Chicks in flicks

To pass the Bechdel Test for Women in Movies, a movie has to answer three questions:
1. Are there two or more female characters with names?
2. Do they talk to each other?
3. If they talk to each other, do they talk about something other than a man?

What % of movies would pass the test if you replace female with male? Almost all.

Is this test flawed? Possibly. Is it overly simplistic? Definitely. It doesn’t make a movie good or bad if it passes this test, but it is certainly thought-provoking, isn’t it? So few real women characters exist. And if they do exist, they exist to talk about a man. It’s the sad reality of chicks in flicks.

But think about your life. Aren’t there strong, interesting women? Why aren’t they in the scripts??

Out of my class of 36, I think 6 movies pass this test. Not even 20%. And that’s in the indie, student world…

Something to think about as you write your next script/make your next film.

via John August

  • wow !! really interesting test … i was wondering if only lesbian films pass the test 😛 …
    one such movie that comes to my mind is :- Bend it like beckham !! .. and to think of it, it was made by an indian 🙂

  • Hey, I arrived here from DesiPundit. A pretty relevant post, this. These days movies are reflecting the reality. However, they need to be more inclusive in this portrayal of reality. Like you said – there are so many interesting women in life but very few of them make topics of movies. There's too much stereotyping.

    Come to think of it – this discrimination not only holds for the “interesting-women” angle.
    Think about relationships. A person spends a third to half of his/her life before falling in love. Still, an overwhelming majority of the movies are centred around love. Friends, siblings, parents, and so many other relations get a raw deal.

    Same goes for locations where movies are set. In Bollywood its all Mumbai or Delhi for the urban movies .. or some village in Rajasthan or Bihar for the rural ones. What about North East? Andamans? Madhya Pradesh?

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  • There are movies that pass the test like Thelma and Louise, Sex and the City (of course), and apparently even Transformers 2. Clearly some of them are good, some not. But it's interesting that we have to think hard to come up with them.

  • I agree regarding movie themes. Perhaps that comes from who are making the movies – the industry is filled with young people with little life experience. It's easier to make stories about love, right?

    That said, to be fair, love offers a lot of scope for dramatic conflict. And I would argue that today, as pop culture pervades all, “looking for love”, “being in love” and “dealing with the problems of love” take up much more than a third of our lives…

    But still, you're right. It's interesting – as I think of the movies I love, very few of them have to do with love (Ozu, 400 blows etc.)

  • Interesting test. It was hard to think of movies that pass the test. I thought of a few though. A league of their own, The descent, and Spice World.