Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[3]] Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by Katie on 2012-07-09 03:54:38.

Reviews

Comments

Katie said:
Hushpuppy has a long, though imaginary, conversation with her mother, who is not named. She has many other brief interactions with the girls and women in Bathtub, but none of them are named characters. (Hushpuppy and her father are the only two named characters in the movie, and there is not much dialogue generally.)
Message posted on 2012-07-09 03:54:38
Joe disagreed with the rating and said:
This movie passes, no question. Hushpuppy and her teacher Miss Bathsheeba talk often, most notably a key conversation about the mythology of the wild aurochs. Put a smiley on that face, Beasts Of The Southern Wild passes with flying colors!
Message posted on 2012-07-18 18:21:15
Mitchell Hundred disagreed with the rating and said:
Just saw it last night. It passes quite significantly. While technically true that no named women have dialogue about something other than a man, it is worth noting that almost no characters in the film have names or dialogue that does not involve them talking over one another. Given this circumstance and that there are several scenes in which one woman talks to another about things other than men, I think we can give it it a pass.
Message posted on 2012-07-23 02:46:12
Nimravid said:
As Mitchell said, no named female characters in the movie have a conversation about anything other than a man. So it does not pass. (movies where named female characters don't talk to each other about something other than a man don't "pass quite significantly"- this is the definition of not passing..it's not a judgement on the *reason* for not passing.) Actually it barely passes the "reverse" Bechdel, when Wink and Jean-Baptiste discuss fleeing/not fleeing the storm.

Hushpuppy doesn't reply to Bathsheeba's story of the aurochs. Her other interactions with Bathsheeba were either about her father or Hushpuppy didn't say anything at all.
Message posted on 2012-07-31 07:17:47
Mitchell Hundred said:
My point was that in the case of this movie, the definition of passing deserves to be relaxed (from 'Do two named women talk to each other about something other than a man?' to 'Does one woman interact with another about something other than a man?') because the film is so unconventional. If others disagree, then fine.
Message posted on 2012-08-19 16:04:03
Gene said:
Submitting a film that fails the test because of choices in the film's basic structure is sort of a waste of time and bends statistics generated by the test.

The test is only really appropriate for films that apply to a conventional narrative structure which will feature a number of named characters who interact. If a film has only two characters (e.g. Antichrist) features no characters communicating with one another (any filmed stage version of the vagina monologues) or has some other feature which makes the test obviously inapplicable it shouldn't be subjected to it.
Message posted on 2012-10-29 20:11:56
clara disagreed with the rating and said:
This film clearly is a fail. Hushpuppy is not a woman but a 6-year old child.

The women in the film don't talk to each other, even though they contribute with at a few occasions when a bigger group talks in which a second woman might be present - but often enough there is only one woman present at any time.
Message posted on 2012-11-04 11:10:37
Mitchell Hundred said:
Hushpuppy is a female character. The purpose of the Bechdel Test is to gauge the presence of female characters in a movie, regardless of age. Disqualifying someone from consideration because she are too young to qualify as a woman is, at best, relying on a technicality (and at worst twisting the test's intent).
Message posted on 2012-11-09 03:22:03
Mitchell Hundred said:
Sorry, that last comment should say "because she IS too young to qualify".
Message posted on 2012-11-11 23:54:24
luminum said:
The Bechdel Test tests gender bias Does Hushpuppy have a gender? Yes. She's a girl. And the movie is about a little girl.

If movies fail because children are too young to be considered "gendered" than almost any mainstream children's movie would fail.

Hushpuppy counts as a female. Had Hushpuppy been a boy, it would be an example of another film featuring a male protagonist (regardless of age) and male perspective.
Message posted on 2012-12-07 03:54:29
luminum disagreed with the rating and said:
The Bechdel Test tests gender bias Does Hushpuppy have a gender? Yes. She's a girl. And the movie is about a little girl.

If movies fail because children are too young to be considered "gendered" than almost any mainstream children's movie would fail.

Hushpuppy counts as a female. Had Hushpuppy been a boy, it would be an example of another film featuring a male protagonist (regardless of age) and male perspective.
Message posted on 2012-12-07 03:54:35
Nimravid disagreed with the rating and said:
No named female characters have a conversation. So it fails the test. However, the movie does pass the reverse Bechdel. So it actually was not the structure of the movie that made it not pass- despite the structure, named male characters had conversations that were not about female characters. I think it would be really interesting to compare how often movies passed the reverse Bechdel test too. Then there could be a direct comparison between numbers passing forward and reverse Bechdel. But most of the movies that people say "couldn't" pass Bechdel because of structure manage to pass the reverse, so I think we shouldn't skew the data (the other way) by leaving those out.
Message posted on 2012-12-16 05:28:59
RedJess said:
Hushpuppy is a girl but I don't think she is gendered as one. When I saw it I wasn't sure until Wink said - "you are a girl". Gender roles seem less defined in this film so maybe it shouldn't even be in this test...
Message posted on 2013-01-08 17:25:37
Sammy Trujillo said:
There is a scene where Miss Bathsheba offers Hushpuppy a ride home. Even though Hushpuppy's father is mentioned, the conversion is not about the father. This is directly from the script.

MISS BATHSHEBA
You need a ride, boo?
HUSHPUPPY
My Daddy’s coming to pick me up.
MISS BATHSHEBA
How about food or something, you
hungry?
Hushpuppy shakes her head ‘no’.
Miss Bathsheba’s doesn’t totally believe her, but she’s not
the type to coddle either.
MISS BATHSHEBA (CONT’D)
Alright, well suit yourself.

I think this qualifies as a pass especially since the mother scene is disqualified on a technicality.
Message posted on 2013-04-21 07:04:36
alephnaught disagreed with the rating and said:
The fact that a film fails doesn't necessarily mean it's 'sexist' (particularly, as pointed out about, where films have an unconventional structure), nor does a pass show that it isn't. By applying the test to a variety of films over time it can help us to identify systemic trends and biases; using it as a moral judgement in individual cases misses the point, as does adjusting the criteria on a case-by-case basis because we happen to like a particular film.
Message posted on 2013-10-20 23:56:56

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