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Bechdel Test Thread

(331 Posts)
TrilllianAstra Wed 22-Jun-11 20:52:16

I thought having a thread for "I just watched this and it passed/failed and I thought..." would be good to encourage me to think of the Bechdel test when watching TV/films or reading books. I wonbe watching/reading anything on purpose for the thread, just thought I would apply it to whatever I happened to be watching or reading.

The test doesn't necessarily say that a film is feminist/antifeminist, but it is interesting.

Rules reminder:
Are there at least two women (some versions say "two women with names")
Who have a conversation
About something other than a man?

Feel free to join in smile

Skybore Fri 17-May-13 11:11:37

OneHandFlapping Sat 11-May-13 09:13:02
Can anyone think of a film/tv show that passes a reverse Bechdel test?
I mean two or fewer men in it, who don't have a conversation, or if they do, it's about one of the women characters?
Becasue one doesn't immediately spring to mind.

Yes, Showgirls again! Passes all ways smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 17-May-13 09:26:45


TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 13-May-13 18:44:54

Haven't seen it, Lou - does it fail the reverse test ie the only conversation between two named men in the film is about a woman?

louisianablue2000 Mon 13-May-13 13:46:13

Well the reason I used The African Queen as an example of a film that fails the test is precisely because there is no way anyone would think it was a film in which the female character is an adjunct to the male character.

It's an interesting test because of the broad results across all films, if only a few films failed (e.g. the war films previously mentioned) that's fine but I think over half of all films fail and some barely pass which shows there is a systemic problem.

Lio Mon 13-May-13 10:14:21

Apologies, haven't time to read thread so possibly a repeat, but...

Iron Man Three passes the Bechdel test. Rebecca Hall and Gwyneth Paltrow talk about Rebecca Hall' s work for about ten seconds. Slightly less good (and avoiding spoilers): a woman gets shot dead by a man in a position of power over her, and the biggest groups of women are contestants in a beauty pageant wearing bikinis and what I assume are trafficked women being kept for sex.

But it does pass the Bechdel test and I enjoyed it a lot.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 13-May-13 06:14:17

Lou, it isn't really a measure of feminism. It's a measure of the extent to which women are agents as opposed to adjuncts to the men in the film.

louisianablue2000 Sun 12-May-13 23:44:55

As an assessment of how feminist any individual film is it's no good though, e.g. The African Queen fails but I'd happily let my daughters watch it. I have a feeling that there might well be more old films that pass than modern ones, unless of course they are those rare 'female ensemble' films.

Dr Who passed this week, The Politician's Wife I'm not sure, there were conversations between named women but think they were all about David Tennant so that fails. Think I mainly watch BBC4 documentaries for a reason... Oh, my Mum's favourite Scott and Bailey definitely passes but you'd hope so with two female leads!

EduCated Sun 12-May-13 20:49:47

St Trinian's passes with flying colours, but is highly questionable in many ways confused grin

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 12-May-13 18:04:59

Some episodes of Buffy probably fail the reverse test - can't recall in enough detail...

garlicyoni Sun 12-May-13 17:45:05

Oooh, OHF, I've just seen your reverse test and think this afternoon's film may have passed it! There could have been some other talk between the men - I wasn't watching out for that - but they barely spoke to one another; it's all about the women.

ithaka Sun 12-May-13 17:37:41

I watched Company of Wolves last night - definite pass.

Watched The Skin I Live In a couple of nights ago - fail, I think.

garlicyoni Sun 12-May-13 17:31:05

Just watched one! Mystery Woman. It's a lightweight murder mystery, sort of a young Miss Marple for Sunday afternoon viewing. The murder victim was a man - so it fails technically - but the sleuths are all women who, amazingly, are not trying to get off with any of the men!

OneHandFlapping Sat 11-May-13 16:15:12

Oh yes - SATC.

And Scott and Bailey - will have to watch out. DSis says "It's totally unrealistic having all those women in the Police." I wonder if that's true - it certainly shouldn't be.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 11-May-13 14:06:38

Kiki's delivery service too, I think.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 11-May-13 14:05:15

OneHand, SATC? Definitely some of the episodes.

HappyJustToBe Sat 11-May-13 09:42:57

Scott and Bailey passes. Probably passes the reverse test too.

LurcioLovesFrankie Sat 11-May-13 09:20:30

Ah, I see the mods got in and deleted.

LurcioLovesFrankie Sat 11-May-13 09:19:29

Anyone feel like they can be bothered to explain the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions to memberfor? Not sure I've got the energy to deal with the hard of thinking first thing in the morning.

OneHandFlapping Sat 11-May-13 09:13:02

Can anyone think of a film/tv show that passes a reverse Bechdel test?

I mean two or fewer men in it, who don't have a conversation, or if they do, it's about one of the women characters?

Becasue one doesn't immediately spring to mind.

HilaryM Sat 11-May-13 09:08:58

An excellent pass from Parks and Recreation - not only is the main female character fantastic but her friendship with Ann is adorable.

delilahbelle Sat 11-May-13 08:23:42

Watched Star Trek last night, a definite fail, which spoiled the film a bit for me.
Iron Man passes I think though

ThePavlovianCat Sat 11-May-13 08:21:43

I'm fairly sure the new star trek film fails the test. In fact I can only think of two women in it and I'm sure they didn't share any scenes.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 11-May-13 08:05:30

Some episodes of homeland pass - Dana and Jess talking about going to the police.

Meringue33 Sat 11-May-13 07:56:33

Mermaids - passes
Dirty Dancing - fails
Honey - passes
Homeland - fails
Nashville - passes (created by a woman, brilliant career rivalry between two older/younger women at the heart of it).

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Sat 11-May-13 06:24:58

Oh Kiki's Delivery Service is great. I really rate it. I like that she has mainly female friends guiding her through her (generally self guided and independent) life. I think that's much more true to life than a male rescuer scenario which you see in stories so often.

I wonder if I can recall whether the other Ghibli films I have seen pass or not.

My Neighbour Totoro
Princess Mononoke
Spirited Away


Porco Rosso


I think?

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