Day: April 14, 2014

Bechdel Test

Have you guys heard of the Bechdel test?  Evidently it’s been around for ages, but I just heard of it yesterday (what kind of feminist am I?).  It’s pretty interesting stuff.   The idea is to find a scene in a movie where two female characters talk about something other than men.   Even when you make it a 60 second minimum there are still so many that fail the test.

The feminist frequency explains it pretty well:

It seems almost hard to believe this could be the case.  How could so many movies not have one conversation with two women not about men?  And yet I now think about it and there amazingly few that past the test.  I’m trying to think about recent movies.  I’m particularly thinking about Frozen. It passes the test! There are conversations as children not about men and then about saving the town from the winter in the castle, the ending isn’t about a man.  Now I like it even more.

How did we do in 2013?

http://tribecafilm.com/stories/10-films-that-passed-the-bechdel-test-2013

There is also the interesting idea of the smurfette principle.  Basically the token woman (ie Princess Leia) amongst a troop of men.

This is not necessarily saying the movies that fail the bechdel test are bad.  Pixar movies all fail the test except for maybe Brave.  Will have to think about that one.

As she says good movies fail the test and bad movies pass the test so it isn’t a test of quality merely presence of women in stories.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting and wanted to share it with all of you.  What do you think? Is it too much to hope for or is the test not accurate or silly?