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Thread: The Bechdel test

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Post The Bechdel test

    The Bechdel test asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added. Many contemporary works fail this test of gender bias.

    The test is named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. In 1985, she had a character in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For voice the idea, which she attributed to a friend, Liz Wallace. The test was originally conceived for evaluating films but has since been applied to other media. It is also known as the Bechdel/Wallace test, the Bechdel rule, Bechdel's law, or the Mo Movie Measure.
    This wasn't originality meant to become a big thing (although it was meant to raise an important issue), but I find that this 'test' is often a little limited in that it doesn't give you a comprehensive picture of how something actually is.

    But otherwise, it is very illuminating. The http://bechdeltest.com/ website seems to rate about 50% of recently released movies as passing it, which may seem not so bad, but often the qualification given is for a very short conversation. Also, if you look at their list for the top 250 movies as rated by imdb: http://bechdeltest.com/top250/ the situation seems more dire. There seems to be a huge shortage of top-notch movies that show women in a somewhat satisfactory way.

    Of course if you watching one very good movie that doesn't pass, this doesn't matter so much. But if the only movies that do pass are some average or worse kitchen sink dramas then that of course is a huge problem. Maybe part of the issue is that if a director tries to break the mould they often come across as Trying Too Hard...it is also possible that Top movies with badass female action characters is wholly unnatural to the delicate feminine temperament.

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    FiveThirtyEight posted this article a day after I created this thread: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/...sion-of-women/

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    Lesbian erotica apparently passes this test.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    So fluffeh. Cuddly McFluffles's Avatar
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    Try Fargo. I was incredibly underwhelmed by the movie, but it manages to have a female character who is incredibly competent, in a position of authority, and still quite feminine; she tracks down a couple of murderers and bags the surviving one while seven months pregnant, then returns home to cuddle with her house-husband.
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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddly McFluffles View Post
    Try Fargo. I was incredibly underwhelmed by the movie, but it manages to have a female character who is incredibly competent, in a position of authority, and still quite feminine; she tracks down a couple of murderers and bags the surviving one while seven months pregnant, then returns home to cuddle with her house-husband.
    ya, ya, good movie with the exception with the ending which was a "little" gory for my taste

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    So fluffeh. Cuddly McFluffles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    ya, ya, good movie with the exception with the ending which was a "little" gory for my taste
    I found it exceptionally dull as a whole, but that was apparently part of the joke, so I just figure I wasn't the intended audience. And yeah, that scene... ugh.
    Johari/Nohari

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