The Bechdel Test is something I feel really good about, in regards to feminism. This video by ‘Feminist Frequency‘ on youtube explains really well how the test works:
So essentially, to pass the test, a film
1… has to have two or more women in it (who have names)
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man
That sounds so simple. If you head over to this link, you can see a wide variety of films which people have rated as passing, partially passing, or failing the test. There’s a helpful key of icons so you can quickly see what passes and doesn’t. It’s shocking.
Now, the odd thing is that one might expect that two women with names talking to each other in a film about something other than a man, would promote women in some way or make us feel good about ourselves and each other. While Bechdel test does raise awareness about the presence of women in films, it does not guarantee the women have a positive presence in the films. Take ‘Devils Rejects,’ for example. Two women talk to one another in ‘Devils Rejects’ but the conversations could hardly be considered woman-promoting. There are many other less extreme examples. Also, several of the movies on the list only barely pass the test. I’m not critiquing the Bechdel Test. I do feel a little weird about the film industry!
Awareness is a wonderful thing. Could all my indie-filmmaker friends please make some positive films promoting women? Something with a good amount of our real thoughts on everyday things like pets, nature, food, exercise, writing, art, family. Something which shows women being active and initiating fun activities, like going camping and swimming, like taking a trip simply because we have wanderlust, not because we got dumped and are depressed! When you make this movie, let me know. And then promote it unceasingly!!! 🙂 I want to see you at Sundance!!