One of the best parts of my Women and Gender Studies Minor is when I have a class discussion with like-minded people. I feel as though the world can be an isolating place a lot of the time. But, within my Women and Gender Studies class, I feel like my classmates really get me. One discussion we had that was absolutely thrilling was a discussion of the Bechdel test. For anyone that doesn’t know in order for a movie to pass the Bechdel test it must:
- Have at least two women with names in it…
- …Who talk to each other…
- …About something that isn’t a man.
- And that’s it!
It’s pretty simple but you’d be surprised about the number of movies that don’t pass this simple test. I did a bit of research and I was especially shocked to see that a lot of movies within my childhood didn’t pass the test. Here are a few!
I was really surprised to see that my favorite Pixar movie didn’t make the cut! But I realized that there was only one named female character within the entire movie. Culotte is a really well-written character who acknowledges the challenge that she’s in a male-dominated field. But I still think there should be at least one other woman in the film.
- The Avengers
This didn’t really surprise me. At all. I think Marvel is taking steps to fix the “diversity problem” within their movies but, the company still has a long way to go.
- The Original Star Wars Series
Princess Leia is a feminist icon. It’s a shame that we had to wait for years before she could star in a film that passes the Bechdel test.
- The Princess Bride
There’s a perfect movie in the world. It’s a pity failing the Bechdel test ruined this one.
- Finding Nemo
Between Ellen’s fall from grace and the lack of female character in Finding Nemo, I’m disappointed tbh.
Princess Jasmine is the only named female character in the movie. It’s mind-blowing that I never noticed before.
- The Lion King
I know. I was heartbroken too.
I think it’s so important to make sure that people don’t watch media passively. This is especially important for children’s media. In order to raise a generation of feminists, we have to surround them with media that is feminist. Creating films that pass the Bechdel test isn’t going to solve everything but I think it’s a pretty good place to start.