Monday, 13 July 2015

celluloid ceiling or poison-pen

Via the always curious TYWKIWDBI, I learned about a new subtle way of gauging rather overt biases and sexism there is in cinema and storytelling in general, called the Bechdel test—named after a militant comic-strip but the creators acknowledge that the principle of the rule was already present in Virginia Woolf’s lament A Room of One’s Own.
The test has three simple criteria, which an astonishing amount of film cannot pass, whole or in part: 1) at least two women characters 2) the two women must have some sort of dialogue 3) the subject of that exchange must be about some topic aside from men—marriage or babies. It is really pretty amazing to think how in the exposition of the Star Wars saga or Lord of the Rings, there is no significant interaction among women.  Of course, it’s not meant to be an absolute  nor any sort of casting guideline and can be a template to examine inclusion and composition in other areas—and probably most importantly, it is a tool for advocacy and raising awareness of something that could pass as invisible and unchallenged.