17
   

The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies

 
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:18 am
Interesting!

  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 17 • Views: 6,708 • Replies: 49
No top replies

 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:28 am
@boomerang,
I have noticed and commented on this phenomenon for many decades. Another issue that is seen in films is that of the woman who is "saved" by a man, as if she was totally unable to fend for herself.

One of the most interesting exceptions is the part that Mariska Hargitay plays in Law and Order SVU. She is obviously an equal partner with Chris Meloni, and stands up for herself, while still maintaining her femininity.
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:36 am
I wonder if there has been a similar test for Asian men?

1) Are there more than one in a movie?
2) Are they doing an activity other than fighting?
3) Are they depicted having a romantic interest?

Similar media bias IMO.

Asians in film
R
T
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:40 am
@Phoenix32890,
my personal female film (tv) idol was Ms Kitty of Gunsmoke.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:42 am
First movie I thought of immediately that would pass the test is Thelma & Louise LOL.
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:43 am
@failures art,
Not trying to hijack the thread. Sorry. Good post Boomerang! for your reading pleasure...

Autostraddle wrote:
Why Taylor Swift Offends Little Monsters, Feminists, and Weirdos
A symbolical analysis of the Taylor Swift canon (w/infographic). Is there art without sex? Love without raincoats? Feminism without girls? Beauty without dirt? Copycats without claws?

Yesterday, looking for Daily Fix links, I came upon an MTV news piece by James Montgomery titled “Why You Shouldn’t Hate On Taylor Swift.” Fair enough, Dear James; the hype cycle moves quickly these days and now is probably the opportune moment for someone to step up and captain the “backlash-to-the-backlash” train. But his argument is so off point I wondered if he’d picked this topic or if the unprovable thesis had been assigned to him. Because it’s a difficult point to prove.


Full article: http://www.autostraddle.com/why-taylor-swift-offends-little-monsters-feminists-and-weirdos-31525/

A
R
Totally worth the read.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:44 am
@Phoenix32890,
I confess that I haven't seen many grown up movies or TV shows in several years so I was pretty surprised by this. Now I'm wracking my brain to come up with some examples!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:48 am
@failures art,
That's a legitimate gripe, Art.

The major difference is that in America (and with the exception of "Slumdog Millionaire", all of the movies shown are American products) women aren't a minority.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:53 am
I cannot agree with the premise of the original post, simply because they choose a bunch of action movies (for the most part) which, yes, are designed for men in the same way that romantic comedies are designed for women.

Some movies on the list - such as fight club - specifically are about the male condition. I mean, that's the point of the movie. And it really sucks when producers go out of their way to change this - the Lord of the Rings movies had a significant female presence, but the books had none whatsoever, because it was in many ways a story about male bonding through hardship. The movies were far inferior due to this meddling with the plot.

Cycloptichorn
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:53 am
Did Ms. Kitty have any gal pals, dys?

I can think of several exceptions -- Lucy and Ethyl, Mary and Rhoda, that new movie "The Runaways" has to pass the test (I haven't seen it though). The thing is -- they're exceptions.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:57 am
@boomerang,
I wish she'd shown a list of movies that do pass the test.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:57 am
one of my favourite films passes the first two questions, it's the third where it might fall down, they do tend to talk about a man, mind you it's about one man, and how much one of them wants to kill him

Kill Bill 1 & 2
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 09:59 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Shreck? Toy Story? Up? Wall-E? The Princess Bride? When Harry met Sally? Slumdog Millionaire? Milk? The Shawshank Redemption? Home Alone?

Those aren't action movies.

But I see your point.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:03 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Shreck? Toy Story? Up? Wall-E?


Okay, these are good examples of why this is sort of bullshit. Because those are all great movies and aren't really 'masculine' in any way, other then maybe Shreck, which has a 'guy friends story' going on.

Hell, 'toy story,' none of the characters even had gender, they were toys. Wall-E was robots. You can't count movies that don't even have PEOPLE in them!

Quote:
The Princess Bride? When Harry met Sally? Slumdog Millionaire? Milk? The Shawshank Redemption? Home Alone?

Those aren't action movies.

But I see your point.


When Harry Met Sally only fails this test because the women spend all their time talking about their relationships; it's a relationship movie. You scored with Shawshank, though I would say that being set in a male-only prison sort of kills the opportunity for female discussion.

Just seems a little, I dunno, of too tight a scope to view stuff through.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:05 am
@djjd62,
Here are more of mine that pass the test (I think)...notice the common theme in each? (Hint: She's one of my favorites):

Girl, Interrupted
How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Boys on the Side
Sister Act
Sister Act 2


0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:05 am
Hollywood is the ultimate "ya pay yer money and ya take yer chances" production venue. It seems to me that this woman is complaining about the role of women in successful motion pictures. If motion pictures which focus on women as strong, resourceful and interesting characters sell, then Hollywood will make them.

Certainly there is good reason to complain about the cookie cutter movies that Hollywood grinds out--one successful film spawns a host of copy cats. In the final analysis, though, it is box office success which determines the content of motion pictures.

Maybe it's 'cause girls will go to action flicks with their boyfriends, but their boyfriends won't go to chick flicks with them.
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:09 am
Most of the time when two women are on screen they are adversaries or have shallow relationships.

I think Cyclo has a bit a of a point about the movies chosen. They didn't go out of their way to point out how poorly "chick flicks" fail this test as well. I'd bet those movies fail mostly due to the having a conversation that isn't about a guy test.

Some movies I can think of that will pass the test.

28 Days Later
Death Proof
The Royal Tenenbaums
Ghost World
Pan's Labyrinth
American Beauty (passes, but definitely a story about men)

Some movies that tell female stories that fail the test

Boys Don't Cry
G.I. Jane
The Village (kind of 50/50 male/female story)
Gone With the Wind (I'd need to verify this, but I suspect that all the female-female dialog had to do with men)

A
R
Telling women's stories
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:11 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Wall-E?

This one cracks me up. I'm trying to think if two men talk to each other in the movie.

Captain talks to robot.
Male passenger talks to robot.
Female passenger talks to robot.
Female passenger talks to male passenger about robot.

One of the themes of the movie was about humans being isolated from one another.

I suppose the male passenger was having a telephone conversation with someone we assume was a man. I think we only hear one end of the conversation, though.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:11 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Maybe it's 'cause girls will go to action flicks with their boyfriends, but their boyfriends won't go to chick flicks with them.


ZING!! Most movie-going women I know enjoy a good action flick.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 10:14 am
@failures art,
failures art wrote:

Most of the time when two women are on screen they are adversaries or have shallow relationships.

I think Cyclo has a bit a of a point about the movies chosen. They didn't go out of their way to point out how poorly "chick flicks" fail this test as well. I'd bet those movies fail mostly due to the having a conversation that isn't about a guy test.

Some movies I can think of that will pass the test.

28 Days Later
Death Proof
The Royal Tenenbaums
Ghost World
Pan's Labyrinth

American Beauty (passes, but definitely a story about men)

Some movies that tell female stories that fail the test

Boys Don't Cry
G.I. Jane
The Village (kind of 50/50 male/female story)
Gone With the Wind (I'd need to verify this, but I suspect that all the female-female dialog had to do with men)

A
R
Telling women's stories


some more faves of mine
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 06/18/2019 at 09:10:08