Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

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Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:07 am



Basically, this is just the place to talk about women in movies, TV shows, books, video games, and anime/manga (or the lack thereof).

For those who don't know what the Bechdel test is, it's just a test for female presence in movies, TV Shows, etc. To pass, the movie etc. must have (1) 2 or more women (with names) (2) that talk to each other (3) about something other than men. If you watched the video above, you'd realize how many don't actually pass.

So, if there's a movie, etc. that passes or doesn't, talk about why it does or doesn't, and if it portrays women well (you can end up with a movie that passes but women are still portrayed poorly).

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:41 am

So, flipping through the channels I realized there aren't very many kid shows that pass the Bechdel Test. I'm not talking about the lack of kid shows for little girls, either.

The only ones I've seen that pass the Bechdel Test are Avatar: The Last Airbender and (ironically) Johnny Test.

Avatar's pretty good on the women front, with the Kyoshi Warriors, Katara, Toph, past female Avatars, and Azula and friends. The one thing it's missing though, is the lack of female masters (read teachers with respect in the community) and monarchs. We don't even get to say "Azula was queen, even if she was a crappy one" because she never gets through coronation. XD The only queen we actually see is Ursa, Zuko's mom, in flashbacks who disappears rather quickly and far as we can tell had no power.

Johnny Test is surprisingly good on the women front. You'd think a TV show supposedly aimed at boys would be a little crueler, but it has a couple female characters. And not just "annoying little sister and friends" types. Johnny has two older sisters (twins) who are scientists, who talk to each other about their science experiments all the time. And while their scientific disasters are typically the focus of the show, half the time the disasters are caused by Johnny misusing them or one of the "super villains" causing trouble with it. Their mother is the breadwinner as a businesswoman and their dad is an OCD stay-and-home dad who can't cook to save his soul. Outside the family, there's Sissy, Johnny's punk friend who is excellent at sports and a member of Pseudo Girl Scouts who is generous (proven by her wanting to earn the bike in cookie sales to donate to kids who can't afford them). There's also the princess of "Vegon Six" who is a spunky teen that reminds me a lot of Misty from Pokemon, except instead of dragging Brock away from girls, it's dragging her dad, Darth Vegan, away from something that will destroy the world (again). I have to say, while there aren't very many women, there's more than most shows in the main cast that don't follow the obnoxious slighted female character role.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:18 am

Okay, I need to MAJORLY rant about something I saw on TV last night.

I was watching an episode of Criminal minds, where one of the FBI agents had an ex-wife and son being targeted by the serial killer the FBI was trying to catch. So of course ex-wife and son were put into witness protection.

Well, serial killer steals cell phone of the agent assigned to their case and calls them. Instead of ex-wife saying a code word or phrase, like "Hey, did you get the bagels?" or something so the guy could respond with an go-ahead phrase or a no-go, she says, "Sam? Oh mah God, what's wrong?" And the killer spins this story of how her ex-husband and the agent assigned to her case are both dead and how they've been compromised and need to meet up with him (supposedly an agent with the FBI) after tossing their cell and buying a disposable and not to contact anyone but him.

He has them meet up at the house she used to live at with her ex-husband. ...First, how could she believe they would think that a safe location? Second, after disposing of the cell, I'd call into the FBI number they must have given me in case of emergencies and check the situation because the guy A) Used real name rather than fake one I was assigned, and B) Things sound a little fishy to me.

So she gets at the house and the killer's biding his time, waiting for the agent he wants to mentally scar for life, by sitting on the floor at the coffee table with her son. Her ex-husband calls and says, "Yeah, you're in trouble. That's the killer." Rather than kick the guy with her high heels and impale him with the heel while he's sitting on the floor, or kicking him where it hurts, she lets the guy get behind her, let's him get out his gun while he's there (he doesn't even have it out!), and, without a fight, gets shot.

...She could've impaled him on her high heel, or remembered that famous scene from Ms. Congeniality and used "SING" (hit him in the Solerplexes, Instep, Nose, Groin) when she idiotically let him get behind her before he had the gun. But no, she didn't even fight. She didn't do anything except die to further her ex-husband's storyline and scar him for life. >_>

Damn Women in Refrigerators trope.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by dragon922 on Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:51 am

I ish bored and this seems worth discussing. A surprising show that passes is NCIS. Abby, the super amazing lab tech is almost always crucial in solving the case. You add to her the two ladies who are on the team (first Kate, then Ziva) who kick major ass and routinely show up the male members of the team. Generally Tony and McGee are more a comic relief duo until the crunch time of the case. Gibbs kicks butt, but in the end he is the only one who can routinely outshine the two ladies. For a while the director of NCIS was female and she took an active role in everything. There are also recurring visits from various other strong women (usally Gibbs' ex-wives...). In all this show passes the test and goes against the conceptions that dudes need to be the main force in a "cop drama."
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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:13 pm

There's a new show called "A Beautiful Mind" or something like that and even though I haven't seen it, I see two big pet peeves of mine in there.

There's a Woman in a Refrigerator (woman who dies to further the story of a man in a rather lame way) and that same Refrigerator Woman comes back from the dead as a ghost, she becomes a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, only existing to help the doctor further his own life.

In other words, she dies to give him some kind of trauma and comes back to help him overcome the trauma she seems to have caused and to make him a better doctor. No "I've come back because I have unfinished business." Instead, it's "I've come back to help you overcome your weaknesses. Wink"

Not saying it's a good or bad show, since I haven't seen it yet. All I know is what I've seen in ads, which pretty much states the above.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:06 pm

TV is really starting to make me mad again.

Criminal Minds had yet another wimpy wimp of a woman. She had a stalker, who broke into her house and stood in front of her. Unarmed. She was in the kitchen, surrounded by knives and pans and other implements of destruction. She could have punched him in the face, kicked him in the crotch, grabbed the pan she was watching and USE IT.

But no. She went with him willingly, let him tie her up and kidnap her. Staaaaaare And then when her hands were tied IN FRONT of her together, she didn't clobber him with her arms like a sledgehammer or anything.

God DAMN was she an idiot. If it had been me or my mom... Well, if it was me, he probably would have been doubled over in pain. If it was my mom... they might need to check for a pulse (she's a black belt).

And then there's Bones... First season, Dr. Brennan was a martial arts expert, a hunter, wanted to be allowed to carry a hand gun. Broke someone's nose, kicked someone's ass, shot someone in the leg... Now she's pregnant and worthless. But pregnancy isn't an excuse for her wimpiness. Last season, she got grabbed by someone and went, "Oh no! Save me Booth!" when she could have kicked the guy's sorry bum.

What is with TV and making all female characters total wimps?

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Insectie on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:15 pm

Not true in Castle, House or Burn Notice.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:41 pm

Can't comment on Castle or Burn Notice, but for every "good" female character House seems to have at least twenty female patients who are "bad." (Open-marriage, slut, loyal wife of a total ass who beats her, etc.)

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Insectie on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:11 am

One of my friends on Facebook posted this today:




I agree with her. I've actually been thinking lately Lego's going crazy with the combat-action stuff. Not just the marketing but the themselves now are designed simply for the fighting aspect; Its hard to build anything else with them. I wish they would just get back to the whole building cool stuff, like I did/still do. If you want to have epic battles, then you can, or whatever else you want..

What do people think?

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:32 pm

^ I was complaining about that in the Grinds My Gears thread, actually. Smile

Viva la HP Lego! The one my brother and I played with all the time. Smile

I think they seriously need to go back to building whatever you want with the big tub of lego with a couple sets of directions for "house" or "castle" or "car" like they used to.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Insectie on Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:14 pm

I don't mind the 'themes' idea they have, but I just wish the themes themselves weren't so crazy. Aliens, Atlantis, etc.

Take 'Space Police' for example. They came out with it when I was little, but then released a new line a few years ago.

Old:

New:


The old one had a lot more 'brick' to it and could be used for other things, but it still looked super cool.

The biggest problem is actually the pieces themselves. The Atlantis, Aliens, Ninjago, etc. all have special figures. I don't mind a special construction part or two, but those aliens can only be aliens, nothing else.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:53 am

So you know that feminist blogger I follow? Well, this is one of her latest posts:

http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/06/harassment-and-misogyny-via-wikipedia/#more-2394

Apparently, after announcing she would do a "Tropes in Video Games," a whole bunch of people started vandalizing the wiki page someone had made about her and spamming her youtube page. Jerks.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:46 pm

You know, I have to wonder why I watch Criminal Minds... Actually, I don't too often, unless there's nothing else on.

Every time I watch it, it's about a psychopath mass murderer (duh) who targets women. And the women he targets are always such WIMPS. I mean, I just had it on, and the girl waits until he's got a knife ready (he had the knife in sight whole time, but not in an easily usable hold/position) to shove him (not kick him in the nuts, as would be most effective. Idiot), and then rather than knock him out when he's on the ground by kicking him in the head or a more direct attack to the nuts or even getting the knife out of his hand, she stands there and lets him get back up, knife still in hand.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by JupiterLightning on Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:29 am

Criminal Minds jumped the shark for my family ages ago.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:45 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21033708

http://www.upworthy.com/oh-so-you-really-think-the-female-body-works-like-that

Ever hear of the Hawkeye Initiative?

http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/

It's basically take any "strong female" pose and replace with Hawkeye of the Avengers.

This sums it up rather well:

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:45 pm

http://regender.com/index.html

This is so cool. Just punch in whatever you want, and it'll swap the genders and stuff so you can see what things look like if things are opposite.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Insectie on Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:24 am

News stories on international women's day swapped are pretty entertaining.

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Re: Bechdel Test and Women in the Media

Post by Destiny's Gate on Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:58 pm


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