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Back to IndieWire Devoting This Week to Women Critics Devoting This Week to Women Critics

Gender gaps don’t just plague the film industry, but the field of film criticism too. As we reported earlier this year, the numbers are pretty dire: 

The study took a look at the 2,000 reviews written by “top critics” in the spring of 2013 that were aggregated on rotten tomatoes. The be considered a top critic a writer need to: “be published at a print publication in the top 10% of circulation, employed as a film critic at a national broadcast outlet for no less than five years, or employed as a film critic for an editorial-based website with over 1.5 million monthly unique visitors for a minimum of three years.” 

Women make up only 22% of those critics and wrote only 18% of the reviews. 

To draw attention to that gender imbalance and allow women critics a few more virtual column inches, Chaz Ebert announced a new initiative at today: 

What if we had a week of articles and reviews by women? That’s the experiment I want to try this week at This is something that Roger was also interested in doing, that we discussed several times, particularly when we could see a difference in our own thoughts about a movie, and we could pinpoint it to gender. Men and women are just raised differently in our society and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we may think differently.

Two thumbs up,! We’ll be checking into the site a few extra times this week. 

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Hi Kathy: Perhaps my comment was too flip about Mars and Venus, but I knew it was a touchstone that was at least familiar. I too think we are more alike than different, but men and women are different, and leaving women's opinions out of the equation makes us all poorer. Its time for a change.


I read the blog and cringed at the statement, "Let's see if men are from Mars and women are from Venus." Hey, women are from Earth, men are from Earth. Deal with it. The problem is that our culture views the male as the gold standard of humanity. Viewing women and men as sooooooooooooooooooo different will escalate the problem, not solve it.


This is great. I just have one worry. Several years ago, I read the film criticism of Pauline Kael. She was riveting and often insightful. However, she also trashed feminists even though she benefitted from the movement a lot. So I hope that the critics will be pro-feminist.

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