What would the world look like if women were the majority of the population and took on every leadership position? In No Men Beyond This Point director and screenwriter Mark Sawyers depicts this world. No Men Beyond This Point is a mockumentary that tells the story of a world in which women learn how to procreate without men and in turn only give birth to female children. This results in a modern-day society where the youngest man alive is at the age of 37. The world in this film is run by an all-female world council, and the remaining men are sent to sanctuaries to enjoy the rest of their lives watching sports, drinking beer, and eating steak.
While this movie is completely fictional, it allowed me to think about feminism in a different light. This movie reminded me of videos like this one from Buzzfeed that comically portrays a world in which men are depicted and treated the same way that women are. While these sorts of movies and videos are comedic, I can’t help but to see them as a blatant and obvious depiction of how women are unfairly treated in society. In the film, the few men that are still integrated with women in society are expected to do the majority of housework and childcare was expected to be taken on by the men. While women have made great advances towards gender equality in various different fields, they still take on the majority of housework despite working similar amounts of paid work as men.
Another thing I noticed was how much the society missed out on advancements in technology (including the internet) and what was gained; such as actual world peace and a cure for cancer. Director and screenwriter Mark Sawyers said that when he wrote this film, he wrote it because of the realization that his wife and kids could get on just fine without him around. I will admit, it was rather fun to watch this film and imagine a world where women are the majority gender and womanhood is praised. While this world seemed great and it appeared that women were getting on fine without men, there were still notable things missing from the world. Technological advancements such as the development of the internet and space travel. Through satire, the film points out the flaws in a world where there is one dominant gender.
While women are half of the world’s population, they most definitely do not have equal representation in government’s around the world. This film definitely got me thinking about how different things in our world could be if women were equally represented in government’s around the world. According to the UN, only 22.8 percent of all national parliamentarians were women as of June 2016. It has also been shown that an increase in women in positions of leadership in government increases the amount of women that are politically active and brings more attention to gender equality issues. One example of this is in Sweden where 44% of the national parliament is women and has recently passed a Paid Family Leave policy giving men and women 480 days per child that can be used over the course of the first 8 years of the child’s life.
My one prominent critique of this film was the emphasis on a gender binary system. I was left wondering where people who do not conform to being either male or female would fall into this world. I couldn’t help but notice that there was no space in this fictional world for individuals who do not conform to a gender binary system. There was an immense amount of emphasis put on the sex of an individual and not much attention was paid to the fact that an individual’s sex is biological and that gender is something each individual personally identifies as regardless of the sex they are born as. It should be noted that even in current society, people who identify as genderqueer struggle with living in a world that is focused on a gender binary.
It should also be noted that while this was an enjoyable film, most of the concepts previously mentioned took a fair amount of effort on my own part to explore and were not obviously the point of the film. When I got to the end of the film, it was not obvious what the overall point of the film was. There were all of these great concepts and tenants of feminist theory that could have been addressed
Overall, No Men Beyond This Point was an enjoyable way to imagine this world and appreciate feminist work toward equality for all people regardless of gender.