Monday, December 20, 2010

The Bechdel Test: Are Women in Films Objects, or Characters

The Holiday season's here and with people taking time off to spend it with their families, many are headed to the theaters to see the latest winter blockbuster, romance film, or animated feature with their kids. Most people looking for a few hours of popcorn entertainment aren't thinking about social issues, such as whether the female characters in a film are there as a part of the story, or as little more than a plot device and/or object of a man's attention.

The Bechdel Test comes from a feminist comic strip named "The Rule" in which one of the characters will only go see a film if it meets the following criteria:

1. It has at least two women in it
2. These women actually talk to each other
3. And they talk about something other than a man.

How many films meet these requirements? You'd be surprised at how many don't.