22 July 2009

Final Girls and no talk about boys!

I like movies, and especially horror movies. I actually have an excuse about the horror movies since I teach a class on women and horror film. But recently my brother and sister went to see Hangover, a movie that I would never pay money to see. But I couldn't really articulate why I reject Hangover outright. But really, can't we all agree that most movies suck for women? Are there any feminist movies? Are any mainstream movies fit for feminist consumption? Probably not. But how does one evaluate a movie in this patriarchal culture, you might be thinking. How?

Well, I have two ways for us to consider. One is the sort-of famous Bechdel Test, apparently proposed by Alison Bechdel who is a fabulous feminist author and all-around rabble-rouser. The Bechdel Test goes like this:

There must be more than one female character;
They must talk to each other;
About something other than men.

Another test I like was brought up in a recent thread on I Blame The Patriarchy on why old movies suck. This test goes like this:

Name a movie where the protagonist is an adult woman, and she ends up:

1. Alive and healthy
2. Happy
3. Not in love

I like both of these tests very much--and if you really think about it, most movies do not pass either test. This state of affairs really sucks. Even movies that overtly grapple with feminist issues, such as Thelma and Louise, fail the tests.

So what does this suggest about movies, feminism, patriarchy and popular culture?


Woz said...

This suggests that we have a lot to do still. It also suggests that you have no fun. :) JK

Woz said...

AND you should watch "Deadgirl" because it is so much bullshit when applied to these standards you would die!