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Roaming on the internet I found this article about the Bechdel test and the Oscars 2013. I only got introduced to the Bechdel test (and to the comic series ‘dykes to watch out for’ ) a year ago by my ex-girlfriend, a radical lesbian feminist from birth. That’s maybe a bit exaggerated, but she has a head start on me of decades. In a way, I wish she never told me, it’s hard for me to watch any movie now, especially hard to watch movies with friends, because I don’t always want to be the grumpy, complaining one afterwards. I could apply The Rule (explained here:)

Afbeelding

and stay home…

Someone said to me once: you don’t have to be a missionary, just surround yourself with people who know what you are talking about, it’s too hard to fight on your own.  It makes we wonder what kind of a feminist I am if I don’t try to share my worldview with other ‘women’  Should I listen to what  Paulo Coelho says:

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just trust in my own path? Would anything have changed if everybody thinks like that? Would women have a vote? Would  people of color have rights? Would lesbians and gays have rights? There are so many things people take for granted now, not realizing that at one time there was someone who trusted their own path enough to realize that the other one was wrong and who acted on that. 

I do think movies and other media are wrong in many ways. It scares me to see what a big part it plays in sustaining sexism,  imprinting gender roles and stereotypes. It amazes me to see how white and male it all still is. It frustrates me that the Bechdel test was written in 1985 and not a lot has changed since. 

Wikipedia has this reference to A room of One’s Own by Viriginia Woolf, saying she  observed the literature of her time what the Bechdel test would later highlight in more recent fiction:

All these relationships between women, I thought, rapidly recalling the splendid gallery of fictitious women, are too simple. […] And I tried to remember any case in the course of my reading where two women are represented as friends. […] They are now and then mothers and daughters. But almost without exception they are shown in their relation to men. It was strange to think that all the great women of fiction were, until Jane Austen‘s day, not only seen by the other sex, but seen only in relation to the other sex. And how small a part of a woman’s life is that […][6]

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That was in 1929…

I think I will go and watch Brave again, that’s one Pixar movie that passed the Bechdel test and I just love it.  On the Bechdel test movie list you can find lot’s more.

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