Heard of the Bechdel Test? Cartoonist Alison Bechdel of DTWOF created this test–26 years ago–to detect gender bias in movies:
- Does the movie have at least two females who have names?
- Do they talk with each other?
- If so, are they discussing something other than a man?
Keep these questions in mind whenever you watch any same-stream movie, animated kid’s film [don’t get me started on the misleading stereotypes fed to kids—as deplorable as “kids” foods], indie film, or TV. I’m talking about most decent entertainment made so please dismiss “chick flix” and boring action movies; they cancel each other out, through sheer inanity. Though, strangely, Nextflix does have an “Action” genre (with sub categories) but no “Women” or even “Chick Flix” genre.
Don’t misunderstand, I like some movies/TV that fail this test. Like The Wire, for instance. Liked it a lot but every female is flat, portrayed as “things” for Bunk and McNulty to woo trash over. Kima Greggs could’ve had a great storyline being a lesbian and a female cop. But, nope. There’re very few scenes in all five seasons where question 2 came into play and one was a tiny sex scene when Greggs was cheating on her partner. Sigh.
It’s not like movies/TV with fleshed out women (pun-ny, but not talking bodies here) aren’t ever hits. Think: Thelma and Louise, Cagney and Lacey, Juno, Julie & Julia, Annie Hall, The United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie, The Kids are All Right, even The Devil Wears Prada.
So the date-with-a-movie thing works for some women because they want to be with you, not because they necessarily want to see the film. If you want to be a hit—with at least thinking women—find movies/TV that includes them as whole beings. Or just do something else more fun instead.