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

[[1]] The Social Network (2010) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by Kris Bell on 2010-10-01 23:22:18.



Kris Bell said:
It has women in it, but they don't talk to each other as far as I can tell, they only talk to men.
Message posted on 2010-10-01 23:22:19
KT J. said:
I am so glad that there is something like this out there in the world. i saw this movie and I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it. its insulting and a horrible representation of women. I'm using this in my review for my school paper now. my school needs to see the unfairness in this movie. cuz' it was fucking ridiculous.
Message posted on 2010-10-15 02:39:14
John M. said:
While I agree it doesn't meet the criteria to pass the test, it is a film based on real events and the major characters in those events were all male.

The fact that they have few female relationships is somewhat the point. It isn't a criticism of the movie that there weren't women involved in the founding of Facebook, but rather a criticism of the men involved.
Message posted on 2010-10-15 15:11:23
d-style said:
The point of the film is that it is about misogyny. Observing that it portrays misogyny seems redundant.
Message posted on 2010-10-29 01:27:11
David said:
For a more detailed look, take a look at what the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin had to say about deliberate portrayal of sexism in The Social Network. Google "Aaron Sorkin Yes The Social Network is Sexist" or something along those lines.
Message posted on 2010-11-10 12:47:58
will said:
The main characters, especially Zuckerberg, have a much more complicated relationship to women in real life. So by making them into a misogynistic caricature, the filmmakers also prevented the women from having any good parts.
Message posted on 2010-12-06 23:44:07
Zoe said:
I pressed "fast forward" for 1/3 of it. No decent female characters at all. Just petty, immature college males in a dorm room, board room and frat house. A waste of $5.99 at the video store.
Message posted on 2011-01-29 21:45:22
diana said:
firstly, this movie was amazing. KT J: i don't understand, do you want people to see the film in order to see how sexist the film was or how sexist reality was? are you glad an unfair movie was made so that you can criticize it? i don't get it.

anyway, the movie was perhaps arguably unfair to the main characters, but i certainly didn't find it sexist toward women. why is it that some people object to the demonstration of sexist behavior in movies when the film is obviously condemning the behvior? the social network didn't promote sexism, it exposed sexism.

it's important to focus on destroying actual sexism rather than trying to incite controversy where there isn't any.
Message posted on 2011-03-08 19:52:22
Katie disagreed with the rating and said:
I've heard this argument many times. While it's true, there is not a large representation of women in The Social Network, it's not because the movie is sexist.

It's about a guy who feels socially uncomfortable, especially around women. The confrontation in the beginning demonstrates how socially awkward he is. It isn't sexism: it's a heightened version of awkwardness we all experience in our lives.

Also I don't believe, like said in the second article linked, that Erica is "feminist killjoy". I think she's intelligent, and clearly won't put up with Mark's inability to relate to her.

The women who are willing to give guys oral sex because they started websites do exist, and calling them a poor representation of women is slut-shaming.
Message posted on 2011-03-08 21:26:57
Plasma said:
Thing is, none of the men in the movie are portrayed in a positive light either. All of them are either:
-Highly mysoginistic and shallow
-Drunk and implied sex-obsessed
-Bumbling and desperate
-Nerds who are literally too focused on their computers to notice anything else
-Money-scabbing businessmen
-The Dean. That counts as bumbling and disregarding of his students, I think.
Come to think of it, the only character that wasn't a very negative stereotype was Dustin Moskovitz.

Point is, saying that it gives a horrible representation to women is like saying cancer is bad because it's usually painful. It's still right, but it's also completely ignoring the bigger picture.

Also, complaining about how women don't have a big role in the film is just stupid.
Message posted on 2011-03-29 23:42:45
Brian said:
At another site that I visit (movielens) this movie has been tagged as a Bechdel Test "Fail" more often than any other movie.

I tend to see the test as a rather dispassionate marker that is applied so that, in the aggregate, makes a point. As far as this movie goes, the filmmakers chose, to make a point, to minimize the presence of female characters. I found the movie less interesting for that choice.
Message posted on 2011-04-10 01:05:41
Dangles said:
I think that we should recognise the limitations of the Bechdel test. It's not a test of sexism in the slightest, but of the presence of women. I film could pass the test and still be sexist/racist/etc. Likewise a film could fail the test and not be sexist.

As for the Social Network, I found it very entertaining, but it was undeniably a trashy piece of sexist, capitalist hagiography. The men it in were flawed but they were also the saints of patriarchy and the modern digital age.
Message posted on 2011-04-26 00:33:57
Rachel said:
For a movie that so spectacularly fails the test, it was actually pretty feminist. I loved the ex-girlfriend's monologue at the beginning where she tells him that women won't like him because he is an asshole, not because he is a geek. I wish that monologue could be broadcast the world over so everyone can hear it.

As Brian says, the problem isn't the movie as an individual. The problem is that the only stories Hollywood thinks are worth telling are the stories about middle or upper class White dudes. When people come on this site to say "This movie technically doesn't pass, but it's not a problem because it's a movie about a dude," they are missing the point.
Message posted on 2011-05-27 18:46:56
Synaesthetik said:
The representation of women in The Social Network was terrible. These are supposed to be some of the best and brightest (Harvard, after all) and the women are all trophy sluts who say stupid things like "If you're coding, we need alcohol."

Message posted on 2011-07-07 09:04:11
Sammie said:
The people saying it's about misogynism are wrong! It actually changed the real-life involvement of women to portray them all as shallow bimbos who didn't talk, while all the men made facebook. In real life, while the main founders were men, there were several women involved from the beginning. It is of course hard to get a true story, but Mark Zuckerberg's girlfriend Priscilla (they are still together) was completely omitted from the film even though they dated for most of the events. She came to California with him to start facebook and was involved in a genuine capacity. After Harvard she's gone on to medical school, so she's obviously not stupid. I believe there were other females working with facebook in the early days who were omitted. Not as many as males, but I highly doubt the only women they met (at Harvard no less!) were crazy bimbos. The film has deliberately cut out these women.
Message posted on 2011-11-13 00:30:15
James said:
For Heaven's Sake. This movie does not mass the test, but the misogynism is the point. Never does the tone of the movie suggest that things like Zuckerberg's stunt and the start of the movie were good ideas.
Message posted on 2013-01-26 16:11:16
Annie said:
This movie was based on real events which happened to include very few women -- the irony is that the real events are not about women at all. However moviemakers don't see the appeal in telling a story about people who just want to build a website to help people connect. Therefore they added all this fluff and made it about people who wanted to build a website in order to get girls because that's "sexier" and sells more movie tickets.

While some women in this movie are badly represented (e.g. the girls who give oral sex in the bathroom) not all of them are (the ex-girlfriend's monologue at the beginning paints her as a powerful character and Zuck as a loser), and so I don't think this makes the movie sexist. Any sexist comments that the male characters make are almost a mockery of themselves - they are so clearly misogynistic that they cannot be taken seriously and say more about the men than about the women.

Essentially, this is a movie about friends, ambition, power and betrayal. It's nothing to do with women and I think that's okay.
Message posted on 2013-06-16 15:57:18
answerlion said:
Annie, in your last line you are basically saying that the themes of friendship, power, and betrayal are male themes and movies that pivot on these themes CAN'T involve women characters. Ugh! I liked this movie, even though I loathed the characters that the movie portrayed. Still, I'm sure there were real life woman in the Facebook story, and weaving them into the story about Friends, Power, and Betrayal would have added a needed dimension to the film.
Message posted on 2013-11-18 19:34:15
kobe said:
I think this movie portrays sexism as it is. It doesn't make it hip or cool. The characters in this movie are awkward or a bunch of egomaniacs. I don't think it drives anyone to hate on women. Yet the main character gets rich, that's the irony of it.
Message posted on 2015-07-13 09:22:54

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