"It party time! Let's groove it! Pain remains and will not go away" (This is the best shirt I own)
I'm Erin, I'm a 23 year old human, I live in London. I am a filmmaker, writer, and homo.
There is an extraordinary television programme broadcasting in Denmark at the moment. Called Blachman, it features the eponymous host and a friend sitting in a darkly lit room. On their command, women are ushered in and take off their robes.
Probably one of my favourite things she’s ever written
So I think Iron Man 3 passes the Bechdel test? Pretty sure. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Isn’t it derogatory to women to rule who they should talk to in films to be taken seriously? This reminds me of when the “Bechdel test” failed Skyfall because M didn’t talk to another woman directly. Clearly the boss of the British secret service isn’t empowered enough.#Nothing Against The Op Of The Post I’m Reblogging #But The Bechdel Test Is Dumb
The Bechdel Test CANNOT be used as a test for female empowerment, and it was never intended to be one. Two women in a porn scene can pass the Bechdel test, provided they are talking about sleeping with each other and not a man. Alien, featuring every feminist’s go-to kick-ass heroine, Ripley, only dubiously passes.
This doesn’t make it dumb, it just means that there isn’t a simple fix for this issue. It requires thought and discussion.
What the Bechdel test is great for is demonstrating the lack of a female presence in the majority of films we consume. M is a great character and a kick ass lady but the reason Skyfall doesn’t pass the Bechdel test is that there aren’t enough female characters, even small incidental ones, for them to have a conversation about themselves that remained central to the plot, and interesting to the audience. The people that we care about in Skyfall are all male.
Important: This is often not a problem with the films themselves. Most of my favourite films are films that don’t pass. People get defensive when I talk about women in films because they assume that if given the chance I would go back and insert a bunch of female characters into their favourite films. Nope. Skyfall is a film about a dude, and that’s okay. I thought it was great.
The reason the test is important is that so many films, across practically all genres, do not pass.
We have a worldwide shortage of female protagonists, and the Bechdel test is an excellent demonstration of that. Because the criteria for passing the Bechdel test sounds crazy easy. Here it is, for anyone unfamiliar with it: Two female characters have to have a conversation, and it can just be one sentence, about anything, anything, that isn’t a man.
Really, the Bechdel test barely scrapes the surface, but it encourages a discussion that is important. The criteria for the “test” are so simple that it is an oddly powerful illustration of sexism in films and tv, especially for people who are usually unwilling to listen to feminist arguments (in my experience.)