The Bechdel Test is a theory named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who created this 1985 comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. I’d say it’s a pretty decent way of gauging if a film is damaging to society- by being
In order to pass the Bechdel test a narrative simply needs…
Two named female characters, who talk to one another, about something that isn’t a man.
To me a film that fails the Bechdel test is one that I would never watch, one that doesn’t my time, something totally male oriented and against everything I stand for. However I was suprised when I recently checked up on a specific movie to find these five listed among the other failures.
The Entire Original Star Wars Trilogy
This one had to be listed first, it was one I most recently found out about and was truly shocked to see. Princess Leia is a feminist icon and for a film made in the 1970’s, I’d consider it very progressive and forward thinking. She’s a self sufficient badass princess who doesn’t need to be saved by a man. It fails the test simply because Leia is the only significant female character featured, which subsequently is kinda saddening.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
I love both Sin City movies, despite how male oriented they are and how women are generally portrayed pretty badly throughout. That being said, I’d expected the first movie to have failed and the second to pass rather than vice versa. The second movie is loaded with badass women, the only problem being that they are pretty much always pictured in scantily clad clothing.
I found this one really shocking especially since one of my favourite actresses (Chloe Moretz) is one of the leading characters. When I saw this film I saw a very positive role model in Moretz’ character Hit-Girl who fights just as hard as all the men in the movie but once again a lack of female casting is its downfall.
The Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2
When The Amazing Spiderman was released, I had more than enough love for Gwen Stacy who unlike her predecessor Mary Jane, actually had her own personality. Although at times she’s not the heroine we’d like to see, she at least shows a good level of intelligence and understanding. Sadly, no other main characters were cast as women therefore it fails the Bechdel test.
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
That’s right, despite the strong female leads in the Harry Potter movies, Hermione nor any other female character converses with another about a subject that isn’t one of the male characters. Truly saddening since I’m almost certain the book passes the test.
Would you like to see more content like this? Are there any movies you think would make for an interesting post?