Feminist Sundays

Feminist Sundays: The Bechdel Test

Happy Sunday, everybody!20131214-234414.jpg

Feminist Sundays is a weekly meme created at Books and Reviews. The aim is simply to have a place and a time to talk about feminism and women’s issues. This is a place of tolerance, creativity, discussion, criticism and praise. Remember to keep in mind that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, although healthy discussion is encouraged.

O from Behold the Stars recently tweeted me about The Bechdel Test which I had studied along feminist film theory, but it is not as used and as well-known as I thought. So, I am devoting this Feminist Sunday to the test and how important it is for feminism to take it into consideration.

So, The Bechdel test basically posts the following two questions to a work of art to see if it is gender biased:

1. Are there two women featured?

2. Do they talk to each other?

3. Do they talk about something other than a man?

Although the test seems quite simple and the first reaction is always a laugh, it is unbelievable the amount of art productions – especially mainstream ones – that fail the test. Take for example any Hollywood film you have recently seen and you will be amazed. Also, people do no take these kind of issues seriously, so, let’s just ask the questions another way: let’s ask them about men in works of art. Again, another laugh because it is, for most people, ridiculous to think that men could have isolated roles on a film and, whenever they talked, it was about a woman.

I really hope you find this little glimpse into such a simple a powerful tool. Once I learned about it myself, I found it difficult to watch films like I did before. Sure, I had always had the little feminist inside me not enjoying certain films, but I lacked the vocabulary and the tools to articulate my discontent. This test was one powerful tool and I really hope this post has not ruined mainstream films for you! 🙂



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