I am currently doing some research about the Bechdel test for my presentation, and am finding some interesting information regarding this campaign, (see here).

This campaign is a website based movement that encourages participants to interact with the media they are consuming. The website reads, “A grassroots campaign appealing to the film industry” that challenges film viewers the question the films they are watching. To pass the Bechdel test, a film must, “1. Has to have at least two women in it 2. Who talk to each other 3. About something other than a man” . Furthermore, the creators of the website encourage filmmakers to sign their voluntary charter, committing themselves to creating artwork that coincides with the stipulations of the test. The website also provides some statistical information about current film representation, claiming, “approximately 69% of IMDB’s top 250 films fail the Bechdel test.

How crazy is it that SIXTY NINE PERCENT of movies on IMDB fail this test. When first reading the requirements I was taken aback by its simplicity, but more so I am dumbstruck about how few movies meet the requirements. I really am disheartened by this information.

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2 responses »

  1. alexamuniz says:

    You should also keep in mind that the Bechdel Test is not really asking for much. Just because a film passes the Bechdel test DOES NOT mean that it has good female representation or is “feminist”. Inversely, there are some films out there that might not pass the Bechdel test but do provide better representation of women. It is definitely a good place to start when critiquing our media, but we definitely need to look further than just the measures of this test. Nonetheless, it does bring to light the horrible condition of representation in films.

  2. laureljaclyn says:

    I agree that the Bechdel Test is just a start in terms of thinking about gender representation in film. I also agree that it is extremely frustrating that 69% of films fail the test. However, I might encourage you to research if/how that statistic shifts when women are writers, directors and producers. In films made by women does that 69% still hold true? Also, I think that along with with female representation in media, it’s really important to look at gender representation as a whole. In a lot of ways gender as a whole is represented in a way that situates it in binaries that can be incredibly harmful for boys and girls alike. Here is a trailer for a film coming out in 2015 relating to boys in the media (by the same producers as MissRepresentation): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc45-ptHMxo

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