What do the following 6 movies have in common?

Group 1

  • Kick-Ass 2

  • Man of Steel

  • Sharknado

  • We’re the Millers

  • The Wolverine

  • World War Z

What do the following 6 movies have in common?

Group 2

  • 21 Jump Street

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2

  • The Avengers

  • Rush

  • Star Trek Into the Darkness

  • This is the End

Both groups have been judged using a system called The Bechdel Test.  For those of you unfamiliar with this system, the premise is simple:

  1. Does the movie have at least 2 named women in it?

  2. Do the 2 women speak to each other?

  3. Is the conversation about something other than a man?

Seriously, simple premise.  How the fuck can you not get this one right?  Have 2 women, like most of our lives (mother talking to daughter, sister talking to sister, friend talking to friend, etc.), speak to each other about something other than a man.

As I am sitting here writing this, my wife is speaking to her mother about another woman.  Wow, that fucking simple.

Now back to the questions from the beginning.  Group 1 passes the test.  Group 2 fails the test.  That’s right, group 2 fails with directors like Joss Whedon and Judd Apatow.  Joss Whedon who has developed characters like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Zoё Washburne, River Tam, and Echo.  Judd Apatow who created characters like Lindsay Weir and quoted as saying about the HBO hit Girls, he hoped the show would provide men with an insight into “realistic females”.

This proves that even the best still fail.  What it also proves is that Hollywood has a long way to go.

Movies that fail need to be the exception and not the norm.  If it were the norm, then going to see The Avengers or The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would not be a big deal.

On April 8, 2014, Elyse Mo Fo Anders tweeted the following:

I am making a vow.  Right now.  I will not watch a movie that does not pass the Bechdel test.  And I will side eye anyone who does.

As her teammate and best friend, I am following the same rule.  We will neither watch these movies nor will we allow our children to watch them.

I have been telling my oldest son, Moose, since the previews started that I would take him to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  When I found out it failed, and yet the movie stars Sally Field as Aunt May and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, I thought, “WHAT THE FUCK SONY!?!?!?!?!?”

I had to explain to Moose why we are not going to see the movie.  He was sad, but he accepted our decision.

I will continue to boycott any movie that does not pass this test.  Therefore, I implore Hollywood, take this test to heart.  Start making movies that pass this test.  Start making movies with strong female characters with basic human interaction not about men.  Really, is it that fucking hard?  Would it really have been hard to have a scene with Aunt May and Gwen Stacy talking about school or family? Seriously?

Get the message, Hollywood.  Get it right.  Shark fucking Nado got it right.  Let me repeat, SHARK FUCKING NADO!!!  Just because women talk, doesn’t mean it has to be the traditional “chick flick”.  And besides, there is nothing wrong with a strong female movie.  To this day, I will stop everything to watch A League of Their Own or Steel Magnolias, because they are fucking awesome movies.

Be awesome, Hollywood.  I don’t ever want to disappoint one of my children again.

 

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