Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Should There Be a Bechdel Test for Rating Movie Sexism?

posted by Nell Minow

Alison Bechdel once had a character in her comic strip explain what she looked for in a movie.  There had to be two named female characters and they had to talk about something other than men.  It was a joke, but it has come to be known as the Bechdel test.  And while some people point out that a movie like “Gravity” can have a strong, independent, female lead (indeed one who is alone on screen for most of the movie) and still fail the test, it is still a good reminder that many movies fail to include female characters with anything to do but sigh and say things like, “Johnny, when are you ever going to grow up and learn to commit?”  (I’m talking to you, Seth Rogan and Seth MacFarlane.)

There’s a website that rates movies according to the Bechdel test.  Four Swedish theaters have now made the Bechdel test an official movie rating.  No one, and certainly not Bechdel, intended the test to be definitive.  But, just consider, as Entertainment Weekly’s Mark Harris did, what it would be like applied to male characters.

If the Bechdel Test had suddenly landed in Hollywood with the force of law, it would have seriously jeopardized five of last year’s 10 Best Picture nominees. If we’d rewritten the rule to apply to men, it would have seriously jeopardized… um… let’s see… “Precious.” And that inequity only covers good movies. Apply the comparison to a roster of summer blockbusters, and the results are even less attractive. Not to mention Comic-Con, which now represents the ruling aesthetic of mainstream Hollywood movies and which, under the Bechdel Test, probably could have been knocked down from five days to 45 minutes and not strained the seating capacity of a local Olive Garden.

 



Previous Posts

Little Hope Was Arson
In a small East Texas community "with a church on every corner," 10 churches were burned. One church showed the Christian film "Fireproof" one night and showed that it was far from fireproof itself

posted 8:40:04pm Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Docudrama about Handel's Messiah on BYUtv November 27, 2014
BYUtv has produced a new docudrama, Handel’s Messiah, premiering November 27, 2014, about the world’s most popular and renowned choral work by one of the leading composers of the Baroque era, George Frideric Handel. The docudrama, narrated by Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning actress Jane Seymo

posted 8:00:38am Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Another #Epicfail for Barbie -- And a Non-Barbie Alternative
Remember when Teen Talk Barbie got in trouble for saying "Math is hard?" Well, Mattel did not get the memo because a new Barbie book intended to encourage girls' interest in STEM subjects like computer

posted 8:00:00am Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Stars Talk About the Film
Fandango has a great interview with the stars of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1." What was the toughest part for Jennifer Lawrence?  Singing! [iframe id='ifplayer' name='ifplayer' frameborder='0' marginwidth='0' marginheight='0' width='620' height='349' scrolling='no' src='http://www.fanda

posted 8:40:25am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned
Writer, director and producer Tyler Perry presents the unpredictable tale of a successful woman's life "gone downhill" when Tyler Perry's Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned - The Play is showcased on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD and Video on Demand November 25 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment

posted 8:00:26am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.