Films are wonderful. They can help shape our understanding of the big wide world. But what if the majority of stories told inside cinemas marginalised women? What if, in mainstream movies, there were 2.24 males to every one female and women made up just 30.9% of the speaking roles?
Those are real stats and do not portray a true depiction of the way the world really works – the world where women comprise around 50% of the population. If we have more positive female protagonists in films, we can shape a better understanding of what it really means to be a woman and match their importance in life to that of a man.
The Bechdel Test helps raise the issue of how few films include women as more than just a supporting role to a male character. It’s a simple, and albeit imperfect test, but as author Alison Bechdel herself says ‘it’s a bit of fun’. It’ gives us something to think about. It is not an accurate measure to how ‘good’ a film is. It is also not a fail-safe way to brand a film ‘feminist’, but hey… it’s fun to pick apart.
Tests as such highlight the importance of how people, not just women, are represented in film and we think it’s great to keep a careful eye on the landscape of cinema if we’re to ensure everyone is represented fairly and stereotypes are scrutinised.
Just so you know…
The Bechdel Test Fest is not just-for-women! We love men too. We particularly love men that make films that portray a genuine, fair and accurate representation of their opposite sex.
The festival is for everyone! The program will include seasonal films of all genres and have something for all ages.