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Bechdel Test- Gender Bias in Movies

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Penumbra, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Well-Known Member

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    Could Terminator 2 become the new face of Feminimism? :p

    "Hasta La Vista, Misogynists!"
     
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I doubt that! Feminists are a grim & humorless bunch.....but the movie is exciting, mirthful at times,
    has 2 strong male roles, & Sara doesn't triumph over any brutish men. Those are unacceptable traits.

    Note: This post was for Mystic.
     
  3. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    LOL I thought so. :slap:
     
  4. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    It's about a girl who is obsessed with and lives for her vampire boyfriend. There's really nothing else going on in her life. It's pathetic, really.

    I think writers should just write their movies as usual, then go through and make half the characters female. That would sort it out.

    Even better if it was done at random, by pulling names out of a hat.

    Even Harry Potter would have been improved by such an exercise.
     
  5. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    How about realistically looking at reality and how really real stories happen in real life? When both males and females make things happen and have conversations? :p
     
  6. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    Sorry, but could you go find a man? Then you can tell him your opinion and he can tell it to me. This talking directly to each other thing feels completely unnatural. :D

    (kidding - that sounds like a good approach too, I was thinking of what BAD Hollywood writers could do).
     
  7. dust1n

    dust1n Zindīq

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  8. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Well-Known Member

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    Yet the primary fans of Twilight are Women, why do you think that is?
     
  9. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    Romance novels actually make up 60% of total fiction sales. It's lady porn, basically. Nobody respects it as literature. The woman who leant me the books explicitly said they were garbage, but fun. Junk food for the mind.

    I've read equally stupid books geared toward men. Anything by Matthew Reilly, for example. Partly it's the trashy quality that makes them fun.

    Also, not all women are feminists.
     
  10. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, that makes sense. :yes:
     
  11. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    Haha, that's exactly how I've described it too.


    That said, I just went to see the Host, the other book-to-movie by Stephanie Meyer. I enjoyed both. And the movie totally passes the test, and not just because the main character is talking to the female inside her head the whole time too. The females are much stronger in this story, and while they are interested and motivated by men-- maybe a little obsessed-- at least they don't devolve into puddles of helplessness about it. Was wondering what the other more feminist minds on this forums felt about it.
     
  12. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    I generally hate romance as a genre, but the books were fun. There was just enough story / action / suspense to keep me reading.

    Have to say I very much preferred hunger games though. Katniss has a more normal and healthy amount of interest in men, which makes her a way more interesting character.
     
  13. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger
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    I remember my daughter reading The Hunger Games trilogy, and raving about them. So I read them and was really impressed. I *got* Katniss much more than many other book heroines. And by golly did Jennifer Lawrence nail the role in the film.

    Daughter read the first Twilight book and threw it down with a disgusted look on her face. I asked her what it was, and she said, "BOOOORRRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!" She refuses to pick up another Twilight book to this day. She's 14 going on 15, and has always been rather counter to what her friends and peers think. She never liked Bieber, nor Bratz dolls, nor Hannah Montana, One Direction, and she thinks Twilight ranks up there as a total waste of her time and energy. She much prefers anime, horror films, and music like My Chemical Romance, deathmau, and skrillex.

    I picked it up and read it, and wound up reading the series, and it had me interested enough to see what happened. Daughter is currently seeking a mental institution to put me into since she thinks I've lost my mind. :p

    I presented the Bechdel Test to her, and her solution is to make her own anime series and her own films. I said things are looking better, but she wants to be an active part in the game too. ;)
     
  14. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    On the flip side, someone should develop a test that measures how often a movie/tv show/commercial (particularly in recent times) doesn't contain a bumbling, inept man/father who is incapable of successfully performing even the simplest of tasks without the guidance of a woman, or even his kids.
     
  15. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    I've noticed that too, especially with sit-coms. The man is always a kind-hearted idiot.
     
  16. Penumbra

    Penumbra Veteran Member
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    I didn't read Hunger Games books but I enjoyed the movie to a certain extent. I think Katniss was great.

    It's a major example of a story with a well-developed, strong, feminine, realistic,female protagonist that appeals to readers of both genders (my bf was the one reading the books and saying "we gotta see the movie") and does very well in terms of sales and the box office.
     
  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I did read the books. Fairly light fare, but well-written and dealing with delightfully well chosen matters. Loved them. They are very mature for the age bracket they are meant for, and teach lovely lessons about rebellion, loss and acceptance and choosing one's goals with deep honesty.

    Good as the movie was, the books are considerably better. And the ending was so uplifting, despite the bittersweet details :)
     
  18. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    True. That's extremely irritating.
     
  19. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Certified People sTabber

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    I have a hard time accepting that such a loose definition of a "test" is anything more than agenda driven. Of course there is a gender bias in fiction (anyone familiar with classic literature should be more than familiar with that fact), but with such a definition it can be very easily possible for male-oriented fiction to pass and female-oriented fiction to fail. It also doesn't take into consideration the intentions of the author. The last short story I wrote only had one male and one female character in it, so no matter how I wrote it or what sort of story it is it is impossible to pass because there are not at least two female characters talking to each other. And then of course love interests with men isn't the only female stereotype, it is the vengeful and spiteful female stereotype (which IMO is far more damaging and damning than the love interest stereotype) that can pass such a "test" even though the context of what is actually happening should not be able to pass a test of gender bias.
     
    #159 Shadow Wolf, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
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  20. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Certified People sTabber

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    I also think of authors such as Agatha Christie or Anne Rice when considering this "test". Detective and murder mysteries are considered largely for male-audiences even though a woman wrote some of the best the genre has to offer. The Vampire Chronicles, which largely wouldn't pass that test, is really hardly anything that resembles typical male literature, especially when so many sentences and paragraphs mention how attractive and alluring the male characters are, and there aren't too many men that would write about the attractions of one man towards another, even if it isn't sexual (and with the Vampire Chronicles many times the male-male attractions are sexual).
     
    #160 Shadow Wolf, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
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