I didn’t fail the Bechdel test, but I cheated. You kind of have to.

Brilliant.

Mens Rights Sydney

So, what is the Bechdel Test, and why does it seem to be so surprisingly difficult to pass such a seemingly simple set of criteria?

To begin with, the Bechdel Test is a simple and easy test to see if a work of fiction, such as a movie, book, video game, or other piece of media can meet absolute bare minimum feminist standards. The concept is that if you can’t even pass such an easy test, you really can’t be trying that hard.

The test itself is comprised of these three criteria:

1: There must be at least two or more women
2: Who talk to each other
3: About something other than a man.

Huh. Well that really does sound easy doesn’t it? Why do so many things fail the Bechdel Test, then? Is it some conspiracy against women? Is it some awful sexist thing where women are only…

View original post 3,849 more words

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “I didn’t fail the Bechdel test, but I cheated. You kind of have to.

  1. It was a good piece with several valid points. It’s actually very difficult to write female characters, for many of the reasons listed. When women have to be presented as flat and two dimensional, as having no real useful purpose, the only way to give them purpose is to entwine them with a man’s purpose, and the moment you do that, you’ve failed the.Bechdel test.

    I frequently read men who express the idea of how women don’t really have to do anything, don’t ever have to be responsible for their actions, as if respect for women is just a given for existing, while men have to earn it. I can see that sometimes, but I really still believe there is a misunderstanding of the struggles women face, the challenges and accountability we do experience. Women, perhaps for biological reasons, often have a great deal of trouble empathizing with men, but I think men also can’t always see women very clearly.

    I however, am not an advocate of “equality,” because equality leaves us vulnerable, forced to compete as men, just as smaller, weaker versions. I suspect that is why these strong female characters fall short of expectations, there’s too much falsehood written in there. It’s a lovely fantasy, but we just aren’t truly battling anybody in a cat suit and heels.

    1. And perhaps this is why men & women will never fully understand each other: “I really still believe there is a misunderstanding of the struggles women face, the challenges and accountability we do experience. Women, perhaps for biological reasons, often have a great deal of trouble empathizing with men, but I think men also can’t always see women very clearly.”

      As for equality, I believe in equality before the law, which is distinct from equality of outcome. For example, I totally support women having legal equality to pursue whatever career they choose, and laws that prohibit discrimination. But engineers and daycare workers will never be 50/50 male/female – the first will always be mostly male and the latter mostly female. And that’s okay. I don’t believe in social engineering to force an equal outcome.

      1. Men and women can never completely walk in each other’s shoes, but we can and do learn to empathize with each other quite well. Men sometimes can be simply amazing in their ability to empathize with women, sometimes better then we do with our own selves. I think that’s one of the things that upsets me so much about feminism, it tries to teach women how not to empathize with men, to perceive them as the enemy. So what is already biologically challenging, now becomes socially unacceptable, too.

        Hidden in the Bechdel test is the implication that there’s something shameful about perceiving yourself in relationship to men. The Bechdel test then extends out into the real world, where two women come together and know they must not speak of men, except in a negative way that expresses distain or disregard for the impact they have on our lives. You see this out in the world quite frequently these days.

      2. Huh, it won’t let me reply to Insanitybytes22 directly. Oh well.

        “Hidden in the Bechdel test is the implication that there’s something shameful about perceiving yourself in relationship to men. The Bechdel test then extends out into the real world, where two women come together and know they must not speak of men, except in a negative way that expresses distain or disregard for the impact they have on our lives. You see this out in the world quite frequently these days.”

        I found this to be an interesting insight into the Bechdel test in particular… consider that men are shamed if they don’t view themselves in terms of their relationship to women, while women are chastised if they do view themselves in terms of their relationship to men.

        The entire male/female relationship has kind of fallen out of whack. At one point, yeah, the guy was the “head of the household”, but he’d generally do anything for his wife to make her happy, and in return, she’d honour and respect him for caring for her. The current narrative is more along the lines that women should be the center of the universe (cough, gynocentrism, cough) and that men should cater to a woman’s every desire without reciprocation.

        If a relationship fails, the woman’s told it’s all the man’s fault, and the man’s told he should’ve tried harder to reach the endlessly moving goalposts. In contrast, the man’s supposed to be willing to blow 60+ hour work weeks to supply the woman with every whim and desire she wants, but it’s horrifically demeaning were she to reward him with so small a token of gratitude for such as making him the humble sandwich.

        The previous style of male/female relationship we had before wasn’t all that great, admittedly, and I have no desire to ever return to that, but this parasitic relationship model we’re under now is simply not working. The complete lack of any reciprocal obligation to someone you supposedly love is more than a little problematic.

        That this now spills out beyond romantic relationships and has begun to fester even in casual contact should be seen as the warning flag being waved frantically that it is.

        Anyway, it was an interesting insight. =3

    2. “I however, am not an advocate of “equality,” because equality leaves us vulnerable, forced to compete as men, just as smaller, weaker versions. I suspect that is why these strong female characters fall short of expectations, there’s too much falsehood written in there. It’s a lovely fantasy, but we just aren’t truly battling anybody in a cat suit and heels.”

      Equality, in terms of how it was intended, is not supposed to imply exact carbon copies of one another. Men and women are different, and even the strongest woman in the world has proven herself to be a bit below par with random guys on the street. Physically, we’re simply not identical, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be equal but different.

      The cat suit and heels is obviously not the best choice to fight in, but women do, on average, have significantly better flexibility than men do. If we look at something like martial arts, we see things like Aikido, which was designed primarily for women specifically because it relies on using your opponent’s momentum against them with subtle redirection rather than brute force. You don’t have to be physically strong to use aikido, and if you have overly large muscles, it’d actually hamper your ability to use such. It’s a great example of how women can be equal, while being different from men.

      So, too, follows that men and women tend to follow different thought processes when solving the same problems. This doesn’t mean that women are inferior to men, nor vice versa, it simply means that we have different innate strengths to one another, and that it’s silly to try to make us exactly identical, when we’d be better off playing off each other’s strengths to cover for our drawbacks.

      Trying to “do it all” has never worked, and honestly, probably never will. To specialize in one area requires a reduced capacity in another. There’s always a tradeoff somewhere. Being bigger and stronger may help you survive a fight, but it also makes you starve when there’s a food shortage an awful lot quicker, for example, so you always give up one thing for another.

      To that end, I think we really need to ditch this mentality of “I can do anything I want as well as a man can!”, and then turning around and saying “men are inferior to women because _____”, because it misses the whole point. No, I really can’t do absolutely everything a man can perfectly. And I’m okay with that. The man will have things he can’t do as well as I can, either, so it’s all good.

      Now in terms of movies and fight scenes as you mentioned? It means more finesse based combat for women is all. Combat with heels is a bad idea, but a woman who specializes in something like parkour, aikido, or using her agility to her advantage is perfectly reasonable. It’s really not sexist to say women are, on average, more agile than men, and men are, on average, stronger than women. It’s simply the nature of our reality, and we’d do well to embrace our differences and celebrate them, propping each other up in the areas the other can’t perform as well in, rather than being angry we’re not identical in every minute little way.

      Or the TL:DR version – we can be equal, yet different. =P

      1. This really nailed it, “consider that men are shamed if they don’t view themselves in terms of their relationship to women, while women are chastised if they do view themselves in terms of their relationship to men.”

        Being chastised for wanting to provide that “humble sandwich,” is what made me snap and start blogging and researching. It wasn’t a sandwich however, it was a simple cup of coffee, an ordinary act of affection that a wife might engage in. The response, the shaming of my husband for simply asking his wife for a cup of coffee, triggered this rage in me that I had no idea even existed. Long story short, I haven’t been the same since;)

      2. “It wasn’t a sandwich however, it was a simple cup of coffee, an ordinary act of affection that a wife might engage in.”

        It’s not just something that a wife engages in, though. When you love someone, you do nice little things for them. Buy them flowers, give them a hug, make them breakfast in bed, it’s part of how we show affection for one another, and it isn’t a gendered concept. Specific acts may be more common to one gender than the other (sammiches and flowers, for two examples), but the concept is the same: mutual respect and helping each other in a reciprocal fashion.

        I scratch your back, you scratch mine. I get you coffee, you buy me a car… huh, that last one seems a bit lopsided, and yet the coffee apparently holds more weight than the car.

        It’s like that big thing that happened a few months ago when a woman was making 365 days of sammiches for her betrothed. It was a simple, kind little gesture to show “I love you, and will showcase the little menial tasks to show it on a regular basis – commitment over time.” and people went berserk over how demeaning it was to her to do so… ignoring the fact that the guy cooked her a full meal for dinner every night because he was the better chef of the two.

        I guess I’m just glad to hear I’m not the only one who thinks it’s ridiculous to tell someone they’re being abused because they offered a gesture of kindness to someone they love. If that’s abuse, then why do so many people demand men be abused by treating their wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, or other female acquaintances with equivalent respect?

        Well, except for holding a door open for a woman, in which case when the woman’s kind to the guy, he’s abusing her, and when the guy’s kind to the woman, he’s abusing her.

        …Yeah.

        Because that makes perfect sense.

        But it does on Feminism.

        Feminism: Not even once.

        (Sorry, that was bad. I couldn’t help myself, though. =P )

Comments are closed.