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Feminism because why not make a thread for it?
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Moor



Joined: 07 May 2013
Posts: 318

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I definitely like that they're putting something in there, the Bedchel test is the wrong one to use.
The Bedchel was never intended to be used to label a single movie -- even since its first appearance, it's always been a measure of the state of the movie industry in general. The point isn't "this movie is/isn't sexist because it doesn't/does pass the Bedchel test" -- it's "the movie industry as a whole is, on average, sexist, because only 1/11 of the movies of the past year passed the Bedchel test". It's a blunt hammer saying "Look at how freaking obvious the problem is".

So they should definitely have a male-o-meter (and if they wanna be really cool, they can also have a white-o-meter, and hetero-meter, and a cis-o-meter, and a gender-binary-o-meter, and... *wipes away drool*)
Just, they shouldn't be Bedchel and equivalents.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bechdel test is pretty much a representation of how often women are shown doing and being things unconnected to men. That's important, even if it doesn't automatically show whether a film is sexist or not.

The Bechdel test shows a trend in media. Part of the reason talking about feminism and the patriarchy is so difficult is because it is near impossible to point to a single thing and say, "THAT. THAT IS THE PATRIARCHY." Instead, you have to how several things work together. So one film where a woman character never talks to other women or only talks to them about men is not necessarily a problem. A majority of films where this happens is a problem.

Would I be wrong in saying the Bechdel test is like a point of data on a graph - where the point by itself doesn't show much, but when viewed next to the other points of data says a lot? Because that's how I'm thinking of it right now.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject: test fail Reply with quote

Speaking as a minority, affirmative action is shit. For me, it's synonymous with "well intentioned yet poorly implemented legislation", on the same level as No child left behind. As I see it, utilization of the Bechdel Test in the manner suggested could produce similarly bad results.

I understand what the Bechdel test is and isn't, but my understanding has nothing to do with my apprehension at how others will misunderstand it and therefore make poor choices based upon same said misunderstanding. The people who would benefit most from become more educated and aware of the gender bias the Bechdel test highlights are sadly also likely to misunderstand it. Imagine how Foxs News would try to paint the Bechdel Test as something bad, but it's not just people who turn to such "reputable sources" for information I'm concerned about, it's also all those who tend to be politically and/or socially ignorant and/or apathetic, especially when it comes to issues that they really should give a damn about.

You're also missing something crucial concerning the test that is still heavily under debate as to its exact nature and many, many people don't understand: The fact that it's more of an attribution of a symptom of a problem which may or may not, as judged on a case by case basis, be accurate and/or appropriate in a given context. Simply determining whether or not a work passes the Bechdel test or not is WAY less important than discussing and determining to what degree a given work passes or fails the test. Also, the transition between mediums needs to be taken into account while discussing the degree to which a piece fails, such as Harry Potter which has quite different results between film and books.

Also, the Bechdel Test could very well be used in the same manner as the "misuse of token minority characters in screen writing." If you think the entertainment industry as a whole is not steadily becoming more and more metric driven then you are sadly mistaken. The Bechdel Test could very likely just become just another item on a checklist in the pursuit of appealing to a broader demographic. I'm fearful of a situation where we see a trend in producers having requisite "Bechdel Scenes" in films just to pass the test.

Here's a "worst case scenario":

Imagine we have an ensemble disaster movie, Disaster X is coming and a team of international scientist need to figure out how to solve it. On this team there are men and women. Throughout the movie, every crucial scene fails the test. Then about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through, two of the female scientist are at the facility lockers changing into gear. Lots of skin, hell, maybe even nudity, but they'll talk, and it won't be about a man. Sadly, and absurdly, it won't be about the impending disaster. Instead, it'll be an inane dialogue that fails to show any character growth, reveal any important facts, or generally fail to serve any sort of purpose in the film whatsoever--in other words it'll be a pointless scene shoehorned in just so they can say "Hey, it's got two women who talk to each other and not about a man. It passes the test, right? Give us our cookie."

tl;dr If misused and not understood, the Bechdel test can end up in influencing producers and writers to become the equivalent of Slick asking for his cookie (or worse.)
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as a minority, affirmative action is shit. For me, it's synonymous with "well intentioned yet poorly implemented legislation", on the same level as No child left behind. As I see it, utilization of the Bechdel Test in the manner suggested could produce similarly bad results.

I understand what the Bechdel test is and isn't, but my understanding has nothing to do with my apprehension at how others will misunderstand it and therefore make poor choices based upon same said misunderstanding. The people who would benefit most from become more educated and aware of the gender bias the Bechdel test highlights are sadly also likely to misunderstand it. Imagine how Foxs News would try to paint the Bechdel Test as something bad, but it's not just people who turn to such "reputable sources" for information I'm concerned about, it's also all those who tend to be politically and/or socially ignorant and/or apathetic, especially when it comes to issues that they really should give a damn about.

You're also missing something crucial concerning the test that is still heavily under debate as to its exact nature and many, many people don't understand: The fact that it's more of an attribution of a symptom of a problem which may or may not, as judged on a case by case basis, be accurate and/or appropriate in a given context. Simply determining whether or not a work passes the Bechdel test or not is WAY less important than discussing and determining to what degree a given work passes or fails the test. Also, the transition between mediums needs to be taken into account while discussing the degree to which a piece fails, such as Harry Potter which has quite different results between film and books.

Also, the Bechdel Test could very well be used in the same manner as the "misuse of token minority characters in screen writing." If you think the entertainment industry as a whole is not steadily becoming more and more metric driven then you are sadly mistaken. The Bechdel Test could very likely just become just another item on a checklist in the pursuit of appealing to a broader demographic. I'm fearful of a situation where we see a trend in producers having requisite "Bechdel Scenes" in films just to pass the test.

Here's a "worst case scenario":

Imagine we have an ensemble disaster movie, Disaster X is coming and a team of international scientist need to figure out how to solve it. On this team there are men and women. Throughout the movie, every crucial scene fails the test. Then about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through, two of the female scientist are at the facility lockers changing into gear. Lots of skin, hell, maybe even nudity, but they'll talk, and it won't be about a man. Sadly, and absurdly, it won't be about the impending disaster. Instead, it'll be an inane dialogue that fails to show any character growth, reveal any important facts, or generally fail to serve any sort of purpose in the film whatsoever--in other words it'll be a pointless scene shoehorned in just so they can say "Hey, it's got two women who talk to each other and not about a man. It passes the test, right? Give us our cookie."

tl;dr If misused and not understood, the Bechdel test can end up in influencing producers and writers to become the equivalent of Slick asking for his cookie (or worse.)
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Ginny talking with Mrs. Weasley, Hermione talking with McGonagall, etc. There's plenty of conversations. It just seemed like the article was lazily attempting to throw up some big name series for the sake of smearing mud on them. Maybe I'm just nit picking.


well, you are much more familiar with the movies than i am. but it strikes me, with all these possible conversational partners, and the main setting (a boarding school) there is lots of potential for conversations not about males (and remember, it doesn't have to be _all_ conversations - just one substantive one). we should have teachers talking to students about their grades, about their career goals and how to achieve them, maybe even mentoring. and we should have students talking to each other about classes, studying together, talking about the food and the facilities and gossiping about each other, and maybe even talking about stuff like sports or you know, life in general.

but apparently, they don't. so why would that be? unless none of those things are considered to be of interest to the viewer...and if the characters are really important, at least some of that stuff would be of interest.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, there's like 6 posts ahead of this that are only showing up on "topic review" and not the thread page. conversation is going to be weird for a while.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An artist has done up several famous women (both historical and modern) in Disney Princess style:

http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/flatten-heroine-artist-puts-disney-princess-filter-10-real-life-female-role-models/

(Note: There is Anne Frank labeled as Holocaust Princess, which has since been changed to Diary Princess.)

I like that the artist made them all sparkly like that - because for those unaware, there is a Disney Princess magazine, and everything made of fabric is sparklified.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The princesses are supposed to be satirical. I found that out after I got annoyed at Anne Frank as princess.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
The Bechdel test is pretty much a representation of how often women are shown doing and being things unconnected to men. That's important, even if it doesn't automatically show whether a film is sexist or not.

The Bechdel test shows a trend in media. Part of the reason talking about feminism and the patriarchy is so difficult is because it is near impossible to point to a single thing and say, "THAT. THAT IS THE PATRIARCHY." Instead, you have to how several things work together. So one film where a woman character never talks to other women or only talks to them about men is not necessarily a problem. A majority of films where this happens is a problem.

Would I be wrong in saying the Bechdel test is like a point of data on a graph - where the point by itself doesn't show much, but when viewed next to the other points of data says a lot? Because that's how I'm thinking of it right now.


yes, exactly, it shows a trend, but it's meaningless to rate individual movies based on it





I hate all movies whether they pass the Bechdel test or not!

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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
An artist has done up several famous women (both historical and modern) in Disney Princess style:

http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/flatten-heroine-artist-puts-disney-princess-filter-10-real-life-female-role-models/

(Note: There is Anne Frank labeled as Holocaust Princess, which has since been changed to Diary Princess.)

I like that the artist made them all sparkly like that - because for those unaware, there is a Disney Princess magazine, and everything made of fabric is sparklified.


i read that first as 'dairy princess', and i was really confused, as i don't particularly associate anne frank with milk products.

the slideshow in the original huffpo post is worth checking out for the side notes ("Princess Marie Curie! Truly radiant!")
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TIAB



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
i read that first as 'dairy princess', and i was really confused, as i don't particularly associate anne frank with milk products.


And now I can clearly imagine her on the side of a milk carton, accompanied by the text, "Haben Sie dieses Mädchen gesehen?"
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DeD CHiKn



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yinello wrote:
The princesses are supposed to be satirical. I found that out after I got annoyed at Anne Frank as princess.


Still looks like Jake Gyllenhaal in drag.

Or perhaps Jake Gyllenhall is Anne Frank in drag?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thoughts on this: http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/latest-late-night-host-to-come-under-fire--conan-o-brien-slammed-for-tweet-about-muslim-marvel-superhero-173752972.html
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
Thoughts on this: http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/latest-late-night-host-to-come-under-fire--conan-o-brien-slammed-for-tweet-about-muslim-marvel-superhero-173752972.html

It's not "racist" because it's not about race, it's about religious and cultural practices that cross many racial boundaries. Practices that are, actually, still in effect throughout most of the Muslim world (though very rarely exercised). Only a small handful of "Muslim" countries ban it, though many have restrictions that are difficult to enforce in the more rural regions. And of course, this character lives in New York where polygyny is right out.

That said, while not really racist it is a pretty cheap shot considering all the shit Muslim women around the world have to put up with (you know, like living in countries and cultures that permit polygyny). Kind of counterproductive to mock a character that can be used to represent women's struggle for equality within the culture by throwing one of the uglier parts of that culture back at her.

NPR has a somewhat more in-depth discussion of the new character in the context of other Muslim characters in comics.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

she's better off than the gay muslim superhero

his special superpower is not-getting-stoned-to-death-or-beheaded-by-his-fellow-countrymen, though, so at least he's got that going for him, eh?

uuuggghhh
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