What are you watching & reading? Will you do the Beshdel Test on it?

(212 Posts)
Seabright Thu 24-Jan-13 23:32:02

I have been trying to apply the Beshdel Test to what I've been watching lately.

The wiki entry in the link above explains more, but basically to pass the Beshdel Test a work of fiction must have:

A) At least two female characters
B) Who Talk to each other
C) About something other than a man

This evening I have watched:

1. Rizzoli & Isles - pass, just
2. The Good Wife - pass

And I'm reading an Ian Rankin novel at the moment (yes, my choice of tv and books is pretty limited - crime & murder!) which so far fails, but I'm only part way through.

Schooldidi Wed 06-Feb-13 15:26:52

Amanda - I do that too. I'm starting to win. All of dd2's stuffed toys are automatically female and although I struggled to start with I am now calling all dogs and cats we pass 'she'. It was hard to train myself to do it, so I'm hoping that it will just be normal for dd2 to assume animals are female seeing as she's growing up with me doing it (dd1 is more vocal about this sort of thing than I am so I have no worries about her any more)

I'm currently reading the worst princess to dd2 and we quite like itas the princess ends up doing her own thing and going off with the dragon, but it annoys me slightly by calling her the worst princess, and she does hang around at the start waiting to be rescued instead of getting herself out of her tower. I don't think it passes though because the princess is the only female character as the dragon isn't specifically female (it is in our house but others may think of it as male)

That’s interesting Amanda. For me it depends on the animal - dogs, horses and pigs are automatically 'he' while cats, sheep, ducks and chickens are automatically 'she'. Weird. I do catch myself doing it but not usually in time to change it!

CaseyShraeger Wed 06-Feb-13 16:14:07

Thinking about Cbeebies I'm pretty sure most episodes of Me Too would pass (many of them wouldn't pass a reverse Bechdel test, though), also many episodes of Nina and the Neurons (ditto). ^ Come Outside^ would pass on quite a few episodes (when the person explaining stuff to Auntie Mabel is female) but wouldn't generally pass a reverse Bechdel. Charlie and Lola would pass when Lotta is in it.

Chubfuddler Wed 06-Feb-13 16:31:27

Balamory tends to involve discussion between miss hoolie and another woman about fixing a problem PC plum is having, or Archie, or Spencer. There may be episodes that pass.

Me too - well doctor juno's dog is male, so she discusses him with granny Murray, the lady who cleans buses has a son so that's out, can't remember any other female characters.

Still just some episodes of me too and balamory is pretty rubbish out of the entire channel.

CaseyShraeger Wed 06-Feb-13 17:29:40

There's Tina the taxi driver too. But the characters discuss all sorts with Granny Murray. Last week Doctor Juno was off on a sponsored bike ride to France and she chatted about that with GM before she went; the week before Doctor Juno and bus-cleaning woman (whose name I forget) had a talk about the "Be Seen, Be Safe" publicity campaign. Tina is heavily into am dram so she tends to talk to Granny Murray about that. Women who have male dogs and/or sons are capable of talking about something else. i can't offhand think of many episodes I've seen that wouldn't pass.

On Balamory over half the recurring cast (and the only character who's in it every single week) is female. So 50% of the time the person who first turns up to talk to Miss Hoolie will be female and it'll automatically pass.

Did you mean to just deliberately ignore all the other examples people gave? I mean, I'm prepared to load quite a bit of opprobium on Cbeebies fir the sexist tosh that is Tree Fu Tom but I don't feel the need to whitewash entire shows out of the collective consciousness to make my point.

Xiaoxiong Wed 06-Feb-13 17:35:36

ouryve I'm reading Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, having just finished Equal Rites.

I think every Pratchett book I've ever read would pass both the Bechdel and reverse Bechdel tests with flying colours.

WowOoo Wed 06-Feb-13 17:43:21

Watched Borgen and it passed.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Wed 06-Feb-13 17:44:04

YY amanda - I saw a hang glider on holiday and made a conscious effort to say "where's she gone now?" etc to DS. It's a definite effort.

Trills Wed 06-Feb-13 18:04:28
ouryve Wed 06-Feb-13 21:29:17

These blog posts are fab, Trills. I'm slowly working my way through them!

ImNotDrunkIJustCantType Wed 06-Feb-13 21:32:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paperclips Thu 07-Feb-13 01:52:13

Reading "The Secret Life of Bees", it passes easily.

I've been enjoying Frasier every morning with my breakfast but it always fails.

Also watching "My Mad Fat Diary" which only just scrapes through, they talk about "lads" most of the time but not always.

Our current box-set is "The Fringe" season 4. There are a few more passes this season, as Nina Sharpe talks to Olivia more about "stuff other than men". Otherwise, Olivia and Astrid only talk about the male characters or the cases, although about half the cases are women. It usually passes.

CheerfulYank Thu 07-Feb-13 15:06:45

I watched 27 Dresses last night...it passed.

kerala Thu 07-Feb-13 16:57:19

Zero Dark Thirty passes frequent scenes of 2 women discussing their work.

kim147 Sun 10-Feb-13 20:45:08

Chocolat

Massive win - and it highlights some issues as well such as domestic abuse and personal choice on how to live a life without being told how to do it by society.

ImNotDrunkIJustCantType Sun 10-Feb-13 20:52:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 10-Feb-13 20:54:56

Just watching Call the Midwife with DD. It does pass but women are beaten up and humiliated, another is sexually abused on a cargo ship by the sailors. I know it's set in the past but it's not really family viewing

EduCated Sun 10-Feb-13 21:17:58

Not quite right for the test, but am watching the BAFTAs. Will be interesting to see how many women present as compared to men.

kim147 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:21:06

Well you can guess what the pictures and the comments will be on the women in the morning, can't you.

Look at this outfit, look at that outfit, that was a controversial outfit. All on the front page.

AmandaPayne Sun 10-Feb-13 22:20:23

I have already browsed the outfits (oh the shame blush). I was pleased to see quite a few women actually wearing coats on the red carpet. Small improvements and all that.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 10-Feb-13 23:17:58

I'm watching Piranha.

Epic fail on all counts.

Melpomene Fri 15-Feb-13 15:37:43

Just saw Wreck-it Ralph at the cinema. It passed the test on the basis of two scenes - one scene where some girl video game characters are discussing a go kart race (although this does involve bullying), and a second happier discussion at the end involving the same group of girls.

Two of the main four characters in the film are female - they play a more significant role in the film than I expected from watching the trailer. They don't really ever talk to each other, but both are presented as feisty, active and resourceful.

msrisotto Fri 15-Feb-13 15:44:01

Les Miserables...I think it fails? I know Fantine is bullied out of the factory where she was working by women who were bullying/talking to her but I don't think they actually had names.....

kim147 Fri 15-Feb-13 15:49:02

I can't recall Les Miserables having much conversation between 2 women. Except Mme. Thenardier being awful to Fantine and Eponine.

AmandaPayne Fri 15-Feb-13 15:49:43

I think it fails too. The bully Fantine essentially about a man - the whole conversation is about her sexual behaviour. Eponine and Collette never speak, which is a bit chance missed IMO.

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