screen shot of "The Incredible Women" preview

One film starring strong female characters has totally solved sexism

Been waiting for the one feel-good female film that will solve gender inequality everywhere? It’s finally here! 

Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn, who perform as lady comedy duo Just Between Us, bring us this new trailer for the one Hollywood movie whose well-rounded female characters will pacify the majority of the world mostly left out of films. Yippee!

Okay, so obviously one film can’t do all that, and that’s the point of the (sharp and funny) video. While it’s important to celebrate the inroads historically marginalized people are making in entertainment, the video argues, it’s not enough to have a couple films made by and featuring women, people of color, people with disabilities, and queer people and then call it a day. (And part of what the film lampoons too is the fact that the film industry lumps together all the marginalized people under the category of “diversity” like I just did above, and then pats itself on the back and calls it a day.) 

I think Allison and Gaby’s work is funny and real and smart, but the video does raise some questions for me about tokenization and representation and what it means to claim space that you are historically excluded from. When does inclusion stop being tokenization and start being genuine inclusion? If we’ve changed cultural expectations to the point where at least we’re token-included is that indicative of progress, or is it just a bone thrown into the yard to keep the hungry, angry lady dog quiet? (I don’t know where that image came from, but sure, I’ll take it.)

I have some questions about the race angle, too. Like: What does it mean for a non-black performance duo to make a satirical film pointing to the intersections of gendered and racial exclusion for black women in this kind of ironic tone? If producers aren’t choosing to make enough films featuring complex black female characters, does making a parody with a majority-white cast not in some way re-articulate the problem?

Culture is confusing and I am sleepy, so I have no answers. But you may be less confused and less sleepy, so give ‘er a look and share thoughts in the comments section below!

Reina Gattuso is passionate about empowering conversations around queerness, sexual ethics, and social movements with equal parts rhapsody and sass. Her writing has appeared at Time, Bitch, attn:, and The Washington Post. She is currently pursuing her masters.

Reina Gattuso writes about her sex life for the good of human kind.

Read more about Reina

Join the Conversation