No, I'm not saying anything about who the main character is as a person, but how these men write their main female characters to serve as blank vessels void of personality outside of their total and utter devotion to their man.This reads like my reaction to The Beguiled, written by Sofia Coppola.
To me, the entire film is about female desire, not devotion.
As for mother!, it's pretty clear that Jennifer Lawrence is framed as the artistic muse, but I think the entire film complicates this idea and condemns artists for abusing women to create their art. I'm not sure how the audience is supposed to side with Javier Bardem in this film as the entire film aligns us with the Mother character. Convention should have her function as a devote wife for the struggling artist type, but she isn't at all and that's where the entire conflict of the film emerges from.
I think there's a strong difference between depicting women in a devout way that can be demeaning, but I don't see it with either of these films. I think especially with The Beguiled, Coppola is trying to show women's sexual desire for men, not in a dominating sense, but simply the desire to want and to be wanted. That's a very human thing and it doesn't make women blindly devoted to men, it's simply a natural part of sexual desire and the need for emotional and relational stability.
Also, there's a sense in which we aren't considering the function of genre in these films. Both The Beguiled and mother! function more like horror films and mother! also has a heavy apocalyptic slant. How do those sensibilities change how characters function in relation to the work as a whole?
Plus, I think that Javier Bardem in mother! is just as much a vessel for the tortured male artist as Lawrence is for the artistic muse. They're function as archetypes in this vision of how art functions and the film aligns us with the muse, not the male artist. I think the gender politics critique is simply a fundamental failure to understand the genre mother! functions within. None of the characters are supposed to be complex portraits and the characters serve more to say something about art and creation than they are supposed to depict life as the director sees it.