Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Bechdel Test: New Rule

The Bechdel Test has three rules to test movies for gender bias:
  1. Does the movie have more than two named, female characters?
  2. Do they talk to each other?
  3. Do they talk to each other about anything other than their relationships with men?
If all three are true, then the movie passes.While this is by no means a comprehensive test for what is feminist or not, or if a movie portrays women in a positive or realistic light, it is one tool that exposes Hollywood's extreme sexism.

Anita Sarkeesian, creator Feminist Frequency, posted a video in February 2012 proposing a fourth rule:

    4.  Do they talk to each other for more than one minute?

Sarkeesian's analysis is informative and so relevant. Yes, the 2012 Oscars have passed, but this discussion of the portrayal of women in the media is necessary.

(The original video by Sarkeesian on the Bechedel Test can be found here).

Question: What are some of your all-time favorite movies, and do they pass?

I had to think about this.Some of my favorite films are (in no particular order):

SPOILER ALERT: You're about to see that my all-time, favorite, watch-on-a-bad-day movies are girly and cuddly, and will probably make you think less of me. I want to assure you, I'm aware, and I'm sorry I'm such a romantic sap.
I also love BBC productions of Jane Austen movies and have been watching these things for 15+ years, but I'm pretty sure they don't pass - maybe Sense and Sensibility does when they talk about money matters. But again, the whole point of the book is who ends up with who.

Why is it that all of my favorite comfort-media is so shallow and so god-damned heteronormative