The Bechdel test: Two named female characters have to have a conversation about something other than a man for the film to pass.  Question Who's Online | Find Members | Private Messages
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104,999 hits 2.3 (3 votes) Share Favorite | Flag 8 years ago by 314159

Does your favourite movie pass the Bechdel test?
The Bechdel test: Two named female characters have to have a conversation about something other than a man for the film to pass.


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8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 1:29:54 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 10:58:49 PM phantomphan1 wrote:
There are many "strong female leads". You just don't notice them, or choose to ignore them.

Maybe they're boring in most cases? Aside from a few celebrated successes, I usually find the "strong female" to be an abrasive character, and an abrasive response to an abrasive male character type, to boot. Maybe the sex of particular characters is less relevant than people think, and what really matters is story telling and by shoe horning "strong females" into particular roles, we're making stories boring.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 4:27:11 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 8:02:07 AM Ongooshk wrote:
I don't think it's fair to apply it to all films. 300, for example, is a hyper-masculine fantasy


Someone could make a hyper masculine fantasy film with all hyper masculine women (they could hire a bunch of female bodybuilders, give them buzzcuts, etc)

Or make a hyper masculine fantasy film with both men and women.

(not saying 300 should have been this...just saying you're wrong on that point)
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:38:16 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 10:58:49 PM phantomphan1 wrote:
There are many "strong female leads". You just don't notice them, or choose to ignore them.


Oh so many. Like the 2 female CEO's of the companies in the FTSE 100

Or the 4.2% of women that are CEO's of the Fortune 500 ( rocketing all the way up to 4.5% in the Fortune 1000)

Or the 12 women who lead their nations. All 12 of them...

So, who exactly am I choosing to ignore here?
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:43:29 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 4:27:11 AM shakira2 wrote:
Someone could make a hyper masculine fantasy film with all hyper masculine women (they could hire a bunch of female bodybuilders, give them buzzcuts, etc) Or make a hyper masculine fantasy film with both men and women. (not saying 300 should have been this...just saying you're wrong on that point)


Sure they could. But they won't, because the point of making movies is to make money, not throw tens of millions of dollars down the toilet by wasting everyone's time making movies no one wants to see.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 6:37:19 AM EST (GMT-5)
i could watch a film like that tbh
imagine an army of vasquez's from aliens
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 6:54:16 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 6:37:19 AM skyfish wrote:
i could watch a film like that tbh imagine an army of vasquez's from aliens


Imagine an army of Hudsons.

Both would be terrible and the movie would be a great steaming turd.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 6:55:56 AM EST (GMT-5)
oh man that'd be even better
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 7:48:47 AM EST (GMT-5)
Vasquez and Hudson prequel buddy movie!
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 11:39:05 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 5:07:58 AM skyfish wrote:
also the bechdale test is interesting for pointing out how marginalised women are in films in general, but it's useless for analysing specific films

This.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 11:41:15 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 6:37:19 AM skyfish wrote:
i could watch a film like that tbh imagine an army of vasquez's from aliens

Is that your idea of a strong woman?
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 12:33:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
it's my idea of a masculine woman
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 1:04:40 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 8:02:07 AM Ongooshk wrote:
I don't think it's fair to apply it to all films. 300, for example, is a hyper-masculine fantasy
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 4:27:11 AM shakira2 wrote:
Someone could make a hyper masculine fantasy film with all hyper masculine women (they could hire a bunch of female bodybuilders, give them buzzcuts, etc) Or make a hyper masculine fantasy film with both men and women. (not saying 300 should have been this...just saying you're wrong on that point)


I know. I didn't mean to imply anything different. Just awkward word choice.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 1:36:26 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 10:58:49 PM phantomphan1 wrote:
There are many "strong female leads". You just don't notice them, or choose to ignore them.
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:38:16 AM Guilty_Spark wrote:
Oh so many. Like the 2 female CEO's of the companies in the FTSE 100 Or the 4.2% of women that are CEO's of the Fortune 500 ( rocketing all the way up to 4.5% in the Fortune 1000) Or the 12 women who lead their nations. All 12 of them... So, who exactly am I choosing to ignore here?


Because all movie protagonists are either ceos or presidents?

What point could you possibly be trying to make?
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 3:02:17 PM EST (GMT-5)
Fried Green Tomatoes

Pass

Not a Bechdal moment, but my favorite scene from the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx0z9FjxP-Y
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:09:29 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 1:36:26 PM griffin_wf wrote:
Because all movie protagonists are either ceos or presidents? What point could you possibly be trying to make?


I asked where the strong female leads were in real life not movies, that whole art imitating life thing.

And to illustrate the point, I selected politics and business.

Where are the female captains of industry? Where are the women leaders?
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:33:07 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 6:37:19 AM skyfish wrote:
i could watch a film like that tbh imagine an army of vasquez's from aliens


hahahaha, I was thinking of her.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:39:52 PM EST (GMT-5)
It would be really interesting because it's something that hasn't been done before. I think, at least the first time it's done, people might go see it out of mere curiosity if not for any other reason. It could make money, I don't think that's impossible.

But we do have the problem of (asshole) men not wanting to see women they find unattractive in any film ever. You always find men complaining about female leads "not being attractive enough". That's not a problem with the casting decision (unless the role actually required supermodel looks...like if the person is playing a supermodel)...it's a problem with the asshole men.

The fact that we don't have films like that and that people doubt they can make money really goes to show how women are regarded by the majority of men.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:40:54 PM EST (GMT-5)
GS- This article on video games is an interesting take on the intersection of art and life. Even though nearly half of all video game players are girls and women, the general tendency for boys and men to prefer video games led to how games were marketed almost exclusively for men, especially through the 90s, and the marketing team's reports ultimately became self-fulfilling prophecy.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:56:38 PM EST (GMT-5)
Regarding the Bechdel test itself, it's definitely a flawed metric for individual films but more interesting when looking at entire genres or the industry as a whole.

The example of Alien 3 is a notable one - the setting is an all-male penal colony, and that's definitely relevant to the story. These are celibate males (castrated rapists) and the entire idea behind the parasitic phase of the xenomorph's lifecycle has feminist implications of its own (hint: chestbursters symbolize pregnancy). The fact that Ripley is the only female here is absolutely vital to the narrative.

As a recent example, Gravity also fails due to the size of the cast.

So these go to show that the test can be an indicator, but it's definitely not a simple defining line for anything regarding women in film.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 6:15:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
The Shawshank Redemption fails it but it's justified. It's set in a prison, there are no women there.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 12/15/13 - 8:31:00 PM EST (GMT-5)
We're now, what? 60 years into the time honored tradition of chick lit crit BS? And correct me if I'm wrong, but we've gotten no better at making good stories? So if all this BS is ineffective, why are we still going along with it? Especially in an era where it has never been easier or more cost effective to produce exactly the content you want?

Don't like what's it there? Go make something new. All this bitching, though? Fxck that, because that's what gets us She-Hulk.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Monday 12/16/13 - 5:51:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 1:36:26 PM griffin_wf wrote:
Because all movie protagonists are either ceos or presidents? What point could you possibly be trying to make?
On Sunday 12/15/13 - 5:09:29 PM Guilty_Spark wrote:
I asked where the strong female leads were in real life not movies, that whole art imitating life thing. And to illustrate the point, I selected politics and business. Where are the female captains of industry? Where are the women leaders?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...

Here. There's a lot of female leaders. You just never bothered to research them.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Monday 12/16/13 - 6:18:08 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 10:48:24 AM Guilty_Spark wrote:
And how is Hollywood to blame for this? Where are the strong female leads in the real world? Art imitates life, not the other way around.

I'd argue that it's a viscous circle, but it's a fair point all the same. Like so many institutions we point to for their shortcomings, it's just a microcosm of broader trends in society. It's easier to target a microcosm for change, but it should be balanced w/ recognition that that industry is a byproduct of its culture.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Monday 12/16/13 - 7:35:58 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/14/13 - 10:48:24 AM Guilty_Spark wrote:
And how is Hollywood to blame for this? Where are the strong female leads in the real world? Art imitates life, not the other way around.
On Monday 12/16/13 - 6:18:08 PM IRLIteach wrote:
I'd argue that it's a viscous circle, but it's a fair point all the same. Like so many institutions we point to for their shortcomings, it's just a microcosm of broader trends in society. It's easier to target a microcosm for change, but it should be balanced w/ recognition that that industry is a byproduct of its culture.


I agree. But it seemed more that he was arguing that females are inherently weak, rather then that there is a broader trend in our culture and biases to be focused on.
8 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Tuesday 12/17/13 - 4:35:33 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Monday 12/16/13 - 7:35:58 PM phantomphan1 wrote:
I agree. But it seemed more that he was arguing that females are inherently weak, rather then that there is a broader trend in our culture and biases to be focused on.

Oh. Well, I'm not down w/ that.

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