CATEGORIES

AUTHORS

Where are all the “Minionesses”?

Where are all the “Minionesses”?

Where are all the “Minionesses”?

Although they may seem to be androgynous and far from human, there is one characteristic that the Minions—those cute, chubby creatures from Despicable Me—have in common with the rest of us: they all, apparently, have a gender. Yes, its true-- despite their often effeminate behaviors, the main characters in the recent, $115 million- grossing box office hit are all male. And it’s intentional. Paul Coffin, French animator and co-director of Minions, voiced all of the main characters himself and gave them traditionally male names like Kevin, Stuart and Bob on purpose, with the intent of making the little overalled creatures all share the same male gender. His reasoning?  “Seeing how dumb and stupid they often are, I just couldn’t imagine Minions being girls.”

That’s right. Because it’s a widely accepted fact that all girls are smart and uptight, while boys are dumb—but man, do they get to have fun.

The backlash that Coffin’s comment has received has been considerable. Concerned parents of little girls have invaded the Internet blogosphere, claiming that the film “exaggerates sexism” and that women “have hardly any place or representation in the world [of Minions] at all”. Minions actually does have several strong female characters, including the villain, Scarlett Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock. Nevertheless, it has become apparent that many little girls being raised by extremely feminist mothers will not be allowed to watch the film due to fears that their senses of equality and female empowerment will be damaged.

What surprises me is that Coffin felt the need to give the little yellow monsters a gender at all. A short film by Coffin indicates that the Minions are all cloned from the same strand of mutated DNA. With these genetically identical origins, it makes sense for the little creatures not to have varying genders, but the cloning process completely eliminates the need for Minions to have reproductive organs at all so the mention of gender is superfluous anyway.

And because they are not human, it would have been just as simple for Coffin to define the species he created as being completely androgynous, saving himself quite a bit of public relations headache.


In my humble opinion? I think we are making a mountain out of a molehill. Today’s children are exposed to so many other influences in the media that should be much more worrisome to parents than a species of imaginary monster that lacks female members.

It would, however, have been more easily digestible for me to see my gender eliminated for a reason other than an ill-voiced and wildly inaccurate stereotype.  And that 54% Rotten Tomatoes rating could definitely have been improved with the addition of a wily, sarcastic Minioness.


Abby is a sophomore at NYU’s Stern School of Business studying finance and accounting with a minor in politics. She is fascinated by everything from rap music to tech startups, with a special interest in world events and how they affect the global economy and political landscape, and is always happiest when she is trying or learning something new.


What's trending: #JusticeforRajon

What's trending: #JusticeforRajon

Out of the US and Into the Wild

Out of the US and Into the Wild