Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Bechdel test for women in movies

I wanted to share this video I saw recently about the Bechdel test for women in movies. The premise is simple: in order to see to what degree women are represented as whole persons in movies, one can ask 3 questions about said movie:
1- Are there at least two women in the movie, and do they have names?
2-Do they talk to each other?
3-Do they talk to each other about something other than men?
It is very interesting to see how many movies fail this simple test. And don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that a movie that fails this test is a bad movie or anything! To name just one that doesn’t pass this test and that I absolutely love: Back to the Future. I’m just saying that this has made me realize how underrepresented (or stereotyped) women are in movies. The same could be said about the elderly, for example. It’s food for thought.

Of course, a movie “made for guys”, like Fight Club, can be good in its own right. And sure, there are movies “made for women”, like Fried Green Tomatoes, that are wonderful. I do wonder, though, not only why the former trump the latter, but also why women might watch either while men prefer the former...

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