Tuesday, December 01, 2015

What's the Bechdel Test?

I wasn't actually aware of this site, or this test, until a few years ago. It's changed the way I not watch film, but the way I write and how I draw my female characters, though, as i mentioned earlier today, I still get it wrong sometimes.

Take a listen. (It's only 80 seconds long.)

The rules are so simple, and yet so many movies fail them, especially blockbuster films. (Lord of the Rings should get a pass, seeing as how it actually enhances and creates new roles for a couple of the female characters. Tolkien's book has almost no women in it at all, and Jackson took quite a bit heat for enhancing the role of the female characters.)

What's sad is that this test doesn't even indicate how women are being portrayed, and STILL movies fail it.

When I was young, and I mean, like, 28, I conceived of women as how they were portrayed in these shitty action movies, as either being shrewish and cruel or beautiful and dumb. (The whole Whore/Madonna thing.) It took me a long time (and some serious pushing from a few of my female friends) to realize that I was buying something that these Hollywood writers were selling me. (And not just male writers. Nancy Meyers anyone? Ugh.)

But it's difficult to see that kind of prejudice until someone shows you.

So here it is.