Females in Film: Strong & Independent or Weak & Lonely?

Females in Film: Strong & Independent or Weak & Lonely?

Having announced my regular work through The Film Corp, a friend drew my attention towards the Bechdel Test which immediately gave me ideas for my next post. To put it simply, all films need to achieve the three success criteria, to pass the test:

1.       It has to have at least two [named] women in it

2.       Who talk to each other

3.       About something besides a man

In the 21st century, that can’t be hard, right? Wrong! After looking into the test online, I was shocked to see so many films that don’t make the cut. I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist per say, but I have been known to rant about women’s rights from time to time. Gentlemen, this may be your cue to close the tab now, but you might be a little curious to see which movies over the years didn’t quite pass the test…

Two words: Walt Disney. When I looked into the Bechdel Test, I immediately thought ‘well, that rules out most Disney princess films’, but I’m surprised to see that movies such as Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959) and Beauty and the Beast (1991) all passed the test. Shout out to Walt! Although it’s not due out for a few more weeks, you can bet the revamp of the old classic starring Emma Watson will pass the test. I can’t imagine a feminist such as Emma allowing the movie to fail this kind of thing. She’d be up there in the screen writers’ office causing merry hell!

So now that Disney is let off the hook, what about some current films? JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts didn’t pass, nor did Deadpool, Batman or Hell or High Water. Tarzan? Nope – Margot Robbie just spent the whole film as the damsel in distress (she looked hot though I can’t lie). Although, I’ll let her off, because Suicide Squad did pass the test. Not even The Secret Life of Pets. I mean, it’s a movie about animals, but still! Girls, please. Can you talk about something, anything, other than a man? 

On a serious note, do you think more needs to be done to portray strong, female characters in film? I thought the world had moved forward massively, but I’m quite surprised at just how many movies still don’t make the cut.