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What are you watching & reading? Will you do the Beshdel Test on it?

(212 Posts)
Seabright Thu 24-Jan-13 23:32:02

I have been trying to apply the Beshdel Test to what I've been watching lately.

The wiki entry in the link above explains more, but basically to pass the Beshdel Test a work of fiction must have:

A) At least two female characters
B) Who Talk to each other
C) About something other than a man

This evening I have watched:

1. Rizzoli & Isles - pass, just
2. The Good Wife - pass

And I'm reading an Ian Rankin novel at the moment (yes, my choice of tv and books is pretty limited - crime & murder!) which so far fails, but I'm only part way through.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 25-Jan-13 11:32:04

Yeah, Relationships not so much (but wouldn't pass a reverse Bechdel if a man was the OP, I expect). But some posts do eg practical aspects of planning a divorce.

AmandaPayne Fri 25-Jan-13 12:11:50

I have just finished reading Night Waking by Sarah Moss, which passes easily - even though the narrator spends most of her time on an island with only her husband and two young male children for company.

Also just read Life, Death and Vanilla slices by Jenny Eclair. Which I am 99% sure passed. The three central characters were all female. And Run by Ann Patchett, which passes.

I am carrying out an experiment, inspired by SGM on these boards to just read books written by women for a few months. Very refreshing!

NotGoodNotBad Fri 25-Jan-13 12:28:36

Yeah, Joan, The Hobbit doesn't stand a chance! Watched it in the cinema, and then DD2 asked who was my favourite character. I said Galadriel, as she was the only woman (in 3 hours or so). She gets about 5 min on screen I think. One of the kids pointed out there was a female hobbit early on, who even had a speaking part, she says something like "Good luck." hmm

DD2 said her favourite character was the pony Myrtle - who after all is a female...

DH said there must be female dwarves, elves and orcs somewhere in order to reproduce, but I'm not so sure confused.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 25-Jan-13 13:04:44

In one of the Tolkien books it was explained (perhaps by a dwarf) that female dwarves look so much like male dwarves (or is it the other way round hmm) that "people" often assumed that dwarves don't reproduce in the traditional way (!?) but are born of the earth.

Do I win a prize for remembering the most useless things I read? grin

Or was that in the movies!? Anyway.

StephaniePowers Fri 25-Jan-13 13:19:35

I feel a bit sorry for The Master, since it's all about a very very controlling man and his mad cult of acolytes: surely no two people would have been permitted to talk about anything other than HIM? grin

meditrina Fri 25-Jan-13 13:22:29

Right now: watching Tracey Beaker (with poorly DC) - pass
Rereading the Peabody series of Egyptological murders (Elizabeth Peters) - pass

oranges Fri 25-Jan-13 13:26:23

Reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Pass

MrsGeologist Fri 25-Jan-13 13:27:19

TheDoctrine, Evie and the Queen talked about the dogs, so today's episode did indeed pass.

Mike the Knight is an odious little turd though, which cancels out any Bechdel test passes, I think.

harrietspy Fri 25-Jan-13 13:30:16

I'm reading Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel. Passing test so far. grin

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 25-Jan-13 13:30:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmandaPayne Fri 25-Jan-13 13:41:24

I think I have seen you talking about that one on your blog. I must put it on my list.

I am currently working away at my new local library (just moved) so going for books by authors I have enjoyed previously (Ann Patchett - I enjoyed Bel Canto. Although I couldn't be sure it passes, but for plot reasons very few on the characters can actually talk to one another as they don't speak the same language. I'd have to go back and look. And also see whether conversations through a male translator count!). Also, random books that seem light or just jump out at me from the shelves.

I have a couple of Atwoods coming up, which I would hope would pass. I just lurve her . I read 'The Year of the Flood' just before Christmas, which again would pass easily - and hence where I got my current name.

greenhill Fri 25-Jan-13 13:46:54

'Call the Midwife' failed because they were talking about abusive partners / prostitution and the doctor needing a button sewn on his coat by a woman because his wife had died. Odd. Considering it is marketed as being about babies, it is actually about the misery women find themselves in as caused by men.

Does listening to something count? The comedy series 'Clare in the Community' on R4 was a massive argument between Clare and Nali exploiting her previous role as the family nanny to Thomas, so failed.

Yet last weeks episode was about how Helen was committing massive fraud in relation to expenses, so passed as Helen and Clare were talking about work. Any male characters that talk to one another are normally talking about their relationships with women too.

greenhill Fri 25-Jan-13 13:55:13

sgm for the last 20 years I have only read novels by women or gay men (unless reading crime fiction), but in the last year I have started to read male writers again and have not been enjoying reading anywhere near as much as I used to. It may be time to give up on my heterosexual male writer experiment.

ThreeBeeOneGee Fri 25-Jan-13 20:40:25

grin at harrietspy

Schooldidi Fri 25-Jan-13 20:57:40

I'm watching room 101 and it passes this week but often doesn't.

Earlier today I watched Charmed - pass, The big bang theory - pass but not in the first series I think.

I'm reading Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews - passes easily.

JustAHolyFool Fri 25-Jan-13 21:10:16

But how can Room 101 pass or fail? There's only one person on it a week isn't there? And they're always talking to a bloke?

Schooldidi Fri 25-Jan-13 21:12:52

Not any more, there are 3 guests who battle it out to get their thing put into room 101. Today there were 2 women as guests and they were debating which of their things should go in, so it passed. When there are 2 men and only 1 woman as guests then it fails.

DiegaMartinez Fri 25-Jan-13 21:21:53

Reading A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel. I think it fails. Which means Wolf Hall would fail too. Bit of a surprise.

feministefatale Fri 25-Jan-13 21:34:14

Wordgirl Passes with flying colours.

drjohnsonscat Fri 25-Jan-13 21:36:47

It's no coincidence that she won the Booker for books written in a man's voice which comprehensively fail the test. I love the books but hate the Booker.

I'm not reading anything atm due to lack of inspiration but I can identify the worst failure in film in 2012. Killing Them Softly. Hundreds of men. One unnamed woman in the entire 100 minute saga. She plays, guess what, a hooker. Honestly I don't know how they convince themselves this is ok.

ImNotDrunkIJustCantType Fri 25-Jan-13 21:39:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

feministefatale Fri 25-Jan-13 21:40:50

Parks and recreation yesterday which not only passed but had a specifically feminist plot and 30 rock yesterday passed too.

feministefatale Fri 25-Jan-13 21:43:51

oh and i watched ashes to ashes last night which i am pretty sure passed too

badguider Fri 25-Jan-13 21:46:23

I don't think there's a Rankin book that will pass as all his main characters are always male and the minor characters don't talk to each other much.

I'm reading a book about sailing in the caribbean - the female in the sailing couple often talks to local women about food and cooking.
And I'm watching Bones, where two female characters often talk about the case.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Fri 25-Jan-13 21:47:16

silent witness..
kind of passes.

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