the reverse bechdel test

beach-city-mystery-girl replied to your post: I swear I was barely able to tell in the comments…

Also a lot of ‘oh shit this was in Moffat’s era’ and ‘time to start watching Doctor Who again … I mean, this isn’t news if you’ve kept up with the show which was always never as bad as people like to pretend it is but okay…….

the era they like to complain about, especially the last couple of years, has involved:

  • more background POC rep than any of the previous seasons
  • FIVE significant (main or recurring) LGBT characters, six if you count Missy which I would say one should
  • an episode that failed the reverse Bechdel Test because two men didn’t speak to each other
  • the proper of UNIT (though I will say RTD did this properly in SJA too), and turning a previously male military into a science organisation run by women, specifically the daughter of one of the most important characters in Doctor Who history, who is also her own fab character in her own right
  • black companion with natural hair
  • the most iconic series villain turned into a woman
  • making it inarguably canon that the Doctor could be a woman or not white
  • literally the most feminist companion ending ever

so like. uh. what’s the issue here??

btw i also call for a reverse Bechdel Test

two men share dialogue

  1. about a woman
  2. whom they describe like an actual human being (character traits, ambitions, accomplishments)
  3. whom they are not fighting over sexually

examples so far (off the top of my head):

Good Will Hunting - Sean sharing his late wife’s nervous farting habits with Will

Chasing Amy - Hooper telling Holden to respect Alyssa’s bisexuality instead of feeling threatened by it

Jackie Brown - Ordell explaining the discrimination of the justice system against Jackie to Max

Interstellar - (SPOILER) the doctor revealing that Cooper Station WAS NAMED AFTER MURPH!!!

Hidden Figures - boss man shitting all over bazinga dude’s face for excluding Katherine

aaaaaand those are the only examples I can think of right now, which is pretty telling. and they’re mostly white women characters, which is ALSO telling.

anonymous asked:

what do you mean by reverse bechdel test w the rosa gina and amy scene?

so the bechdel test says that there should be at least two women talking to each about something other than a man

The reverse bechdel test says that there should be at least two men talking to each other about something other than woman…which is like an Extra Level of Female Representation in a movie/show

Was looking at my fics and trying to figure out whether I generally pass the Bechdel Test today, and out of the 39 on AO3:

  • 9 of my fics pass the Bechdel Test
  • 18 of my fics pass the Reverse Bechdel Test
  • 12 of my fics pass neither
  • 2 of my fics pass both
  • 2 of my fics are confusing to me on this issue and therefore are being omitted from this sampling

It’s interesting data. What have I learned?

  • I need to write more girls talking to girls about things that are not guys.
  • Het romance caused most of those 12 that passed neither test, which I think is fairly equal, so I don’t particularly mind.
  • Femslash saved 6 of the 9 that passed the Bechdel, so femslash is your friend!
  • But that doesn’t make slash your enemy. Slash caused only 5 of the 18 Reverse Bechdel passes that failed the Bechdel. So…that’s kind of weird. I guess my gen and het tend to become more male centered.
  • On the other hand, it might be that a number of my fandoms have more interesting male characters? Or more male characters that fit the scenarios I’m playing with?

I don’t know. Anyone else out there got stats on how often they pass the Bechdel? Is this something you worry about too?


A small tribute to women’s solidarity and the BBC’s only drama to (completely) fail the reverse version of the Bechdel Test.

“Weather: mixed. Work: splendid. Social injustice: still rife. No accidents, injuries, or boyfriends.”

a quick review of the reasons you should be watching Call the Midwife if you still are not doing that:

  1. many many ladies
  2. so many ladies, in fact, that it might sometimes fail a reverse Bechdel test, unless Fred and Dr. Turner get into a good convo about military-issue shorts
  3. ladies supporting ladies
  4. most precious dudes to walk the Earth of East London supporting ladies
  5. ladies loving other ladies in all of the following ways
    1. friendship
    2. familial
    3. feminist
    4. lesbian
  6. babies
  7. real talk about how hard babies are though
  8. also real talk about things like abortion, birth control, slut shaming, infertility, prostitution, domestic abuse, poverty, faith, etc.
  9. don’t forget the Sound of Music-esque story that is tbh sort of better than the Sound of Music
  10. cake
  11. basically the only reason I can think of to not watch this show is if you are really squicked out by childbirth

in talking w/ a friend about the princess leia comics, it’s come to my attention that said comics thus far have had a majority fail rate on the “reverse bechdel test” – aka, at no point in an issue do two named male characters have a conversation about anything other than a woman. 

in fact the record as it stands is:

  • princess leia #001 – passes only if you consider luke and wedge’s three-line conversation (”red five, copy, could that be true?” / “making visual contact, red two. it’s an alluvial damper malfunction all right. / “shuttle’s looking wobbly, red five. give her a wide berth”) as not technically being about leia and evaan, but about their ship.
  • princess leia #002 – fails with flying colors
  • princess leia #003 – same

i, for one, support this agenda and would like to continue to see the tables be so dramatically turned 

“Damn.” I said to myself. “Are Danny and Ethan ever going to talk about anything BESIDES Amber?”

Then I thought- when was the last time Danny and Joe talked about something besides Amber/Amazi-Girl?

When was the last time ANY of the male characters talked one-on-one to another male character…and the subject wasn’t a woman?

And now I’m laughing because Oh My God.

Dumbing of Age: Where the women can talk about anything and everything, but the men can’t pass the (gender reversed) Bechdel Test.


anonymous asked:

So.. Which Discworld novel do you recommend starting with?

Ooooh, that old chestnut. There are plenty of reading order guides around, so you might find one just to make sure you keep track of all of them.

What I did was just start from the first one (Light Fantastic & Colour of Magic) because I am a stubborn little shit. Reading in ordinary chronological order will give you the fullest experience and make you really appreciate the slowly evolving worldbuilding, plus there is a lot of crossover bonuses you lose when you don’t read chronologically. So if you’re a quick reader and you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, do that.

Otoh, the reason why people often don’t recommend starting with The Colour of Magic is that it isn’t really typical of what Discworld really is. It’s still very pastiche, parody of traditional fantasy, with a lack of the character depth and realism that makes the rest of Discworld so satisfying to read. Mind you, they’re still good, but they’re not representative.

So, alternatives: there’s a couple of standalones that work pretty alright on their own:

- Small Gods: set some undefined time before the rest of the series, about organised religion and tyranny and Ancient Greece. You will never look at turtles in quite the same way again. Also notable for having no romantic subplot and a character that’s both morally pure and really likeable.

- The Truth/Going Postal: the way in if you’re into steampunk. The Truth takes the semi-medieval city of Ankh-Morpork and introduces newspapers; in Going Postal the industrial revolution is already well on its way and the city’s boss gets in a reformed crook to revamp the postal service.

- Monstrous Regiment: FEMINISM. A girl crossdresses to join her (backward, aggressive, religiously fanatical) country’s army to find her brother. Shenanigans ensue. Contains the closest thing DW has to a lesbian couple, some really really interesting musings about gender, and a coffee-addicted vampire. (also contains some really dark scenes)

Then there’s the subseries:

- Guards Guards: Vimes is one of the best-loved characters of the series, and with reason. And he evolves: in this first one he’s still a cynical, mostly incompetent drunk, and as the series progresses he slowly gains power and confidence and it’s gorgeous to see. All Watch books are basically CSI: Ankh-Morpork and vaguely Sherlock Holmes-like. Your way in if you like crime and detective stories.

- Wyrd Sisters: the other main subseries, ie the Witches.. Women. So many women. Notable for failing the reverse Bechdel test, that’s how many women there are in. Witches are basically the Discworld’s equivalent of social workers in rural areas, with a sidedish of magic: all Witches stories follow roughly the same plotline of the three main witches having to fight off some supernatural foe. They are also explicit parodies: Wyrd Sisters does Shakespeare (Macbeth in particular), Witches Abroad is Cinderella, Lords and Ladies is every Fae myth, Maskerade the Phantom of the Opera, and Carpe Jugulum is vampires.

- The Wee Free Men: reboot of the Witches series, basically, only with a teeny-tiny witch - nine year old Tiffany Aching has all the characteristics of Pratchett’s other witches but in the form of a kid. They’re more story-driven and less parody than the Witches proper, so if you don’t like buttloads of references, this might be best.

- Hogfather: strictly speaking you should read Soul Music before this one, but Hogfather introduces one of the other most beloved protags of DW, ie Susan Sto Helit, granddaughter of Death (it’s… complicated. details are in Soul Music). A lot of fun with the classic tropes of fairy tales, plus Susan is a wonderfully sarcastic, angry, takes-no-shit genre-savvy badass.

And then, if you don’t mind missing out on references and continuity:

- Night Watch: Sixth in the Watch series, and arguably the best of the lot. Sam Vimes travels thirty years back in time, meaning there’s a lot of dramatic irony if you know the rest of the series, but you can still follow without that. It’s dark, it’s angry, it’s depressing, and burns with revolutionary spirit.

And there’s more, of course. A lot depends on your interests. Egyptian mythology? Take Pyramids. Feudal-age China? have a look at Interesting Times. Want fun with Australia? Try the Last Continent. Etc. 

Personally, my recommendation would be to first read one of the later ones, that really matches your interests, just to see if you’re into it. And if you’re hooked, start at the start, because frankly I’ve never seen more beautiful and complex world building and character evolution than in Discworld.

Hope that helped a bit, anon!

The Bechdel Test and Dotor Who: Series 8 Update

For the past few years, Steven Moffat and Doctor Who have been catching quite a bit of flack for episodes which have frequently failed the Bechdel test. The test itself isn’t a measure of the feminist value of a TV show, but by examining the number of named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man, it provides a fairly objective and consistent means of assessing the representation of women on screen. Russell T. Davies episodes consistently passed the Bechdel test, but once Moffat became showrunner there was a noticeable decline in the number of episodes which passed the test. 

But this past year has seen a dramatic change. The average Bechdel test score during Series 8 was the highest for any Series during Steven Moffat’s tenure, and for the first time, the average Bechdel test score has been equivalent to average scores during RTD’s tenure.

As a refresher for old and new readers, I use a three point scale to score each episode using each requirement to pass the Bechdel test. Each episode gets one point for having two named women, two points if those women talk to each other, and three points if they talk to each other about something other than a man. Series 8 had an average score of 2.62, the highest average score for a Series during Steven Moffat’s tenure and the fifth highest average score for a Series since 2005.

Only two episodes failed the Bechdel Test during Series 8: “Robot of Sherwood” and “Listen”. “Robot of Sherwood” had two named female characters (Clara and Marian), but they never spoke to each other. “Listen” completely failed the test with only one named female character, Clara (the other woman who speaks near the end of the episode is never named).

(Arguably, Series 8 might even be tied for fourth place with Series 2, which had one more episode fail the Bechdel Test than did Series 8. However, Series 8 is disadvantaged by having one less episode than Series 2, which causes the failed episodes to have an even larger impact on the overall score.)

There were a few episodes which only narrowly passed the Bechdel test, but the vast majority of them passed with flying colors. One episode, “Kill the Moon,” was so dominated by its female characters that it actually fails the reverse Bechdel test (two named male characters never talk to each other about something other than a woman). The Bechdel Test even received a passing reference in “Mummy on the Orient Express,” when Clara attempts to deflect Maisie’s questions about Clara’s relationship with the Doctor by saying “Seriously? We’re stuck in this carriage, probably all night, and all we can talk about is some man?”

This change wasn’t driven by an increased focus on a particular pair of women and the relationship between them. Instead, it was driven by the inclusion of a large, diverse cast of secondary female characters. Women in Series 8 were villains, heroes, sidekicks, accomplices, and complicated antiheroes. They were close friends, bitter enemies, reluctant allies, and partners in crime. They each had significant roles to play, and they all displayed a diverse variety of relationships with each other.

Again, the Bechdel Test alone doesn’t determine the value of an episode, but it is a starting point for a larger conversation about women’s representation. I believe the higher scores reflect an overall improvement in the number and types of roles available for women in Series 8. And I see no reason why this improvement shouldn’t continue into Series 9. Several fan favorites would make excellent recurring characters, including Courtney, Journey Blue, Saibra, and Shona. Even if these characters don’t return, I think there’s a recognition that fans truly appreciated these characters and want to see more women like them.

That’s not to say this Series wasn’t without it’s flaws, but I’m still very happy about the progress that was made, and surprisingly optimistic about Series 9. 

shooting-star-summit  asked:

Is Orphan Black worth watching?


it would take me probably days to extol all the virtues of this show but in a nutshell:

  • LADIES IN SPADES. the show eats the bechdel test for breakfast lunch and dinner. it also fails the reverse bechdel test in pretty much every episode. as one of its creators, graeme manson, put it: “women in their multitudes is something that needs to be seen more than men in their multitudes.”
  • EXCELLENT PLOTTING. you’ll get this right from the pilot - episodes are fast-paced, exciting and complicated. you have to pay attention, but you’ll love it.
  • IMPORTANT THEMES. orphan black is centered around the concepts of women, their bodies, and their identities. they’ve done an excellent job in crafting a story that allows them to bring women’s agency and body ownership into the collective consciousness. 
  • TATIANA MASLANY. she’s the lead actress, who plays several main characters on the show and is probably one of the best actresses i’ve ever had the privilege to watch. this has been talked about and talked about so i don’t want to bore you to death with it, but as the excellent tom and lorenzo put it: “Once you settle into the show (and we obviously recommend that you should), you’ll have these truly revelatory moments where you realize you’ve been watching one person play an entire multiple-character scene by herself and you totally forgot about it. You really have to work to remind yourself that Cosima, Sarah, Alison, Helena and Rachel are all played by the same actress." (that link goes to their review of the season 2 premiere, so don’t scroll too far down if you don’t want to be spoiled.)
  • DIVERSITY. which you wouldn’t really expect from a show about clones, but it’s true. there’s is exactly 1 straight white dude on this show and they call him "big dick paul” which… is really all you need to know to be honest.

watch away, friend. you will be delighted.

I’m crafting my feature script with a reverse-Bechdel test ethos:

never have two men talking to each other unless it’s about a female lead character

Sometimes I think about how Buffy

  • has female characters who aren’t defined by their relationships to the male characters
  • has rich and complex female characters who go through the kind of development typically reserved for men
  • passes the Bechdel Test on a regular basis
  • rarely passes the reverse Bechdel Test
  • deals with the problems teenage girls face without belittling them
  • has a protagonist who is very feminine, and wants to be Like Other Girls, and still kicks ass
  • has a great mother-daughter relationship
  • has characters who love and care for each other deeply
  • has Alyson Hannigan being a cutie patootie
  • has a Hot Dad Librarian
  • has a rockin’ 90s alt soundtrack
  • hits the sweet spot between self-aware campy horror and genuinely frightening stuff
  • doesn’t always take the plot seriously, but nearly always takes the characters seriously
  • uses innovative storytelling to give us a musical episode, an episode without words, etc.
  • has an episode set in the characters’ dreams, which is incredibly realistic but still manages to tell us a lot about the characters
  • is great
  • is great
  • is so great

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts/ feelings/ theories on Paul

Anon, you were the first to request such a thing and since I mentioned this request in a post, I have since had seven others request this Paul write up. I hope it pleases all of you. 

(And by they I mean me)

Oh Paul. I have so many thoughts/feelings on Paul, and obviously I have theories on everything apparently so Paul is no different. This is incredibly long and incredibly rambly so bear with me as I put it under a readmore. (I totally think y’all should actually read it though, at least for the witty comments about how husky Paul’s voice is.)

I find Paul equally frustrating and fascinating.

Keep reading

deglorath  asked:

Hey Megan! I was curious if you could recommend a place to look up a detailed description of the Bechdel Test? I only know a general gist of what it is and would like to know more about it. Oh and thank you for all the delightful art you've made over the years, Yu+Me especially remains one of my favorite comics. :)

It’s meant to be general, though. There’s not more detail beyond that a movie passes if it has at least two women in it whose characters have names, and they talk to each other about something other than a man. That’s it.

And it’s used to show larger trends in the movie industry, kind of like how the BMI (body mass index) is meant to show overall trends in a population and not to apply to individuals as a test of their quality. It doesn’t show how strong those women are, or interesting, or unique, or well-written. It’s not a test of how feminist something is. It just points out how few independent female characters there are, how they often don’t get to drive the story because all their actions and interactions are related to what men are doing.

It’s a really simple test, and you’d think in our modern age that most everything would pass, but the fact that so much stuff doesn’t, or just barely squeaks by, is really telling about movies and how we value women’s lives and stories (or rather, don’t value.) It’s incredibly rare for something to not pass the reverse Bechdel test, in which two named men talk to each other about something other than a woman.

I’m glad you like my comics. I’ll tell you, I get more hate mail for writing about women than writing about lesbians (even though lesbians are women.) I get a lot of upset guys who ask me where the male role models in my comics are. Because I mostly write about women. The guys are usually in supporting roles. Everything passes the Bechdel test within a few pages. Not everything passes the reverse Bechdel test by the end. But I think if someone gets upset by that, they can take refuge in the rest of our entire culture.