Putting Children's TV to the Bechdel test

(86 Posts)

Usually films are put to the Bechdel test and fail miserably. For anyone unsure what this test is - the film has to include at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. Sounds easy, but very few films pass it.

I've started to pit Kids TV against the Bechdel test to see how many programmes pass, to see what the message is being sent to my DD at an early age.

For those of you who have Disney Channel, a good example is Jake and The Neverland Pirates, where 6 of the 7 main characters are male, as is the parrot and even the sodding ship that they sail on. There is one female character, who, of course is dressed in pink and is only called into action when pixie dust is needed. Other girls are generally mermaids or parrots in distress, who need Jake and his crew to come and save them. Giant FAIL.

Pick a program and put it to the test - does it meet the bechdel criteria? Give it a go!

TattieHowkerz Sat 04-Jul-15 23:26:55

Doc McStuffins, Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Sofia the First all pass. Though I wouldn't hold the latter up as a beacon of feminism grin

SchnitzelVonKrumm Fri 03-Jul-15 22:50:44

My Little Pony, aces it.

thatstoast Fri 03-Jul-15 22:35:17

Doc Mcstuffins. I love Doc Mcstuffins.

CrispyFern Tue 30-Jun-15 19:41:46

My Little Pony - pass

MrNoseybonk Tue 30-Jun-15 14:46:13

The pingu discussion is hilarious grin.

Dustybinlydia Tue 30-Jun-15 05:47:56

Ah, sorry for freaking you out, Whirlpool smile

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Mon 29-Jun-15 21:53:56

I can update that now my children are 2.5 years older we mainly have POP on and it's a heap of objectionable drivel and yes mainly sexist in the extreme.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Mon 29-Jun-15 21:52:50

Oh that freaked me out.

Reading through and thinking hmm this sounds familiar and oh look there's me with a different name 2.5 years ago. And I was going to suggest the same 2 programs as I did before grin

Never mind...

Dustybinlydia Mon 29-Jun-15 20:25:04

Katie Morag passes.

slightlyeggstained Mon 29-Jun-15 20:05:01

Shaun the Sheep fails, mostly. Although the characters don't really talk, the main active ones are all male.

The Clangers passes though - Tiny Clanger talks to the Soup Dragon, the Iron Chicken, and so on.

diggerdigsdogs Mon 29-Jun-15 14:07:05

I know it's a movie but tinkerbell also passes with flying colours.

Doc mcstuffins passes well

mrsspooky Mon 29-Jun-15 13:30:11

I think Mr Bloom passes, Im sure joan and margaret often discuss important things (other than how lovely Mr Bloom is).

Heels99 Mon 29-Jun-15 13:24:47

The next step passes.

Dustybinlydia Mon 29-Jun-15 13:18:33

I know this is an old thread, but I am interested in it. I can't get it to save in my 'watch thread' bit.

Charlizee Sat 19-Jan-13 23:14:00

My little pony- pass with flying colours.

The Simpons isn't a show for young kids, but it passes on the episodes that focus on lisa or marge. These 2 characters feature a lot more episodes focusing on them than early seasons.

Night Garden has a small handful of female characters- upsidy daisy, 1 of the tombliboos and half of the pontipine family. But characters in this show have even less of a volcabulary than the teletubbies. Apart from squeaking all they can say is their own name.

Schooldidi Sat 19-Jan-13 16:09:35

My favourite program when I was growing up was SuperGran. That definitely passed as the gran had a granddaughter who was brilliant, wore dungarees all the time and constantly out performed the grandson.

Really? I know I grew up with stuff like She Ra and Jem and the Holograms. They were usually the ones doing the rescuing, not being rescued! Oh and Cheetara from Thundercats!

Hobbitation Sat 19-Jan-13 14:19:11

Kids TV was massively more sexist in the 80s though, and indeed TV in general. Practically all female characters were accessories and you hardly ever had a female lead. If there was a female character they were a stereotype. I was frustrated by this as a child and I'd never heard of feminism. The girl was always the weak one who needed rescuing or who tripped up in the woods when they were being chased by the baddies.

Sometimes now I find it slightly unbelievable when all female characters in something are kickass heroines. Let's have a variety of characters! Men and women can be wimps!

In Mary Poppins don't the children end up being really proud of their mum and even the dad is won round at the end?

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 19-Jan-13 14:07:03

Hmm I have doubts about Mary Poppins because Mum's suffragetting is clearly interfering with her ability to be a good housewife and mother - DC are neglected because she's messing about with politics hmm.

Definitely passes the B test though.

Waybuloo passes, and I'd have though ITNG does too.

Haven't been exposed to much other new Kids TV yet, so 80's ones that pass
Button Moon
Fraggle Rock
She Ra
Thundercats

snowshapes Sat 19-Jan-13 13:19:55

okay, I will reserve judgement until we have watched more episodes of Peppa Pig then.

LaCiccolina Sat 19-Jan-13 13:17:26

Sheesh u need to run this test to know the general answer?

noblegiraffe Sat 19-Jan-13 13:15:46

Daddy Pig gets a raw deal, he's frequently incompetent and has to be rescued by Mummy Pig.

snowshapes Sat 19-Jan-13 12:59:06

Well, DS has developed a liking for Peppa Pig, so we watched 'Mummy goes to work' this morning.

It may pass the Bechdel test, but here is what happened:

Mummy Pig at computer doing 'important work', Daddy Pig in kitchen making soup. Peppa and George ask Daddy Pig if they can watch Mummy Pig working, end up sitting on her lap, bashing the keyboard, and 'breaking' the computer. Mummy Pig calls for Daddy Pig to come and fix it while she goes and finishes the soup. Daddy Pig fixes it by switching it on and off. Daddy Pig and children pigs end up playing some chicken game and giggling, Mummy Pig finishes the soup, comes upstairs and joins in the giggling at the chicken game. The End.

I'm just hoping that Daddy Pig got the kids dressed for the park after they had eaten the soup and left Mummy Pig in peace and quiet to finish her important work (but you don't see that bit).

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