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

Comic-Con 2014: Days 3 and 4
Want to know what it looks like inside the legendary Hall H, the biggest venue at Comic-Con, the one where people camp out for days in advance to see the biggest stars and the coolest advance previews? When LAIKA CEO and animator Travis Knight asked the audience to send get-well love to "The Boxtrol

posted 11:02:02pm Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Behind the Scenes Clip: Adam Levine in "Begin Again"
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RhZTVijgpb8?rel=0" frameborder="0"] I have one copy of the wonderful soundtrack to give away!  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Levine in the subject line and tell me your favorite song of the summer.  Don't forget your

posted 3:59:43pm Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Thunder Levin of "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2"
One of the highlights of Comic-Con was the chance to catch up with Thunder Levin, screenwriter of the sensation, "Sharknado" and the sequel, "Sharknado 2," which premieres tonight on Syfy.  The original was remarkable for its over-the-top storyline and even more for the Twitter-nado it inspired.  

posted 7:37:17am Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Contest Winner -- "Earth to Echo's" GoPro Camera
Thanks to all who entered!  This contest had far more entries than any other I've ever run.  Congratulations to the lucky winner! WINNER OF THE GOPRO CAMERA: Susan D. Burkburnett, TX  

posted 11:54:55pm Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Intuition -- A Short Film from Danielle Lurie
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/101953117[/vimeo]

posted 10:09:01am Jul. 29, 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.