talking rats. This is a movie about little, yellow pill shaped creatures but when it comes to sexism, all of a sudden, everyone wants to be a stickler for “reality.” In many of these movies, “Ratatouille” is one example, the only female chef in the movie, Colette, delivers a speech about how there are no female chefs in french kitchens. This movie basically shows kids a talking rat can cook, but a girls can’t/ I’m tired of sexism being used as an excuse to keep female characters out of children’s movies. And its hypocritical and inconsistent too, in a movie about cows, all the cows were male.

      As far as Coffin’s comments, total cop out, I’ve said why many times in these comments.

      Margot

  17. Okay, two can play this game.

    Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame was a misandric movie that was peddled to the children and is one of the reasons why are society is terrible. I was watching with my son on Netflix, when I noticed that it used Nutcracker humor. And for those who don’t know, I am referring to “comedy” where a man gets his balls hit and we are meant to laugh at the pain.

    I saw multiple soldiers getting their Dragon Balls shattered, another dude getting a wine bottle cork shot in his grapes and the strong woman trying to roast a dude’s chestnuts with candles. And we are meant to cheer for the woman!

    I asked my son if this movie was good for MGTOWs like ourselves, and he told me, “No, every man in this movie is a beta” (he’s seven by the way).

    And after all that fucking work, Quasimodo doesn’t even get to fuck the 6/10 of the movie and loses to the normie who looks like he has sucked at least twenty cocks and been stuffed with more creme than a twinkie.

    Frodo is demonized for wanting to get his dick wet and has a lot of game. Shame he got killed because “he deserves Hellfire for wanting the puss”. My son told me it was time to turn off the PS4 and go practice some game instead. His game is so good, he got a 40 year old woman to take his virginity at age three!

    I’m proud of my son.

    • You thought it was a good idea to take kid to see that horrible movie? I never thought anything based on the source material would be appropriate for children.

      Not that anything a troll says is true, it is just made up to get a response.

      Frodo is a hobbit. Frollo was a corrupt priest.

      “Another important theme in the novel is that a person cannot be judged by their looks or appearance. Since Frollo is a priest, a person would normally assume him to be a kind and righteous man. In truth, he is despicably cruel, manipulative, and evil. In contrast, most people judged Quasimodo to be the devil because of his disfigured outward appearance. Inside, however, he is filled with love and kindness. Esmeralda is also misjudged; because she is a gypsy, the people of Paris believe she is evil; but like Quasimodo, she is filled with love and kindness. Phoebus is good looking and handsome, but he is vain, selfish, villainous, and untrustworthy.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunchback_of_Notre-Dame#Major_themes

  18. Here is my 6 year girl’s opinion on the movie. The movies we have seen this summer in her order of which she liked the most.

    1. Tomorrowland
    2. InsideOut
    3. Minions
    4. Max

    Max needed more girls and was scarier. Minions needed more girls, but she didn’t see them as human so they didn’t count as boys.

  19. I’m a little confused. This giant diatribe tearing this film apart for the smallest shred of something that can be deemed sexist, yet not even an honourable mention for the creator’s comments that only boys can be stupid and dumb?

    While representation of female figures in movies is something worth discussing, I think the overt statement that boys are inherently stupider than girls deserves a little conversation as well.

    I thought feminism was about building up both genders, and tearing down all gender stereotypes? It’s articles like this that reinforce that egalitarianism will always be preferable to feminism.

  20. Thank you for your blog. I’ve long bemoaned that movies with lots of girl characters are considered “girl” movies, whereas movies with all boys are perceived to be gender neutral. Personally, I think “Penguins of Madagascar” was even MORE sexist than “Minions,” but they’re all problematic. We need more representation in fiction and movies… the stories we tell matter and influence children’s perceptions of their roles in society. I’d love to see equal numbers of boys and girls in kids’ movies, taking all shapes and sizes. Boys already are depicted in all shapes and sizes, but girls almost always have the same heart shaped face, large eyes, small mouth, and curvy or slender body. And even alien/animal/monster girls have traditionally female curves whereas male alien/animal/monsters have a much broader variety of body types. I want to see smart girls, dumb girls, competent girls, silly girls, the full gamut of humanity that’s already being afforded the boys while girls are kept in narrow boxes when it comes to their depictions.

    I couldn’t stand to read most of the comments I briefly perused, mocking the idea that kids’ movies can be sexist. I just wanted to thank you for this often thankless act of speaking out.

  21. I can only imagine the cries of sexism if every minion was female. Minions are stupid little creatures incapable of doing anything right and subservient to a master. We can all imagine the complaint if they were female.

    • LOL imagine they were female??
      This lunatic would complain how the female minions are complained.
      You CANNOT win against these whiny harpies.

      • Yes indeed you can’t win against these whiny harpies because losers can never be winners!
        Technically, Lucifer was a major loser himself at the end was it not? Appropriate choice of name mate!

    • Which feminists are you referring to? The feminists at Human Rights Watch or UN Women? All of them have published report after report criticizing practices in majority Muslim countries based on Sharia law. They are routinely criticized for their “cultural imperialism” for doing so. Frequently by men.

      Just to be clear, there are feminists that oppose the singling out of majority Muslim cultures with regard to women’s human rights, but there point is not as you imply that they refuse to condemn inequality in Sharia law. Rather, they refuse to single out Islamic practices when women’s position is not much better in Western countries (also in Western countries, for young to middle-aged women to be killed by an intimate partner is a more likely cause of death than lethal illness or accident, divorce is the statistically most dangerous period of time in a woman’s life, domestic violence and rape statistics are already rampant and have a large darkfield, unequal pay, STEREOTYPIZATION and limitation of women’s potential to certain limiting roles – see this article). Then there are plenty feminists who want to go after the most egregious violations of equality – no right to School education because you’re a Girl, no right to property or inheritance because you’re a woman, no right to become a judge or president by law because you’re a woman – first. Those feminists criticize Sharia law actively. But I guess you prefer the broad brush and will stick to your preconceived notion “feminists refuse to condemn Sharia law”.

  22. What a load of sexist bullshit. You are training your daughters to have issues with men, and at ages 6 and 8 getting them to help gather evidence to justify your bias.

    If you cared about your daughters you would have seen the movie first and decided if it was fit for them, rather than include them as drones in your war.

    6 year olds don’t care about gender unless it has been drilled into them, it’s not that they don’t notice, they just don’t care yet, unless their parents have made it an issue, which I agree is very common, but I include you and actively feminist parents as part of the problem.

    Children do not need to be taught their parents hangups.

    If you had separated your feminism from your parenting I might find more to agree with and listen to, but I feel sorry for 6 and 8 year old girls who will never be able to have a normal relationship with a man due to their mothers prejudice, even if those problems were caused by a man or some men. Yes, many women are victims of male sexism, that doesn’t make it right to make your children victims of female sexism. If you take your daughters to a movie to count the times women are victimised by men, then you are only teaching them how to be victimised.

    This is feminism at its worst!

      • I try not to push anything on my child, and if I did, she pushes back. She knows what she likes. But she does know when there are not many girls in things, and sometimes doesn’t care.

        I was aware of the absence of girls and women in TV and Films when I was a child. No one pointed it out to me. But I saw it.

        Are you saying when my parents let me go to a WAR (Women Against Rape) class when I was 17, they were preparing me to be a victim? Far from it. A fellow from my door floor pinned me to the wall and tried to kiss me. His assault ended when my knee crushed his delicates.

        I won’t raise my kid to be a little Pollyanna (only seeing the good in things) but to know that there is good and bad and that she has all the skills to deal with whatever comes her way.

    • Thats the most ridiculous comment… children are forced into bias because of such things as this movie. If u dont see it then you either dont have children or you’re too absorbed in your man dominated world to notice ur children behaving with bias already.

    • If you get your kids to count the girl characters in a movie for you you aren’t a feminist you’re an overreacting nutcase.
      I am female but this is some stupid sh*t that is going to mess up your daughter’s heads big time. You’ll probably treat any son like dirt because if he’s not female he’s not a person.

      • Exactly..
        Just because it doesn’t have female minions, doesn’t mean it -absolutely- has to. Which is the only sense I get from this person.

        Sure it’s good to break down gender stereotypes and all that. But this writer is pretty much barking up the wrong tree here.

      • Seriously, women like you are a far greater threat to the entire womanhood than men. Its women like you should be targeted instead of questioning men all the time. After all its mothers like you who end up creating the typical “women hating manchild!”

      • So that she can grow into a perfectly educated and competent professional with a huge gap in her pay check for the rest of her life! Wow to that!

    • Seriously? Have you ever met a child? My 4 year old girl told me today that only boys were allowed to like superheroes. And I am hyper vigilant about what I show my childrenAnd about presenting gender equality, not judgement. gender bias starts very very early. We will not be seeing Minions.

      • I have twin daughters who are 3, both love to dress up as princesses and super heroes. The toys they have are both girl and boy toys. In my house, they are just called toys. Same goes with our books, we have both books. My girls only know them as books. If you want your child to see gender equally, then labels need to be dropped. Yes, I believe God made man and woman differently with different roles, but both roles are equally important.

  23. Minions have no genitals, so they don’t have gender. You’re talking about out culture’s perceived gender roles. Minions, in other movies, have taken on roles of both male and female. If you look at genderless creatures and see male, then you are seeing your perception of gender roles.
    Also, it’s a damn cartoon. A slapstick based comedy. You’re looking for sexism to justify writing about a popular movie in order to promote yourself at the expense of that movie.

    • The minions having no genitalia would not instantly define them as genderless. Sex is separate from gender; one is a physical body type and the other is a social construct.

      So pretty much your entire argument is invalid mate, congratulations

      • Except the difference is that they’re a-sexual, which is completely different from not having any genetalia.

  24. From my standpoint:
    The minions are idiots. They are all boys, but idiotic boys. Every master the minions had was killed by male stupidity, except for Scarlet Overkill – the strong female who was able to take control, proving that she was superior to their previous male masters. Her (male) husband Herb wrecked her plans though, if he had killed the minions instead of taking dumb “funny” pictures with them then Scarlet would have achieved her goal.
    This was a movie about men wrecking everything and dragging women down with them.

    Scarlet and the Queen were the smartest people in the whole darn movie. This is not a movie about men being smarter or better than women – in fact the complete opposite because every male action in the movie came out of a mistake rather than a calculated plan.

  25. What the fuck is wrong with you? It’s a movie. Movies are fiction. If you’re worried about the impact of “sexism” on your children, don’t take your children to a movie that depicts “sexism”. In my opinion, it’d be better to teach your children about sexism rather than try to shelter them from it because the world is full of this shit no matter what you want ot believe.

    And don’t call me a troll because you don’t agree with me.

  26. You’re a fucking retard. I really hope nobody takes you serious. How did you even make it this far?

    Your blog rated ‘T’ for “Trash”

  27. Margot, thanks for the article. I hadn’t thought about it with the minions, but I agree with what you’ve said here. And for all the people saying “what’s the big deal?” it IS a big deal when over and over again, girls and women are invisible in the arts. Yes, even in cartoons. It’s especially telling to me that most of the commenters who are complaining that this isn’t really a big deal are either anonymous or have male-sounding names. I also disagree with people’s comments that you should have read the interview with the creator and not written this article. Few viewers would have seen that interview. Our reactions are shaped by what we see on the screen. It is completely appropriate to me that you share your opinion on the movie as you saw it. You’re entitled to your opinion, even if others think not. Thanks again for writing this.

    • Just so you know Barbara, here’s the quote from the creator of the Minions when asked why they were all male.
      “Seeing how dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls.”
      Interesting, huh?
      Now, I’d like to ask you to consider something. The next time you’re watching TV, pay attention to the commercials or, for that matter, any sitcom involving a husband and wife. Here’s what you’ll notice if you’re being open minded.
      Men are portrayed as being bumbling, foolish and unable to handle the tasks of life. Women are seen as in control, reasonable and the problem solvers. THEY are the one’s running the show.
      There’s a reason for that of course but it doesn’t negate the message that it sends.
      Don’t take my word for it. See it for yourself.

      • Boothv,

        I don’t know how many shows like that there are because when we find them, we turn to something else. I want my kid seeing males and females as strong and compentent.

        Do those bad shows justify bad representations of women and girls? I vote avoiding both.

  28. I wasn’t completely sure I was convinced by the article, though I understood the argument and see its merits. But if I have to choose between Team Author and the disgusting cretins replying to this article, I’m definitely choosing Team Author. Nothing brings up the misogyny like these threads. Definitely, Team Author.

    • Go away Troll, the adults are talking, next time try exercising critical thought, the author’s argument has absolutely no merit whatsoever, tbh, I feel the author’s kids need to be taken away by childbprotective services.

  29. Sexism:
    1 :prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :discrimination against women
    2 :behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

    Don’t really see how the mentioned complaints / criteria qualify.

    Was Scarlet forced to clean house and cook dinner between her evil schemes?

    Were there no females involved in the production of the film?

    Were there over/undertones of a discriminatory or stereotypical nature indicating the writers / production personnel are attempting to convey the ideology that women belong @ home cooking, cleaning & making babies?

    The assumption that Minions are male is erroneus…I would think someone with your obvious mindset would be happy with a female costar and a multitude of gender-neutral twinkies in the lead….guess not.

    Furthermore, Despicable Me 1 & 2 were both amazing movies and of course the origination of the minions. In most peoples opinions (speculating based on the many conversations I’ve had with everyone I know regarding those two films) the favored characters have to be the 3 adopted FEMALES over the villainous male characters. I personally feel they were the stars of the first 2 movies and I’m sure many others agree.

    Where were your complaints about minion-gender then?

    Sure , TRUE sexism is wrong….. but your complaints , quite frankly, are asinine and I feel sorry for your children. It seems like you’re taking a LOT of the fun out of being a kid.

  30. I am completely and absolutely stunned that you have comments enabled on your blog, Reelgirl! I don’t know how you can withstand the trolls!

    My “favorite” part of the movie was that the (female) “leading villain” needed her husband to do the inventing of all the cool gadgets that actually made her powerful. Just dandy. Compare with Big Hero 6, where there was an (almost) equal number of male and female inventors … now that’s painting the future STEM picture that we want to see. Or at least some of us want to see.

    • Ah yes, the traditional feminist censorship of valid arguments because “logic and facts are patriarchal conspiracies” and as such, dissenting voices are “misogyny” and “trolls”, completely ignoring the fact that such dissenting voices have completely valid arguments.

      Slow clap.

      • No, misogynists and trolls aren’t the same – though folks coming to this site – which appears to be built around the (IMHO much-needed) “imagining gender equality” in our cultural products – and criticizing the author for doing exactly what the site advertises … well, you can see where misogyny and trolldom get awfully close.

        But good, I like your suggestion, so we’re talking logic and facts now … so you have clear responses to all of these statistics? Since you “work in the film industry” you should have all the answers for those parts at least?

        Only 16% of protagonists in film are female.

        Between 1937 and 2005 there were only 13 female protagonists in animated movies.

        The female characters in G rated movies are just as likely to wear revealing clothing as in R rated movies.

        Women make up 8% of all writers of major motion pictures.

        Women are 17% of all executive producers

        Women are 7% of film directors

        Women are 2% of all cinematographers

        Women and girls are the subject of less than 20% of news stories.

        Women make up 14% of all guest appearances on the influential Sunday television talk shows; among repeat guests, only 7% are women.

        Only 15% of the authors on the The New York Times best seller list for nonfiction are women.

        Only about 20% of op-eds in America’s newspapers are by women.

        Women hold only 15.2% of seats on the boards of Fortune 500 companies.

        Only 7.5% of the major earners at those Fortune 500 companies are female.

        Only 3% of advertising’s creative directors are women.

        Women are just 19% of partners in law firms.

        Women represent 17% of the United States Congress.

        There are currently only six female governors.

        Throughout our history only four women have held the office of Supreme Court Justice.

        There has never been a female President of the United States.

        • Exactly, misogynists & Trolls (though the former is exceedingly rare compared to the latter) are not the same thing, yet you feminists are constantly labeling dissenters to the narrative as both, when (most often) they are neither.

          As for your “stats” (which are extremely misleading btw), O’ll address those when I get home and am not out & aboit.

    • It sounds like you’re advocating state censorship for the film industry. Unless a film promotes your own values then it must be banned. You’d have us back in the 1980’s when social conservatives tried to tell use what we could or couldn’t watch. Scary!

    • Yes Jeff, becausing using troll tactics the day after I get called to work 20 hr days on a film shoot is certain to 1) make you look any less an idiot

      2) make me ignore my priorities (sorry, but $1500/day is a higher priority than responding to your complete and utter garbage) and respond to you sooner.

  31. First: I always figured that 1) The minions are A-sexual 2) The minions are generally Androgenous

    This article has GOT to be a joke….is this seriously the state of society these days???????

    There is NOTHING sexist here. Next you’ll be calling nature sexist because worms are A-sexual and (being phallicle) male, and as such there’s unfair gender representation in nature.

    Nevermind the fact that the Minions sole desire in life is to be in unwavering servitude to an alpha male character, without pay and in squalid living conditions…and you’re saying you’d like to see unmistakably female minions in this position???? Doesn’t that kind of go against the entire Feminist mantra?

    Just for the record, because of this article, I’m making a point of taking my nephew and his female cousins (3 of them) to see this in theatre this weekend.

    Find something grown up to talk about. You know feminism has become irrelevant when you’re grasping at straws like this, take a hint.

  32. Here’s the quote from the director about why the Minions are all male.

    “Seeing how dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls,” Coffin told TheWrap.

    So young one?

    Shove it. Shove your whole poor, persecuted girl nonsense.

  33. I, too, think that this is a stretch and here’s why. Plenty of blog articles sneak out onto social media feeds where the author pitches their opinion as fact, which is annoying to me and many other people I know. I really wish the author would have read the creator’s interview regarding the minions being assigned a male gender. Check it out here: http://www.thewrap.com/minions-creator-pierre-coffin-on-why-theres-no-female-characters-in-the-animated-hit/ I think the author may change his/her mind. Also, I don’t think it’s entirely fair to crucify one film when the majority of films out there have sexist tones to them. That’s all 🙂

  34. I don’t agree with everything in this article, but yes, there seriously is something wrong with this movie. Have faith despite all the hate you get. If everybody spoke their minds in front of problems such as this, the way you do it, there wouldn’t be anything wrong since ages. Peace to everyone~

  35. You have to understand, in the current climate anyone can macro-analyze a film and find it guilty of perpetuating some horrible thing that makes it the worst thing to happen to cinema since Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The only real requirements are to overlook anything good inherent in the film and overly expose the things that an individual finds wrong with it, ignoring anything else. For example A person who was truly concerned for children might point out that blowing up cops with a rocket launcher, or the subject matter in some of the soundtrack ( Explaining ‘ Foxy Lady ‘ to a child .. good luck. Go back a few years and parents had to try to explain why James Brown singing ‘ I feel good ‘ was playing via the Chuck E Cheese animatronic band ). You can take almost any aspect of this film and use it as a smoking gun if you try hard enough. The minion making pasties out of starfish can represent shame of breasts, the minion using pick up lines on the fire hydrant blatantly supports pick up culture, children robbing a store as part of a family outing and the inherent violence therein, and any female role can be twisted into a horrible evil representation of something. Hell given half a chance someone will tell you that Top Gun was sexist because Kelly McGillis was not a fighter pilot, and the volleyball scene was heteronormative biased.
    Protip : Don’t expect to heal the wrongs of the world by way of a single children’s film. You will only be disappointed in the film and aggravate yourself.
    Naturally overlook things like the minion giving his tiny crown to the frozen Scarlet in an act of kindness, a kindness that is inherent in his character which despite the turns of events throughout the entire film he manages to keep. The camaraderie and family of the minions themselves both en masse and in the three who braved the world to find a new life. Complete with a teddy bear.
    In the end it’s the age old rule : If you don’t want your kids to see it, don’t take them. That is your right. Just be aware of two things : Demonizing everything to it’s absolute worst & protecting children by censorship instead of education is a dark path. Second , the moment they are outside of your purview they will take it in , along with every other thing you forbid, due to the most powerful force in children that can not be easily curbed … curiosity.
    Least we forget, the Cinema is supposed to be our temporary escape from the world around us, not yet another victim of the PC police who would tell an artist, a writer, and a screenplay author what their characters can and can not do in order to pass muster.

    • I got offended about This POST this is sick she just doesn’t get it kids may read THIS you know. I LOVED this movie and post like this makes me sick . The kids were TOLD to put a thumbs down by the mom 🙁 that’s really ugly. Not the kids WHAT SHE DID PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN .

    • Any thoughts on the creator’s on the record comment that because of how “dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls?”

      So, are you saying that’s a high standard? To call men dumb and stupid?

      Or is this sort of the faux equality thing? You know, women dressing in low cut tops to get attention from men and then screaming about men looking at them?

      • Hi, only just saw your reply.

        “So, are you saying that’s a high standard? To call men dumb and stupid?”

        I congratulated the author of this post for holding childrens’ films to a higher standard. I never referred to the filmmaker’s quote about minions being dumb and stupid. You referred to it, and then attempted to connect it to my concept of a high standard. So there’s really no way for me to respond to that question, because it’s nonsensical.

        But I can give you my thoughts on the quote as you’ve quoted it, “dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls?”

        Believe it or not, both men and women have the capacity to be dumb. So actually, saying that women can’t be dumb is wrong. This is not sexist for me to say. It’s sexist for them to say that they can’t. That’s real equality, as opposed to the ‘faux equality’ to which you referred.

        You went on… “Or is this sort of the faux equality thing? You know, women dressing in low cut tops to get attention from men and then screaming about men looking at them?”

        I can see how you think that this is something feminist women want – the ability to get attention from men via their clothing AND the ability to scream at men who look at them. But no feminist wants both of these things. Only anti-feminists think they do. So I’ll correct these two statements for you –

        1) Feminist women want to be able to wear what they enjoy wearing. What they enjoy wearing may sometimes, often or never be influenced by the attention it gets from men. More often it is to make herself feel pretty or to feel comfy, not make others be attracted to her.

        2) Feminist women do not necessarily want to scream at men merely for looking at them. They merely don’t want strangers ogling, catcalling or touching them. These things would make anyone, man or woman, feel uncomfortable. It’s not that hard to be respectful about it.

  36. Wow, really? If you focused your energy on helping the homeless or stopping the war, the world would be a better place. We have so many real problems to deal with instead of this trivial crap.

  37. I just wanted to throw in a positive comment since there’s a LOOOOT of really really horrible negative ones.

    Decent article, i found it made the point well, and I pretty much can agree with it. It’s disappointing to know things are still so formulaic and following old word out shitty stereotypes.

    Thank you for writing the article and may anyone being rude or insulting in these comments have a terrible unfulfilled, empty existence.

  38. This author needs lots… and lots… and lots… and lots… and lots… and lots… and lots of help. Or vodka.

  39. My 8 year old son and his best friend were just discussing this movie, and minions in general. I overheard “do you know how you tell a boy minion from a girl… Boys have two eyes, girls have one.” There was no argument from his friend.

  40. Can you just stop? This was a streeeeeeeeetch. This new-age feminism needs to stop. You’re making something into a gender issue that doesn’t need to be.

  41. Articles like this are why the world dislikes feminists… Dont get me wrong, im all for equality, but really? It’s a CARTOON. Get over it!

    • This would have been exactly my comment couple of years ago. Then I needed to study equality issues for some other purpose and read several studies and articles on gender equality. And I started to realise that issues like status of women in developing countries are just one part of the whole picture. Yes, it is a more serious problem, but still it all comes to this stereotyping that we teach our children from the very beginning. And we don’t even notice doing it since “it’s only a cartoon”, “it’s just a fairytale” etc. There is not going to be real equality between genders as long as we teach our children that “boys cannot sleep in pink sheets” or “girls cannot be funny minions or great villains”.

      I understand that it’s hard to see how things like this movie would need to be taken seriously in the battle for more equal society. But then again women are not the only group of people being left outside. I bet there were no disabled minions or villains either.

      • The fact that you “learned” from those articles rather than already being aware that it was what feminists have been claiming for years just goes tobshow how uninformed and naive you are. Try reading those articles again, only this time, use a little perspective while reading them, you’ll realize what complete b.s. they were. In the end, you are wrong.

        • Are you for real? These issues seem b.s. to you? I know not all of us as human beings undergo torments, some (strictly some) of us are lucky, shielded and safe and have to read about stuff to get surprised by the reality! That does not make them ignorant! But your brainless harangue does show the level of ignorance you ooze. Naive would be too good a word for the likes of you!

  42. Wow ! You can’t even understand a kid’s movie ?!
    Did you swallowed so much semen that your eyes are flooded by sperms ?
    It’s a kid movie, asexual characters. Do you know what this word means ?

    Poor, poor girls of you.
    Later they’ll have the same ideas you have, they’ll repeat them loudly without even knowing what it really means.
    They’ll get beaten up, abused, all because of you.

    Worst mother on the internet, that’s what you are.
    Publicly posting their photos, you don’t even give a damn about their privacy.

    Poor, poor girls.

    Poor, poor you.

    • 1. “Did you swallowed so much semen that your eyes are flooded by sperms ?”
      2. “Later they’ll have the same ideas you have, they’ll repeat them loudly without even knowing what it really means.”
      3. “Worst mother on the internet, that’s what you are”

      1. Lack of grammar – low on education.
      2. Trivializes women getting beaten up for speaking their mind, makes exaggerated and offensive statements on unrealistic gamete consumption – low on character and moral
      3. Brazenly declares someone as the worst mother on the internet without a justifiable premise – judgmental beyond anyone’s imagination

      Do I need to say more?

  43. This is comical.

    I’m a liberal, late me state that first.

    However, this is pushing it even for me. Author, you’re reaching so hard to make something out of nothing. God forbid a movie has mostly male characters.

    Can we please talk about every Barbie, Tinkerbell, fairy movie that exists where the characters are 99% female?

    I don’t think the minions being boys is going to affect your girls negatively unless you try to drill it into their heads (which you’ve obviously done given the picture taken) that this is a BAD movie.

    I feel bad that you couldn’t let your girls enjoy the movie without inflicting your overtly sensitive biases on them.

    • Can you really compare straight to TV or DVD/BluRay movies to the promotion that Minions has gotten? In my estimation that just makes Reel Girl’s points more pertinent: if mass promoted summer blockbuster cartoons have 90% male characters and the only cartoon movies with 90% female characters are straight to TV or DVD/BluRay movies, doesn’t that strike you as problematic in the first place?

  44. Kauf dir ‘n vibrator du nutte und hör auf sex mit kinderfilmen zu vergleichen.

    Buy a vibrator you whore and stop measuring sex with kid movies.

    I bet you are a cum swallowing wife and a fan of spitroasting. Wuah. I hate you.

    I also fap to your daughters. So stop whoring them out on the internet

    • you’re disgusting. i don’t care what you think of the article- calling her names is totally uncalled for. do you think talking to her like that makes you a man? because it doesn’t. it makes you a pathetic piece of garbage. if you have an opinion, state it intelligently. as of right now, you pose no value to this conversation.

    • Gosh, thanks for this response – it makes it so clear that feminism’s job really is complete and there isn’t any more sexism out there in the world. Congrats on demonstrating that so succinctly.

  45. Omg.. Seriously? The person who wrote this must have a ton of time in her hands. Most kids aren’t even aware of the movie they are watching and completely forget about it 50 seconds later. Please do enjoy life more and stop killing movies: they are made for entertainment purposes mostly.

  46. I really appreciated this article. The incoherent fury of the comments you’re getting indicates that what you’re saying rings uncomfortably true for many. Well done!

    • Uhm no. Your vision must be as skewed as this poor womans. It’s a fucking kids movie. Kids don’t fucking care. Pull the stick out and try to enjoy life without making everything about gender rolls and how unfair the world is.

      • Kids don’t care but they’re still being influenced. If we want to make this world a better place for humanity while both still exist, we’d rather show them something with equality in it.
        Even if sexism isn’t the movie’s “goal”, it still is part of it, and either that’s willingly, as it sells more easily, or it’s just because the ones who made it also watched this kind of movies when they were young.
        Anyway, saying that people who want equality (whatever the subject is, sexism or other stuff) are wrong CAN’T help.
        Better be okay with them, when everyone’s equal no one will rant about it so you’ll get what you want too.

  47. First: I always figured that 1) The minions are A-sexual 2) The minions are generally Androgenous

    This article has GOT to be a joke….is this seriously the state of society these days???????

    There is NOTHING sexist here. Next you’ll be calling nature sexist because worms are A-sexual and (being phallicle) male, and as such there’s unfair gender representation in nature.

    Nevermind the fact that the Minions sole desire in life is to be in unwavering servitude to an alpha male character, without pay and in squalid living conditions…and you’re saying you’d like to see unmistakably female minions in this position???? Doesn’t that kind of go against the entire Feminist mantra?

    Just for the record, because of this article, I’m making a point of taking my nephew and his female cousins (3 of them) to see this in theatre this weekend.

    Find something grown up to talk about. You know feminism has become irrelevant when you’re grasping at straws like this, take a hint.

  48. Is this a joke? It’s a kids movie. Who cares if they are all boys. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Jesus people have to much time on their hands.

  49. Sexism and all aside, the biggest question for me is not because they make such movies in 2015, my question is why do we take 3 years old to such movies! The movies we and our parents grew up with were totally different!
    You have a point with such movies not helping kids, but please help them by not bringing them along when they are 3!!!

  50. I really couldn’t care less about all this feminist bullshit I treat every one the same male, female, abled, disabled, if you are an asshole, I will let you no if you piss me off I will shout and argue, you hit me and I will hit back. but for one thing you really shouldn’t make up a definition of words and use a bloody dictionary as you have no idea what “feisty” means. Don’t worry though I’ll tell you the actual meaning – full of animation, energy, or courage; spirited; spunky; plucky. It can also mean
    ill-tempered; pugnacious or troublesome; difficult. Get your facts right before making up your own special little archetype. Also it’s a bloody kids film, calm down it’s not real, if you want an answer as to their gender or how reproduction works maybe they are hermaphroditic (means they have both male and female reproductive organs), there you go issue solved.

    • You care enough to leave a comment, apparently.

      People make up definitions for words all the time. It’s called slang or a vernacular. You might have noticed kids doing it. This is not your blog, it’s hers, she can say whatever she wants on it. You don’t get to silence women’s voices just because you don’t like them. You can disagree and make comments to that effect, but maybe try being civil next time.

      No one uses “feisty” to describe men or boys.

      Don’t worry, though, this blogger just told you the actual underlying meaning of “feisty.” Get your perspective widened before continuing to pretend you live in a world where sexism doesn’t exist.

      Also, it’s all fun and kids games until boys grow up and start raping women, calm down, it’s just a joke, cool your heels, geez I think the blogger hit one of your buttons, sweetheart. Doesn’t feel good to be talked to in that fashion, does it? Women put up with that kind of bullshit all the time: the minimizing of their opinions.

      • Ok I would recommend checking a dictionary before implying slang or vernacular is what is being used as slang isn’t making up your own meaning for an established word it is generally using a word to refer to something else for ease. Ok so where did I imply silencing women’s voices? Not something my comment seems to imply unless you mean the implication that people will jump on something new for a random reason that isn’t really true then yes that particular voice could do with closing it seems like it could do with a rest. Also pick up a book or expand your view and realise that feisty is actually used to describe both male and female parties alike. It is not an underlying meaning they made their own definition now is it. Where did I even hint at portraying that there is no sexism in the world… There just isn’t one an a fictional race that is all a single gender. Implying that because you see this weird sexism will make boys grow up and rape woman is as bad as saying video games cause violence, in the respect that it really doesn’t. Also news flash, by your logic girls could grow up to rape men too. You pushed my buttons but mostly due to your complete misunderstanding of the word feisty and jumping to conclusions. Women put up with this buckshot all the time and all men have to put up with “feminazi” or pushy feminists (aka listen to us we have an opinion, on this note so does everyone).

      • People ‘making up definitions for words’ was exactly the point of his comment (lack of civility aside). If you can just make up definitions for words, then any word can be reconstructed to seem offensive. Does that seem sensible to you? Is there an underlying offensive meaning to ‘sensible’? Shall we make one up?

        You’ve obviously never typed ‘he is so feisty’ into a search engine before. I have. Dozens of results of males being described in this fashion. Also, I can personally remember any number of real world examples of people I’ve been in conversation with doing just that over the years. In fact, several dictionaries use the male gender in their example usages of the word. It may very well be used more in descibing females, but let’s at least be factual.

        Actually what the blogger did was to give a ‘made up’ meaning of ‘feisty’ as you yourself have pointed out.

        Are you seriously suggesting that films like this will influence little boys to grow up to be rapists? I’m really hoping you were being facetious because if not, I cannot see how statements like that help in any dialogue about sexism.

        Also, the creator of the Minions has said himself that they are all males because they are all goofy idiots (paraphrasing) and that immediately led him to make them all male. Should we be decrying this as sexist?

      • Cause going on the assumption all boys will grow into rapists is fair or just.

        But oh right when fighting for the rights of one someone oppressed its intelligent to stereotype and make assumptions about the opposition; just cause, it will make your point better.

        You are just as terrible or worse than any movie with underlying gender-stereotypes / sexism because you go out into the world preaching non-sense and hate.

      • Not that I agree with everything Darren said, but it’s not at all true that nobody uses the term “feisty” to describe men or boys. You’re using a HUGE generalization from a victimized standpoint. Slut, whore, bitch, harlot, and other similar words are very clearly and by definition targeted at women. Feisty is not at all a sexist term. Donald Trump is feisty. Hell, the minions are feisty. Scrappy Doo is feisty. Most sidekicks are feisty. Mel Gibson is feisty.

        You are also apparently quite feisty if a children’s movie about a woman in a position of power against the odds pisses you off. Seriously? You’re asking why didn’t they just create a world in which sexism never existed? I’d be more miffed if we pretended like these things never happened or that they couldn’t/wouldn’t happen even in a fictional universe.

        Remember when white people used the Cosby show to point out that black people could totally become rich doctors and lawyers and that the system wasn’t racist? If every piece of media portrayed a fanciful world of ultimate equality, everyone would merely point to it and say “why don’t you work hard like ______?” To which you might respond, “but that’s fake!”

        Which is how one might respond to this article. Focus your attention where it belongs; on the sexism and gender inequality we ACTUALLY HAVE TO FACE instead of the stuff we could simply CHOOSE TO NOT PAY TO SEE. There are tons of movies (adult and kid friendly) that have strong female protagonists and even supporting roles. You don’t need to pay money to shove the idea down your children’s and the internet’s throats that every single show, movie, book, etc. that doesn’t have a perfectly balanced, diversified cast is part of the conspiracy, because it’s not. In cases like this you have to BE the change. Don’t watch the movie, make your own. Get your kids interested in writing comics or cinematography or something so they will grow up and start producing the kind of media that you want to see.

  51. When I saw the film I couldn’t help but notice how skinny the main female villain is! She and her husband are like a handful of twigs! It’s pretty rare that you see twiggy males in kids films these days but Disney/Pixar seems to have a fetish for twiggy women with oversized heads. It doesn’t really look ‘pretty’ as the characters are presented, it just looks kind of creepy. I guess she is a villain and can get away with looking creepy but she’s still really skinny with a huge head! Not all real girls are supposed to look like that!

    • Touchè! We could also say, instead of “they think girls are not important” how about, “They think boys are dumb!” And it’s because of parents like YOU that everything has to be micromanage in every possible aspect. Is it NOT more inappropriate that all the disney princess movies MUST end in happily ever after with the princess getting the prince charming up until Merida? And they’re so abnormally THIN! Who can achieve rapunzel’s flowing locks or snow white’s cleaning skills? What a group to envy! Princesses in NEED of saving! Let’s over analyze everything and create more perverse parallels for our children to overhear us hollering about to whomever will listen to our drivel.

  52. The responses to this article are a brutal reminder that the world is not a perfect place. The minions are sexless. They have no genitalia. They are however influenced by gender. Gender is a social construct created by humans, and the minions are absolutely shaped by this. There are a few people who argue that the minions do not act male, but that is because they do not fall under the ideals of masculinity. they are not loud, aggressive, strong, fearless. They have intact, many characteristics that one would use to describe typical femininity. They are scared of things, they like shopping and dressing up. They liked to take care of the girls, they are followers, they are sometimes ditzy. The qualities ascribed to the minions are those we are supposed to find amusing and unthreatening. But the minions are always referred to as “boy creatures” and all have typically male names.
    Someone claimed that you, OP, are a terrible parent because “you expect a movie to teach them” and that you have failed. I think this is precisely the opposite of the truth. There are two options when it comes to your kids learning about the world. You can hide it from them. You can keep them from seeing all these movies, or reading Twilight. You can homeschool them. Or, you can guide them through the world and teach them that there are things out there that are wrong, things that are bad, things that are scary, and you can provide them with the tools necessary to recognize the bad, the scary, the dangerous, the problematic, in all of life. It’s a terribly difficult thing to live with an awareness of the sexism that happens around us. You might have liked the story line, you might like the characters, you might have laughed at the jokes, and the movie itself may have been a good film, but you still recognize that some part of it was wrong, and that sending these gendered messages is dangerous for everyone, boys and girls, men and women alike. Your girls look like they are smart young ladies, who can recognize when they aren’t being fairly represented. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article, and kudos for putting up with everyone who has not felt as I do.

    • I agree Danielle. Reel Girl has highlighted a real problem with the movie. It’s sad some people try to deny that observation through aggression and intimidation.

      • “Seeing how dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls,”
        That’s a quote from the creator of the Minions.
        Any thoughts on that Peter?

    • Danielle I agree with your comment. It seems most of the people who have commented haven’t actually read the original post properly or they’re incredibly defensive over the matter. But one part of your reply concerns me:

      “There are two options when it comes to your kids learning about the world. You can hide it from them. You can keep them from seeing all these movies, or reading Twilight. You can homeschool them. Or, you can guide them through the world and teach them that there are things out there that are wrong, things that are bad, things that are scary, and you can provide them with the tools necessary to recognize the bad, the scary, the dangerous, the problematic, in all of life.”

      I could be wrong but I think you’re suggesting home schooling qualifies as sheltering children and hiding them from the real world. This really is incorrect in the majority of cases. In fact home educated children see more of the real world and learn how to deal with it more than children who attend full time school. I know because I home educate my children and my children and all the home ed kids we mix with are very savy and worldly wise beyond their years. In fact allowing our children to see such a movie and then discussing such an issue with them and allowing them to formulate an opinion on the matter is exactly what most home educators would do. We really don’t spend all day at home working from books. We spend a lot of our time out in the real world learning every step of the way.

  53. I remember when my girl was toddler and was so into Toy Story and Cars. She wanted PJ’s and clothes for those movies. They didn’t make any for girls. She didn’t know I got her clothes in the boys department. It is not like toddlers are differently sized at that age.

    Some girls love cars. I know I did. My folks had to engrave our initials into our cars so my brother and I would not fight over them.

    • My dad taught both me and my sister to love cars. I can talk about them, understand them, etc. When I talk with girls about them, they give me wierd looks and stop talking to me. When I talk to guys about them, they give me wierd looks and stop talking to me.
      I’ve also been a huge fan of Batman. I always got annoyed that somehow when they made the Batman shirts for girls and such it got a makeover with pink. Why? I started buying my shirts in the boys department

  54. Here in the words of the creator of Minions themselves and the director of the movie Why there are no female minions. On a side note I’d like to add that I am a feminist in the traditional definition of the word: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men” and a lot of the comments on here are disgusting and people don’t even really understand what you are trying to say but I just don’t think the movie minions is the proper battleground. There are much bigger battles out there.

    http://hellogiggles.com/reason-no-female-minions/

  55. I see where you’re coming from, and in a lot of respects you’re not wrong about how things should be run. That being said, I don’t think that male and female roles are present enough in this movie to make a difference. Sometimes a movie is just a movie. These specific characters are humorous and accomplish most of their goals by accident. They also do not act in any gender-specific way, which I believe is most important. It’s not a movie telling how children should act based on gender. It’s a movie without a real lesson, existing for humor’s sake, perhaps teaching children that they may act as themselves without being afraid of judgement and strive for their goals.
    I agree that there should be more female characters present in general, but this movie exists because of the minions previous popularity.
    Before claiming the effect on children, why don’t you ask them what they gathered from the movie first-without giving them any implications as to what you mean, because that is how you will get an honest answer.
    I was not shaped by the cartoons I watched in my childhood, and I doubt that you were either-it is what we hear from the people around us that shape our ideals.
    Let a movie be a movie. Not everything is out to get you and our beliefs.

  56. Thanks for your perspective on this Margot. I think there are a lot of interesting elements here, such as why does a tribe/species that reproduces asexually even have a gender? Why do they present male if biologically they don’t perform a male function? While I don’t agree with all of the points you’ve made, your article has definitely given me a lot to think about, and I feel a little more justified in my distaste for Minions.

  57. I only have one thing to say about this… if you are expecting a movie to teach your child about gender equality instead of you… you have already failed as a parent.

    • I expect to teach my child like my parents taught me, yet I remember being pissed that there were no girls in action shows when I was kid. I didn’t want to be Barbie. Buffy didn’t exist yet, but I wanted to be like that.

      • Our generation had Pippi Longstocking and Heidi. Buffy was pretty annoying to me and I was also a girl that didn’t like Barbie and loved playing with the boys. I always wanted to wear boy clothes and my mother found that very convenient as then I could just wear the clothes that were too small for my older brother. I actually asked my mother for his clothes. And never ever have I felt ‘oppressed’ as a girl by any movie. I hate that adults try to pin sexism on everything these days. Barbie didn’t ‘oppress’ me. I just thought it was an ugly doll and so I didn’t play with her. Some girls do like playing with Barbie, so what? And if you seriously want to pin sexism on the Minions, how about the fact that they are all portrayed as male, dumb and disposable? What message is THAT sending to little boys? See what I just did there? I just pasted something on them that most kids don’t even see. They just see funny little yellow creatures doing funny stuff. Which is what they are supposed to portray.

    • If you read this article and came out of it thinking that the author didn’t forward every teaching moment on to her children, or similarly, if you read this article thinking the author was just voicing her opinion to the open web for fun and not for other parents to read and forward similar lessons in equality onto their children… you have already failed as a reader and commenter.

      I imagine you’ve picked up a lot of favourable lessons from the ol’ TV, whether you know it or not.

    • you kidding me? how are parents supposed to teach their children about gender equality when every form of entertainment and media is teaching them the opposite?

  58. Your poor girls look like they want to kill themselves already. You should be ashamed of yourself for brainwashing through your stupid lunacy.

    • Wow, you must feel really strongly about minions, to insinuate that two children under the age of ten should want to kill themselves. Seriously though, you might want to get yourself checked out for sociapathy.

  59. I understand that you want to show your girls positive media and that’s awesome, but really….I think you’re being super ridiculous about this and reading into things way too much.

    I’d rather show my daughter this movie then another Disney Princess movie.

  60. It’s a movie story line. Not Obama’s plan to equal rights. Next time I get in a fist fight with a man I will make sure to punch a lady when I am done to make sure I wasn’t being insensitive to her equal rights

  61. Did you even catch the reason of the director to make only male minions? it’s because of women like you that people think we are stupid and narcissist. I’m a women and i think man should have the same respect and opportunities than us like we should have theirs but it is because of Fucking feminist bitches like you, who put women in a pedestal thinking that gender equality means power to the women and shit to the man that we all miss the chance to be equal. Fuck you, Fuck how you think and fuck your stupid way of seeing the world around you. Men are in control because you fight with them, but if we join them we are equals.

    • Hi Luna,

      I’ve responded to this comment so many times but here it is again: the minions save the world, they are the heroes of the movie, cheered for by crowds in the actual movie and in the audience. Secondly, I’m not looking for the perfect strong female character, I am looking for fictional females displaying a multitude of traits and complexities. Males get to be smart, creative, lazy, happy, old, young, slow, fast and on and on, while female characters get put into a box. the more female characters there are, the harder it is to stereotype them. His comments are a cop out.

      Margot

      • if there were female minions i bet you would rabble about how female minions doing stupid things = the old “blonde dumb stereotype” sexist thing… i bet that even the girls cheered those sexist male minions and loved the movie instead of rambling about how bad was the female villain character according to your feminist standards because kids don’t think about that stuff the same way kids don’t care about religion, lgbt rights, minorities, etc… it’s an adult thing.

        • Hi Dario,

          I’ve gotten that comment several times, and no. If female minions were cleverly saving the world, I’s be all for them. The dumb blonde stereotype, I’m not a fan of. As I wrote in my post, kids and adults not noticing the sexism is a symptom of how acclimated we are to it.

          Margot

        • Yes, it’s not like kids notice when there is NO example of someone like them in tv, movies, comics, or books. Not at all. Children are blind to the obvious and just sit around accepting everything like a brainless robot. It’s all those adults who grew up under the smurfette problem where there’s one example of a girl and she’s there to be pretty and the eye candy who watched that and grew resentful. They’re the ones demanding something be different for their daughters, who are just as aware that society thinks of them as some weird freak minority whose only job is marrying the hero.

    • Luna,

      How do you achieve equality with a trash mouth?

      I’m a feminist, but never have I wanted to put women on a pedestal or put men down.

      I just want to live in world were people are judged on the merits of their skills and deeds.

      For example, back in the 90’s I was a network engineer and the highest ranked technical support agent at the company I worked for. I didn’t like some changes the company made so I went job hunting.

      I sent my resume out. Got a call, answered questions. After the interview I was offered the receptionist job, because their clients would expect a man to install the servers. And it paid less than I was making.

      With a little patients I got a job at a great company where I was treated like my male coworkers. And I got paid at least 5 times what that other company wanted to pay me to answer the phone.

  62. The worst thing about Scarlett Overkill is her spanish dub: Thalia. So lame. (Ricky Martin was even worse).

  63. Calm down. You’re reading way too hard into A KIDS MOVIE. It’s meant to entertain children. Not every movie is going to have strong female characters. I congrat you on standing up for women’s rights, it needs to be done. But don’t drag down a freaking cartoon because it doesn’t live up to your personal standards.

  64. I can’t say today, what my child will look back at from her childhood and say that is what informed her ideas of gender.

    I can tell you what shaped my ideas.

    First and foremost, my wonderful parents. They told me I could do anything I wanted to do. I wanted to be an astronomer, my dad took me to astronomy classes at a local telescope shop. They never missed a chance to take me to a planetarium. I wanted to be a race car driver. They never told me there were no girl race car drivers. My dad let me help him work on his Fiat Spider. I wanted to be an architect, my dad let me use his drafting table. Supportive to the end.

    Now to movies and tv in the 70’s. I was 7 when Star Wars hit the big screen. I was the oldest of 4 kids that played together. Next was a girl 2 years younger, then my brother and his friend (boy) who were 4 years younger than me. The other girl and I didn’t want to fight over who got to be the princess in need of being rescued. I took the role of Han Solo. She played as Luke Skywalker, the 3 year old boys, got to be everyone else.

    When we played Battlestar Galactica, I was Starbuck and she was Apollo. Female choices for us to play were limited to people who didn’t get to do very much. We could have been Boxy’s mother/Apollo’s love interest. Or how about Cassiopeia, the geisha turned med-tech, or Athena who was stuck on the bridge.

    No one needed to tell me that girls were underrepresented. I was neither stupid or buying it.

    I don’t force my 6 year old to look for these inequalities. She too, too is neither stupid or buying it.

    I think we need more female characters in many shows. I also think there needs to be more male characters in other shows.

    They need more male regulars in My Little Pony’s. Males that are not family or love interests.

    Children need to see males and females working together as equals more. That is what has to start to seem normal, not exceptional.

    • ‘like’
      Think I’ve got it easy, grew up with my grandfather & if I wanted to build a wooden chair then I could. Only help I got was necessary (too short, couldn’t control power tool)
      And raising a boy & the ‘boys-can-wear-dresses’ fight…

      Also with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, Men wear Kilts!

  65. I’m shaking my head at how many people don’t get it. They shout “it’s a kids movie and my kids enjoyed it” without realizing what’s been written. Can people really be that blind?

    • I’m so sick and tired of this feminist rhetoric. The pendulum has swung so far the other way now, that men are being attacked in commercials that show them being nincompoops. In the sitcoms that are written, men being shown as nincompoops. Where is the outcry for this? ‘

      Just because you can nitpick something to death and find what you want to see in any movie, tv show, book (yes that includes me) doesn’t mean you have to stand on your soap box and preach!

      When you over reach and over react this is what happens. I’m sorry that you feel so put upon and so insignificant, but your answer is not teaching the young girls and teenage young women that we still live in the ’50’s.

      Get over it!!

      • Hi Karen,

        Gender boxes limit all of us. Freeing up women/ girls from stereotypes will free up men/ boys as well.

        Margot

      • And those are reasons that I don’t watch sitcoms. Our culture has always loved to laugh at nimcompoops, it is nothing new.

        It is insulting when it is a dumb blond or Married with Children.

        So you can come to this woman’s blog, and stand on your soapbox to tell her to shut up because you don’t like what she has to say?

        Who made you King? Who decides who gets to talk?

        • That is right Karen, you decided to decide what other people get over, and other posters did say shut up.

          You are all starting to should the same.

        • That same logic could be used anytime you open your mouth? Who says you get to have on opinion? This entire topic doesn’t need discussing, as there is no sexism.

          • Prove there is no sexism.

            Free speech applies to everyone and every topic, even the ones you don’t like.

      • My point was that most people here aren’t arguing about what has been said/written, but rather the fact that someone said something about sexism.

  66. No creo que sea Sexista, la fuimos a ver con mi Sra e hija de 3 años, la disfrutamos y perdoneme, pero no todo tiene que seguir la famosa “racionalidad anglosajona”, es fantasía de los niños y ellos se divierten..

    • Los medios con aspectos sexistas a niñas y mujeres se pueden disfrutar y todavía ser machista. Y, te ocurre que tu pareja pudiera encontrar sexista la falta de lacayas femininas, y sin embargo no querer decir nada por miedo a arruinar un día agradable? También, a 3 años de edad es probable que tu hija se daría cuenta de este falta y no pensar nada de lo porque todavía no se ha exponido a bastante de la cultura y la vida para ver la pauta de la falta más general de representación de mujeres en la esfera pública y la presunción societal que el hombre sea el estándar. Pero, tanto si no sea consciente de como es parte de un norma cultural, como si se ha fijado en lo, le dañará más, cuanto más se ponga en contacto con este norma. Porque lo internalizará. Y entonces, afectará su autoestima, limitará las opciones que sea capaz de considerar para su vida, etc…

      • El comentario que me haces llegar, esta sobre la base de una pelicula para niños, no veo mensajes subliminales en contra de las mujeres, fuimos familias completas aca en Stgo de Chile, invitadas por una empresa para la avant premeier y nadie se quejo de ello.

        Lo que si veo, en este tipo de comentarios es tratar de meter una “racionalidad anglosajona” que para nada calza.

        Por favor, dejemos de hacer hipotesis..

  67. This reminds me a little of the time my dad found me playing in the yard and discovered I had divided the yard plants into “good” and “bad” armies based roughly on an east-west line. From then it became a teaching moment about stereotyping, which I didn’t actually need — I had just read a popular fantasy novel, and was at a loss to understand why my imaginary world could not operate by my rules.

    That said, I do think if a young child said something revealing about the movie to me, I’d have to listen.

  68. Wow. Apparently having an opinion makes a lot of people super pretentious and angry.

    No idea how you are able to continue to write about issues related to sex and gender, given all the mansplaining and out-and-out hateful absurdity that is the comments section.

    I haven’t seen the movie, so no comment on that. But props for continuing to write in spite of all that horribleness people throw at you. If it were me, I’d delete the hateful, rude, and totally counterproductive comments. You shouldn’t provide a platform for these people to spread their hateful ignorance. But then, I am guessing you get *a lot* of comments.

    Anyways, rock on.

  69. Are you kidding? Just another feminazi angry that a movie isn’t all about women. The minions look like twinkies with legs. Who cares what their gender is??

    • apparently everyone involved in making the movie, since they decided to make them all male.

      no one is saying that the over-representation of boys in kids’ movies and TV shows is the worst thing in the world. we are saying that it seems to (based on lived experience of being/raising/observing actual children) have some effect on the socialization of boys and girls that so much more attention is devoted to boys’ stories, and that maybe that’s something we adults should think about.

  70. ok. go complain and make a big deal out of a kids movie. My nieces enjoyed it. that’s it. there’s so many problems in the world, but yea, this is time well spend. Good for you. We are expecting a phone call from the president any moment now.

  71. Perhaps minions are transgender males. Maybe they are parthenogenic females and express many male like behavior patterns as similar to other parthenogenic female organisms. Either way, the author suffers from a sever lack of creativity and seems to have mental models which reflect the two gender stereotype of the human world and completely exclude other concepts of gender identity. Representation far exceeds a world of son and daughter. In creative media meant for children, its is absolutely fantastic when characters are presented which bolster free express and embrace imperfection. The minions do such a great job of this. The true enemy of diversity is not the word “he”. It’s the failure to appreciate the common needs of unique individuals.

  72. As a cosplayer, and a female, I run into a lot of discrimination. Many men think that I had to have help with my cosplays, and while I do need help with my makeup, I make most of my costumes by hand, the only help I get for them is sometimes where I can find the patters. I want to be a positive influence on young girls and women, so I have now directed my focus on women who changed the world for the better. The first of these cosplays is coming up soon: Murasaki Shikibu, the Mother of Fiction in Japan.
    https://www.facebook.com/K1tsuC0splay/photos_stream?tab=photos#

  73. Forget sexism! How about all of the violence in the new minion movie!!!

    Comments from sites:…

    “I wish I had not brought my kids to see this movie. With the family robbing a bank in masks, shooting at the police, the minions crashing a funeral and stealing the flowers, many, many characters dying….I knew we were in trouble. It was the very end when you think one of the minions has died that my 5 year old began sobbing and could not be soothed, even when you realize everyone is fine. It was all way too violent and lacked all the goofiness of the first 2 movies. I also don’t want my kids saying things like “I hate you” and “you screwed up”. The whole thing was also fairly boring and not terribly funny for any of us. We love, love, love the 1st 2 Despicable movies. This one doesn’t even come close. We will not be watching again, for sure.”

  74. I think you might be overreacting. Just as you have the freedom to post your opinion wherever, whenever and however you want, regardless of who might read it or who you might hurt, anyone has the freedom to create any kind of movie they want. And if you don’t like it, then just don’t watch it. Just as I don’t like your style, so I am never coming back to your blog again. Have the best day. Let go of that anger. The world is fine!
    PS: not that it matters, but before you assume I’m a guy who feels attacked, I’m a woman and I just saw minions yesterday. LOVED IT. So did all mi nieces.

  75. Here is a thought for you, why don’t you get your facts straight before you start ranting? First off the minion that comes out of the water without a bathing suit on is named Norbert, not Bob. Secondly Scarlett doesn’t want the crown to just be a princess. She says that she wants to take over England. That seems like a pretty strong female to me. Secondly there are a few more female parts in the movie but you have failed to mention them as apparently you don’t deem them to be important enough. The female mother and her daughter in the beginning that help the minions get to their destination in Florida had several speaking parts in the movie.

    You are reading way too far into this movie and really reaching to try and find things to make your point.

  76. Please allow me to point out, first of all, that I’m pro equality male. In fact where I work we have 57% female workers, and it’s an IT environment mind you..

    This whole post, in my humble opinion, comes off rather aggressive. You seem to believe the creators are trying to oppress women. They are not. The movie is largely entertaining, and personally I would have been equally entertained if there were no male characters in it. The whole point about gender equality over the last decades is to provide fairness in all areas, such as wage, anti sexist mindset, and yes… movie characters. In regards to the latter two:

    1. Don’t deny that stereotype women prefer muscular, heroic men to save the day, and men are equally objectified in the sense of being expected to uphold such standards. It is comparable to women in high heels (of which I’m personally no fan). In many countries we, the males, are still expected to pick up the bill, open the door, pull out the chair, offer our coat to you, and so forth. If we are to promote equality, why is it you hear much less about this type of treatment, and why are we not gentlemen if we do not perform these gestures?

    2. The movie industry are making leaps in the last year’s in an effort to promote equality. Take Frozen as an example,a major box office success, and yet I heard no male complain about the Fact that the villain is a male and both stars are female. Speaking of which, the vast majority of villains are male. I can not argue the point that most heroes also are men, but I believe most of us, both female and male, can say we are on the right path to improve. Other examples include the upcoming female Thor, Supergirl, wonder woman, Katniss (hunger games), etc.. the industry has heard you, and it is improving, now quicker than ever!

    To tie this into an actual point; when you write a strong post, such as this, please realize that the ideal circumstances are well on their way, but the process is not over night. By objecting so strongly to this very entertaining movie, animated at that, you do raise awareness, but you also build friction. It sounds rather unlikely you will ever see 100% of all movies equal, as it would mean narrowing the scope of the writers, and it would mean a movie such as this could never have been made. Just for the record, that’s not saying movie making has to favour men. If you really want to help, assist in applying the solution rather than creating frustration for men who believe in your underlying drive for equality.a

    Lastly, apologies for the long comment, hopefully my two cents contributes positively in one way or another.

    / Rob

    • Um … I think the whole POINT of this article is to highlight that we’re “not there yet” in terms of equality. There are plenty of folks (some of whom apparently have tons of time to rant against the author on this site) who believe the “pendulum has swung the other way” and somehow men are the ones disempowered now, etc. It is SUPER important for folks to know that that is TOTAL CRAP, that there is a helluva lot of work to be done still.

      So, yes, men are stereotyped too, often – but note that male stereotypes are typically considerably more powerful and “active”, while female stereotypes tend to be less powerful and more passive. Not exactly an even deal on that one.

      And yes, there are more female characters in movies, full stop. However, it is still important for someone with skills in analyzing such things to look at the actual characters being played and see what sorts of cultural messages are conveyed – ESPECIALLY for movies that get seen by young kids or young adults. So, for all those reasons, saying “don’t criticize this movie because it’s just a kid’s movie and things are getting better anyway so don’t make friction” doesn’t really sound logical at all.

  77. Notice the author of the article only replies to comments that support her, probably because she’s not capable of forming an argument against someone’s opinion… Huh.

    Anyway.

    Let’s face it guys, there’s literally no winning this. The argument here is about sexism. About the Minions all being male and the Female Super Villain relinquishing her position to a Man.

    But flip it on its head.

    If the Minions were all Female then some people would find fault with it. They’d complain that the Minions – as Women – were being depicted as slaves, as only being there to do someone else’s bidding, they’d whine that the creators of the franchise were saying women are meant to be obedient at all times and follow orders.

    If the Super Villain was a Man who relinquished his Power to a Woman without much of a fight people would complain that the creators are making out Women need things handing to them because they can’t do it themselves.

    Basically, welcome to 2015. Nobody is ever going to be happy.

  78. I am all for female role models in film but this article cannot be serious.
    This is a kids movie about much loved (and fake) characters who audiences love, I fail to see how the lack of female perspectives should be taken into account.

    If anything Disney/Pixar has come leaps and bounds in current years with films like Home, Frozen, Tangled etc all having strong female characters that children will remember.

    To say Minions is sexist the most stupidly inadequate judgement I have heard in some time.

    I saw this movie over the weekend and loved it, I would gladly take any child I knew to see it also. The author of this blog needs a long hard reality check and needs to stop treating everything in life so seriously – this is after all a kids move meant for entertainment value, nothing more, nothing less

  79. what’s it like being so pathetic that children’s movies not living up to your standards personally offends you??

  80. The problem is, speaking as a playwright, that most writers are men and can’t directly identify with female characters. Not to defend misogynists, but I can confirm, as a male feminist, it is hard for me to write for women. Either I fall into tropes or I write them as men with breasts. Neither is really appropriate.

  81. I have four kids 2 boys and 2 girls. I have dragged my boys to watch princess movie after princess movie and never once did they think where’s the men where’s the action. How come there’s only one male characters and it’s not not a big role. When I took my kids to see minions they loved it equally. Never once did my girls feel belittle because it wasn’t gender equal. People who set and complain and look for stuff to complain about are what’s wrong with the world and I bet if u had ur way it would ruin movies forever. If u don’t like it don’t watch it. Easy. Problem solved.

  82. Oh dear.
    I am pretty dumb and stupid to some people,I get into trouble,but nothing dangerous just a few scrapes from hiking and climbing trees maybe find a birds nest and then a mom comes back and… Yeah. No reason to make them all boys.
    Now minions are genderless,but are assigned gender by Gru,and the writers ultimately. Same with the female villain.
    It’s possible,because look at maleficent!

  83. Yeah, I think you went too far on this one, Margot. I’m not defending it because I like the franchise. I can like a movie and still find it problematic (see: The Lego Movie). I just don’t think the male as default and the supposed Minority Feisty (which I think you’re apt to overuse as a characterization, particularly with this franchise) is enough to label this the most sexist kids’ movie of the year. Is it feminist? Debatable. Is it the worst thing ever and should we burn it with fire? Probably not.

  84. That has got to be the most ironic comment that could have been posted about this article considering Despicable Me, the whole reason the Minions movie exists, is about adoption. And oddly enough, recognizing sexism in a film is not means for hating men. But then I’ll bet that’s just the easy way for you to explain away your uneducated, not thought out jabs at the author instead of actually commenting a thought provoking opinion to challenge hers.

  85. I find reading some of the comments to this post very confusing, maybe someone with a different perspective can help me understand them better. Half the post seem to claim that there is no sexism in the movie at all. Given how blatant it is, (I mean, seriously, the minions only wear women clothes when cleaning or doing other “girly shores”) I find this claim very confusing. Others claim that although the movie is sexist, the little kids are just unaware of it. To this I would like to say that my experience as a father is that little kids are very smart, they do notice all of this “subtleties” and, unfortunately, they do get very influenced by the predominant sexism in the media.

    I’ll give an example. My son was playing with some of his friends, 3 boys and a girl. He was 5 at the time, the two other boys were 6 and the girl was 7. They were going to start a game and the little girl was assigning the roles. At some point she said to one of the boys: “You are going to be the boss because you are the oldest. Well, actually, I’m the oldest, but I’m a girl and girls can’t be bosses.” I was shocked by what she said and when I asked her why would she said something like that she answered: “Well everyone knows that.” Before I could say anything all the boys said “Yes, that’s true, everyone knows that, everyone at school also says the same.” My point here is that pretending that kids are unaffected by the sexism of the media doesn’t seem very conductive. A lot of posters here are saying that kids didn’t mention the sexism of the movie. It’s not because they were unaware of it, it’s way too blatant to ignore, it’s because even at that age they are already used to it. That’s the point this blog is trying to make!

    After the “girls can’t be bosses” incident I had a conversation with my son and I try to point out all the examples of women in a leadership position. (Which incidentally,includes my own boss.) I have also tried to be more aware about the portrayal of women in the media that my son consumes. I try to balance stories with male and female protagonists. Finding good stories with male protagonists is relatively easy. Finding stories with female protagonists that are not princesses or girls dressed as boys so they can join the party is way, way harder. So thank you Margot for keeping this blog up, it has really helped me to be a better father to my son.

    • Hi Raul,

      Thanks so much for your comment, and for being a great dad. Also, thanks for pointing out the contradiction in the comments.

      Margot

    • Here’s the definition of sexism- “prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.”

      The minions all being male does not fall under this category. They are not stereotyping anyone (unless you want to really stretch it and call their cross dressing that) they’re not prejudiced against women or girls, and they aren’t discriminating against girls anymore than a show with female protagonists is discriminating against boys.

      If you want your son to see movies filled with strong female characters, fine. But a movie about creatures whose entire existence, as another poster put it, is to screw up and be made fun of is probably not where you should be directing your desire.

      • You really twisted everything to get The Minons to not meet the definition of sexism in your comment there.

        The movie is a creation, you cannot judge the characters in the creation without judging the creators and their choices for making said characters. What the creators created was a movie almost exclusively male – therefore discriminating against female characters. The creators didn’t have a reason to make all the minions male (that we know of) other than that they could. Their sexism was reflected in the movie. QED – movie is sexist.

        I enjoyed the movie, it was dumb, and funny, and as an adult I can imagine all the female characters in there called Bob that I want, but girls struggle to do that all the time, and so many movies ask that they do that all the time.

        Saying that something is problematic is not saying that it should never have been made. Criticism is just that, engaging in deconstructing various themes, modes, stereotypes and agendas in a movie. It doesn’t mean that the movie wasn’t fun, problematic things are often fun.

        Pointing out flaws in media we consume is important and instead of telling someone they’re wrong because they saw something you didn’t, perhaps you should think about saying, “Oh I didn’t see it that way because… ” and not “YOU ARE WRONG!”

        • Like I said the first time, just because the Minions are all male does not mean the movie is discriminating against girls. This may come as a shock to you, but lack of something =/= discriminating against that thing. If the Minions were all female, would people be screaming that it’s sexist against boys? Of course not. That’s the most stupid logic I’ve ever heard.

          As for your “the creators had no reason to make the Minions male” remark, the movie’s director said he made them all male because he couldn’t imagine female characters being so stupid and worthless. You can disagree with that reason if you want, but it’s there whether you disagree with it or not.

          I posted that the first guy was wrong because HE IS, for the reasons I explained. And so are you. Just because you have a separate viewpoint does not mean everyone is obliged to accept it as valid. Get over yourself.

    • > They were going to start a game and the little girl was assigning the
      > roles. At some point she said to one of the boys: “You are going to be
      > the boss because you are the oldest. Well, actually, I’m the oldest, but
      > I’m a girl and girls can’t be bosses.”

      I’d have said “well stop telling other people what pats they are playing then!” and then when she protest I’d say “uh-huh, you can’t be boss remember!” It would be an object lesson; she’d either have to rebel and prove herself wrong, or put up with the roles the boys assign, which she won’t want to do – if she gets upset, the boys being boys will rush to pacify her and she’ll wind up getting what she wants anyway. The logical flaw in her argument will be exposed and she will have to accept that girls can be, and often are, bosses.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      The minions save the world, they are the heroes of the movie. Calling them dumb and stupid as a justification of why there are no females makes no sense. It is good to see him acknowledge they are all male though.

      Margot

      • Agreed, his remark illustrates just how little he considered his female audience. And the fact that Scarlet wants to be a princess instead of a queen demonstrates exactly how little he understands girls.

  86. I think everybody needs to give children more credit. My six-year-old saw Max with me this weekend. You know what she said she said it needed more girls. The only girls in the movie where the mother and the love interest. I didn’t point this out to her she saw herself children are not stupid they know when they’re not being represented. They could’ve easily have made the main character a girl. My husband pointed that out to me. they could have switched up the main character to a girl made the supporting character her best friend and a girl and the cousin of the supporting character be the male love interest. it would’ve still worked.

    Kids are not dumb.

  87. You are an idiot. Why don’t we do a public debate, come to Wichita, Ks and I promise you 25,000 women in thus town alone, with kids will laugh you away. One more thing, my 7 year old daughter said you must of had a sad life because minions are fun.
    Only from the heart and mouths of kids are honest words. I hope you one day find true happiness, you seem very bitter.

    • Oh Ken. Name calling? Really. I am guessing you are a white male who is the he’d of his household. I will not call you a name as to not stoop to middle school level but you need to read an article take the writes perspective and if you disagree have some respect for yourself and the writer. No need to show us all by your immature comment that you are threatened by different views. Hope your daughter goes away to college.

    • Yikes, I’m glad I’ve never visited Wichita, KS! Although, I’m very hopefully that your opinion does not represent all the fine women of your town. I’m sure your 7 year old would find “Family Guy” hilarious too. I’m guessing though that you probably wouldn’t find that show suitable for her to view. Just because some children do not comprehend the undertone of films and television does not mean they are not influenced by them. Finally, how is noting that a film barely includes any female characters, bitter? Wow, apparently anyone who dreams of a world of equality is bitter.

  88. I honestly can’t imagine how you would react to minions — little yellow blobs whose whole purpose is to be subservient, take abuse, and act ridiculous — who actually had females. Every single point of comedy involving a minion would then become an example of male oppression. Any stereotypical female behavior intended to let you know which of the little yellow pills without genitals are actually female would be derided as sexist. If they were not given prominent roles, then it would be an example of women being sidelined in favor of male protagonists. Given that the film is set mostly in 1968, when sexism was still considered acceptable by many in Western society, I really don’t see how they could possibly have made this film in any way acceptable to you. So…what’s the point of reviewing it, then?

  89. We hosted a movie event for 250 girl scouts and their families on Saturday. Guess what?…everyone loved it! Just because the main characters are male doesn’t mean its a sexist movie. Have you watched the other movies in this franchise. The lead character are GIRLS!

    • I know this is going to come as a surprise but people can enjoy a sexist movie and still be affected by the sexism. And if you really read the article you’d know that she wasn’t discussing the gender of the minions as the only source of sexism in the film. So it’s not as if it’s “just because the main characters are males.” Also the lead is actually male in the other movies as Gru is the lead and the girls are secondary, supporting characters. They play an important role in the films however whether or not a character is a lead, a secondary, or a cameo depends on screen time and line count.

  90. Cry me a river. I’m guessing you must have adopted your daughters, since you seem to hate men so much that you’d never let one come within 10 feet of you.

  91. I think if you want to review a movie, then you should go without your children. Asking your daughter to “watch for women” while you step out of the theater is forcing your opinion of sexism. Decided whether it is right for your kids before you take them so that they don’t have to listen to you bash the movie the entire time instead of figuring out on their own if they enjoy it.

    • Teaching our children to watch critically is a very important skill. It helps to raise girls and boys to think critically about what they see, hear, and read.

      • Yeah in high school…. let kids retain their innocence of a world without color, gender roles, discrimination for a moment before it gets destroyed by websites such as these.

        • Shannon,

          That would be fine if the world did exist without color, gender roles, and discrimination. Unfortunately because it does and because kids are affected by it even at extremely young ages (for example, the pink aisle) it’s important to teach them at a young age to watch critically and to understand why sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. are bad things.

        • That would be fine, but my kid has already been picked because dinosaurs are for boys, she is not supposed like them. Well she does.

          When kid is learning, is when you teach.

          I’m raising my kid to be self reliant, strong, confident, and to treat others who she wants to be treated.

          We live in a really diverse town, and I could see that children are gender and color blind to start with, but that does not last long.

          If you wait till kids are teens, might as well give up, because, they were already taught that girls can’t like dinosaurs and boys can’t like My Little Pony.

  92. Thank you so much. My son just turned two and so we have just started getting into some regular screen time. It’s great to have a like minded media literate source to go to. Of course this is “just a movie” but we can write off a life time of sexism and racism by refusing to pay attention to one book, one movie, one commercial. Awareness is key!

    • wtf? Is this satire? Literally the most revered and impressive supervillain- the one giving a star appearance and who everyone else croons over- is a woman. And Sandra Bullock has been a huge supporter of gender equality.

    • Only one problem Ariana.
      The creator of the Minions said he made them all male because they were too stupid to make them female.
      That’s a fact. Go look it up.
      Now, if you REALLY want to walk the equality walk you wouldn’t go because the creator is clearly sexist towards men.

      • HI boothtv,

        One more time re the creators comments:

        #1 The minions are the heroes of the movie. They save the world. They are cheered for on screen and by the audience.

        #2 I am not looking for “the perfect female character.” I am looking for females to exist representing all kinds of traits– good, bad, smart, creative, lazy, happy, busy, active, musical, artistic etc etc etc. With so few females represented, it is almost impossible not to gender stereotype them.

        #3 Gender boxes limit everyone, freeing girls also free boys and is good for all.

        His comments are a cop out.

        Margot

        • OK Margot.
          Here’s what I’d like to ask you to do though as it seems you want to see women fairly represented by the media.
          Flip on the TV later today and catch some commercials that involve a family. Also take a look at most any sitcom showcasing a married couple. Now, if you’re open minded what you’ll see is smart, capable, reasoned women and bumbling, incompetent men who need their wives to make the decisions.
          I’m not just saying that to be argumentative. I’m saying it because it’s true.
          That’s an example of why most people don’t know that around 35% of all domestic violence cases are women against men. Or why women are almost automatically given custody of children by the supposed gender-neutral courts in parental battles.
          So if you’re really for equality I hope you understand that there’s some give and take. In other words, women can open their own damn doors.

          • Lets see. I open the door for others. So does my 6 year girl. We offer our seat to those older than us on public transit. I believe if you ask a guy out, you pay. Paying has nothing to do with gender, it has to do with who is the guest and who is the host. I don’t believe in chivalry, but in curtesy. I believe both men and women should be required to file their draft cards. I think child custody should be based on what is best for the child, not gender. I think if two people are doing the same job at the same level of competency, they get paid the same.

            I’m opposed to Sharia law. I disapprove of my orthodox Jewish practice.

          • I’m sorry Margot but the opinions of a blogger mean nothing to me. I’m not even sure how I ended up in this silly corner of the internet.
            As you didn’t reply to my suggestion I’ll assume it fell on deaf ears. That’s cool. I get it.
            But what I don’t get, and will NEVER get, is the need for some to feel persecuted. I’ll never see that mindset as anything but weak.

  93. It’s a kids movie meant to entertain! People like you need to stop over thinking and analyzing every little thing.

    • That would be fine if children weren’t affected by sexism, racism, homophobia, etc in the media. But because they are at such a young age it’s extremely inappropriate to expose them to this kind of media and treating it as something just “meant to entertain.” If parents are showing their children these kinds of films they should also explain what is wrong in them. Little girls shouldn’t have to grow up in a world thinking they’re worth less than little boys.

      • My three girls have NEVER felt less than boys. And it is not because I over-analyze movies made for children, and then direct them to find some way to feel victimized by today’s media. My girls are strong, capable, opinionated, and self-assured because they see the results of their own hard work, their kindness to others and their ability to think for themselves. I will never allow them to consider, let alone lead them to, such a victim mentality.

        • Then your children are very lucky. However growing up being taught by the media that you’re not worth as much as boys (which then translates into wage gaps, glass ceilings, etc. in older years) IS NOT a victim mentality. And just because your children don’t experience these issues (yet) does not mean that all children are the same. You can’t take one experience and use it as justification for the whole. Talk about biased data.

      • People vastly underestimate the power of cinema and its subconscious effects on the way we (especially kids) perceive the world around us.

        When people describe films as “just entertainment”, it’s basically code for “just let me absorb all of the intentional and unintentional messages behind this film”. In this case, it’s “just let my child’s thinking become shaped by gender stereotyping”. This approach assumes thinking is a chore that disables a person from fully enjoying a film.

        Analysis is not only a pleasure– it gives us agency over the content we’re being fed. We should always be thinking about what we’re watching, and teaching our kids to do the same.

  94. Thank you for once again challenging us to delve below the surface and consider the effects of popular media on our children (and, yes, even on ourselves). It is not that such a movie cannot be entertaining – quite the opposite, as with Book of Life, the quality of the entertainment is part of the problem because people tend to conflate things they like with things that are good for them.

    This movie is particularly frustrating because the plot has little to do with gender, and the writers could have just as easily created a diverse cast without any serious impact on the enjoyability of the film.

    Even Andrea (above) would probably agree that the movie would not suffer if the protagonists were Sarah, Bob, and Inky. Nor, I think, would she or anyone else miss the starfish joke that arbitrarily denigrates the intelligence of either the entire transgender community, or everyone with breasts, or both.

    I appreciate your assessment and analysis, and thank you for continuing to hold pop culture accountable for the subtle ways it contributes to destructive social structures in our communities.

    • wtf? Is this satire? Literally the most revered and impressive supervillain- the one giving a star appearance and who everyone else croons over- is a woman. And Sandra Bullock has been a huge supporter of gender equality.

  95. You need to get a grip. It’s a film aimed at children and they won’t be seeing it as a sexist film like you claim it to be. As an adult I don’t think it’s sexist. To the Andrea who commented first – there are plenty of female cartoon characters who aren’t “stupid” or “whores ” Disney Princesses – hello.

    • Bringing up Disney princesses would be delving into a whole other area of blatant racism and helplessness. Also just because you’ve been brought up in a manner in which you are blind to sexism in the media doesn’t mean future generations should have that kind of unfortunateness as well.

    • > they [children] won’t be seeing it as a sexist film like you claim it to be.

      That’s exactly the problem. They are being taught to buy into society’s sexism, and since they don’t even realize it, they’ll internalize it. I’d much rather children see diverse characters in strong roles so they can see themselves breaking the sexist mold and being whoever they want to be.

  96. Talk about reading WAY too much into a movie that may not be great cinema, but was absolutely loved by all my kids, boys and girls, ages 5-14. None of them mentioned anything that has to do with any of those points, they just laughed and laughed all the way home, repeating jokes about bananas. Wait, maybe those jokes were sexist too.

  97. FemiNazi alert! Hide you kids, hide yo wife (or rather, don’t do that because she will call you a sexist pig and give arguments that are not legitimate and lack substance because she misinterprets characters in a children’s movie to be encouraging “masculine dominance”).

    Let me guess, is Brave your favorite children’s movie?

    • You are the reason why she writes this blog. Here’s some education for you: Nazi’s were a group of people who slaughtered millions, a feminist on the other hand, merely believes that men and women are equal. You sound very under-informed and threatened, I’m guessing it’s hard for you to find a healthy relationship – maybe it’s because quality women don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t see them as an equal. Also, you’re a jerk.

        • Dov,

          Men and women are not treated equally, but should be. So personally I’m a feminist. If men were getting the short straw I’d be fighting for them to betrayed equally.

  98. Let your kids enjoy all films without critiquing everything. Especially a
    Film that took place in the sixties when sexism was a big problem!

    • You point out that sexism was a big problem back in the sixties, so shouldn’t it be the main focus for this film who emphasises on this? I mean, they clearly show sexism is around with the introduction of Scarlet, but then put nothing on the screen to challenge this notion. So, the catch is sexism is okay?
      Don’t you think that children should be able to enjoy great stories as well as funny ones?

  99. The truth is, these cartoonists are terrified of women and therefore create their characters so the women are stupid or whores

    • wtf? Is this satire? Literally the most revered and impressive supervillain- the one giving a star appearance and who everyone else croons over- is a woman. And Sandra Bullock has been a huge supporter of gender equality.

    • I agree. I took 8 kids (4 boys and 4 girls). All enjoyed it equally and no ones self esteem was damaged in the process. The real world isn’t perfect and kids of both sexes should be allowed to enjoy silly kid movies without always being forced a “message”.

        • If you think that any child is going to be negatively “impacted” by a movie about silly, pill shaped creatures whose sole purpose is to make children laugh until their bellies hurt, then the only “problem” here is on your end and the author of this joke of a website.

        • I have a feeling that if kids gets affected by sexism later on in life, it will not be because they saw this movie, it will most likely be something more recent, so if it didn’t affect them now, there is no problem.

          • Then why are you so mad at Reelgirl for expressing her opinion, if it is just walking Twinkies? You must really love your Twinkies.

    • Wow you should really go back and read your comment. I, a woman, enjoyed this film therefore there is no sexism! I am not hungry therefore world hunger stopped existing! I am not drowning therefore we have no need of life vests! Newsflash lady, just because a women (who grew up in a society just crawling with both blatant sexism and sexist undertones in the media) enjoyed a film does not cure it of all sexism related issues. Trust me I wish it could. I’d like every movie, every TV show, every piece of literature out there if it could cure them all of an sexism that may be in them (also note that that is not assuming that every film, TV show, and book is sexist).

      • Yes…because the most privileged demographic in human history is ssssooooo oppressed…

        Give your head a shake.

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