Anything Goes : Female Thor... The First Step? by Natasha Price

Natasha Price

Female Thor... The First Step?

I've not got a problem with a female Thor. And here is why. I have recently come across “The Betchdel Test”, created by Alison Betchdel in her 1985 comic “The Rule” (from a strip called “Dykes to watch out for”- interesting), which sets out to determine the presence of women within films and whether they are characters of substance. It is essentially a litmus test to see if a film has well-rounded three-dimensional female characters. To pass the “Betchdel Test”, a film must: Have two or more NAMED characters… Who engage with and talk to each other … About something other than men It doesn’t seem like that much to ask, but you will be shocked at how many films cannot pass this. The Social Network*, Aladdin, Gravity, Toy Story, Avatar, Star Wars, Run Lola Run, Men In Black, The Big Lebowski, Shrek, District 9, Milk, Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, The Princess Bride, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Lord of The Rings, Now You See Me… There are hundreds. *(When asked on the Colbert Show about the role of women in The Social Network who are mostly psychopathic and pretty play things for the leading male characters Aarron Sorkin simply explained that “the women are prizes”. Oh Aarron, you old romantic, you!) Once you start playing this game yourself, suddenly you can’t seem to think of a single film that passes. So I guess that’s any Jane Austen adaption out the window… pretty much any war film is a big ol’ sausage fest… buddy movies- no… rom-coms- probably not… I’m no die-hard feminist and my love of films goes a lot further than whether it pandas to political correctness or keeping up appearances… but I do think this test works rather beautifully in it’s simplicity and is something I will definitely keep in mind when watching films from now on.

E. Geno Frazier

I understand your argument for women but only a few films will pass that qualification when appled to any gender. Re-examine the films you listed applying those parameters to men. Love is a strong motivating factor. Many human behaviors can be attributed to love or the quest for love. Hence its predominance in scripts. The ancient Greeks listed various types of love: eros (romantic or erotic); philos (brotherly); agape (general love for mankind) and strogoe (love/affection for your children). Here in the States and in American media in general, there has been a strong movement to decredit all other love except romantic or love of immediate family. Presently even romantic love is under attack. Think of how often you see torture graphically dipicted on tv, but not sex of any kind. So we are left with discussions about family and protecting family, etc. Since most families develop out of a romantic relationship, the protagonist once again find him/herself talking about romance and often the opposite gender. There are no dicussions about friendship, one's relationship to the Creator, human love and concern about others or anything else because these topics are heartily discouraged in American media.

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