Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why We Don't Need More Feminism Tests

Over the past couple days, this Daily Dot article about a proposed alternative to the famous Bechdel test has been getting a lot of airtime. For clarification, here's the definitions of both.

Bechdel Test:
1) Two named female characters
2) who talk to each other
3) about something other than a man

Mako Mori Test:
1) At least one female character 
2) Who gets her own narrative arc
3) That is not about supporting a man’s story

While it's obviously well-intentioned, I think the Mako Mori test is missing the point.

The Bechdel test was immortalized in a comic that pointed out a serious problem using a memorable little catchphrase. It was never meant as the be and all and end all of feminism in movies. It was a clever way of making a larger statement.

A movie is not lady-friendly because it passes the Bechdel test. A movie is not lady-unfriendly because it fails the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test isn't a test at all. It's just commentary.

We need commentary. We need people to notice that Hollywood is an unfriendly environment for female characters. What we don't need are any more ways to make feminism divisive. I think we've got that covered.

1 comment:

  1. I vote Mako Mori. It's more fun to say. :)
    But seriously, I know lots of movies that would pass the Bechdel test and you're right, it doesn't mean it will appeal to women.

    If people want things to appeal to women, maybe they should write it for women. Just saying.

    Like Sex in the City was clearly written for women and it would probably fail the Bechdel test (though it would pass the Mako Mori test).

    He's Just Not That Into You...also Bechdel fail & Mako Mori pass.

    Those tests are great ways to get a conversation started. ^_^