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]] The Host (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by xcrunner113 on 2013-04-03 16:10:57.



xcrunner113 said:
Depending on your point of view, I think The Host passes the test. Melanie and Wanderer are always communicating with each other, but they are in the same body. Also, the secret human community seems mostly made up of males.
Message posted on 2013-04-03 16:10:57
Triv said:
Melanie and Wanderer are different characters even if they are technically one person so I would agree
Message posted on 2013-04-08 13:34:24
Gaith said:
I haven't seen it, but the two personalities in the main character's body definitely count as two characters. No way do they not pass the test at some point... :P
Message posted on 2013-04-08 21:25:35
Daniel Hofverberg said:
This one is indeed tricky. But considering Melanie and Wanderer/Wanda technically speaking are separate characters, although trapped in the same body, I would also consider the film to pass the test with flying colors as they talk to each other pretty much constantly.

Even without counting all the conversation between Melanie and Wanda, there is also one scene at the end where Melanie and Wanda is talking to each other in different bodies. So that one should be enough to count the film as passing the test regardless of interpretation.

There are also several scenes where Wanda talks to her leader, but as she is only called The Seeker, she may not be considered a named character (although it is a major character).
Message posted on 2013-04-10 00:02:31
Victor said:
I would like to challenge the idea that Wanda or the Seeker are female characters at all. I've not read the books, but it seemed to me that the "Souls" were entirely sexless and very possibly genderless. Their inhabiting and controlling of female bodies wouldn't change that, not even when Wanda inhabits an entirely different female body at the end. Even Wanda's feminine name was given to her as a corruption of her actual, totally gender-neutral name, Wanderer.

I wouldn't be surprised if there were other interactions in the film between female characters, but relying on any interactions with one of the "Souls" is going to be dubious.
Message posted on 2013-04-11 05:47:00
Kristi said:
Victor, Souls are not technically sexless, as defined in the book. Wanda (the main Soul character) states that she could have become a "Mother", which of course means that she would have produced children. I would guess that to our world that would mean she is some semblance of female. In the movie, however, one could argue that Souls are sexless, though there is no evidence that that would work for either side of the argument.
As for the rating, I am at odds with the fact that they talk about something other than men when, for most of the movie, Melanie is trying to get back to Jared (and her younger brother Jamie) and Wanda is trying hard not to fall in love with Jared or Ian. It pretty much defines the entire plot.
Message posted on 2013-04-14 03:21:33
J disagreed with the rating and said:
The entire movie is about Melanie trying to get back to Jared and her little brother. So, I would definitely say it does not pass the test. Almost every single conversation between Melanie and Wanda (if not every single one) is about Melanie's desire...and later about Wanda's desire for Ian...and about Melanie's anger at Wanda wanting to kiss Ian.

Also, they are the only female major characters in this movie...the Seeker and Wanda barely talk, and when/if they do, it's to find out where...wait for it...Jared and the little brother are.

The rest of the characters are men.

It's basically a 2-hour conversation between two females in one body who are fighting due to the fact that they desire 2 different men.

I do not think this movie passes the test at all.
Message posted on 2013-05-05 21:07:32
Jas disagreed with the rating and said:
I believes it passes the test. Not only do Melanie and Wonder talk to eachother all the time (and not just about men but they develop a friendship with eachother, at the end Melanie says to Wanda something along the lines of "I love you, you are the purest soul I have ever met" which doesn't sound like they are talking about a man to me) and also, The Seeker and Wanda spoke in the beginning, not only about where to find 'Jared' but where to find the civilization of humans and what it was like on Wandas other planets. 'The Seeker' is her name, however later on when the soul is removed from the body she reveals her name is Lacy and she thanks them for rescuing her.

As explained above Wanda is partially gendered. She would be the one to bare the young and really, if the movie was 12 hours long it may have been able to go into all of the detail provided in the book but thats not possible. Wanda is said to request the equivalent of the female role on every planet she has been to. So I think that she qualifies as female for storys sake.
Message posted on 2013-05-22 14:56:38
hester said:
Might I point out that in the book at least Wanda states that she prefers female hosts, feeling uncomfortable in male bodies. This could be taken to suggest that whether or not she, as an organism, is female she at least identifies as female. It can also be pointed out that she talks to Melanie about how her species reproduce which is that asexually but restricted only to a very few in the species - she can do that and as such could be percieved as female. As Melanie and Wanda talk many times about numerous topics they clearly past the test.
Message posted on 2013-06-02 12:14:46
Jonny said:
For the purposes of the movie, "the Seeker" is a named character. The legal name of the Seeker's host is not relevant to the interaction of the Wanderer and the Seeker.

They talk plenty about the resistance as an entity and the Wanderer's condition, so I think this movie should qualify.
Message posted on 2013-06-26 00:17:08
Morgan said:
I agree with the rating because even if you don't consider Wanda and Mel to be two different people, Wanda and the Seeker have a conversation about where the refugees are hiding. That alone covers the requirements of the test...
Message posted on 2013-06-26 02:33:00
Morgan said:
I agree with the rating because even if you don't consider Wanda and Mel to be two different people, Wanda and the Seeker have a conversation about where the refugees are hiding. That alone covers the requirements of the test...
Message posted on 2013-06-26 02:33:03
JW said:
From the sounds of it, much of the movie follows the book - if that's the case, this movie both passes the test, AND proves how basic the test really is.

First: in the context of the original story, Wanderer is noted explicitly as requesting female hosts or equivalent (meaning, she identifies as female) and explicitly explains at one point that she is one of the few in her species that could reproduce - female even by that context. Melanie is very explicitly a different character, despite sharing a body with Wanderer for much of the story, as they are clearly separate minds with their own ideas. They do talk about things other than the males they are interested in, even if you ignore the Seeker's conversation with Wanderer about Wanderer's other hosts and the other worlds she's lived on.

Furthermore, the human tendency for strong emotion (a traditionally "feminine" trait to focus on) is one of the reasons why Wanderer goes "native" at the end of the story (at least in the book) as well as why the humans eventually accept her - they genuinely feel empathy for each other.

That said, Melanie's obsession with Jared and her protectiveness of her younger brother, and Wanderer's feelings for Ian, are huge plot points. The bulk of the story is yes, Wanderer becoming part of human culture - but she does it via feeling love, for Melanie yes but mostly for handful of men.

The book and it sounds like even the movie, passes the Bechdel test itself on every count - and it also goes to show how BASIC the test really is, that a movie or book can still do all that, and nonetheless have named female protagonists - a PAIR of them no less! - who still have most of their decisions influenced by or swayed by men.

For the record, this shouldn't surprise anyone - the book was by the same woman who wrote Twilight, which is if anything even worse. At least the women get to do cool stuff without having to become Hawt Vampires first in this one. But their lives are still dominated by men in some way or another.

A vast improvement, but not ideal.

Message posted on 2013-07-02 00:19:21
Rich disagreed with the rating and said:
I've read the book, but I haven't seen the movie.

I may have misread the book, but the implication that I came away with is that all souls (which reproduce by splitting into many pieces) become fertile after they reach a certain age and maturity.

So that's a vote for sexless. Also, no matter how you cut it, souls don't have gender the way humans do, so I don't think the Bechdel Test passes here.
Message posted on 2013-07-11 22:43:15
Jennifer disagreed with the rating and said:
For background: I've read the book AND watched the movie, all in the space of about two days time.

First, despite one being able to make the argument that Souls are sexless (the Motherhood capability of special souls not withstanding), it's very clear in the book and the movie that Wanda and Mel are both feminine/female characters if one simply looks at how they're portrayed (both name and personality). So the gender of the Soul here is not really an issue for me, it's clear they were intended to be scanned as feminine even if they can live within host bodies of different genders.

The movie is very shallow compared to the book. I would argue that the conversation of the girls in the movie typically revolves around men to the degree that it's difficult to remember conversations by them that did not occur in that context as the main thrust of the movie; in the book, this is so much not the case that I'll admit I've been pleasantly surprised by the book's substance.

So it's a split decison for me. Any substantial conversation in the movie seems to revolve around men (the romantic subplots are the primary focus), while the book provides much stronger female characters IMO.
Message posted on 2013-07-15 18:11:07
Amanda said:
It doesn't really matter if Melanie and Wanda are two characters, or just one. Let's not forget the scene where Wanda was interrogating the Seeker. That wasn't about a man, it was about why the Seeker was so detirmened to find the humans and about Wanda's place in human society.
Message posted on 2013-11-26 11:00:17
M said:
I think it passes both the Bechdel test and the spirit behind the Bechdel test. The fact that Wanderer and Seeker don't have regular names does not diminish their status as major characters. Their names denote and otherness from humans. When a human gives Wanderer the name Wanda, it advances the plot: we take this to mean that Wanda identifies with the plight of the humans. Both Melanie and Wanda perform multiple acts of bravery for their loved ones. Melanie's feelings for her brother seem stronger than her feelings for her boyfriend. The purpose of the boyfriend relationship seems more of a prop to demonstrate how problematic having two souls share one body is. The larger plot, which Melanie, Wanderer/Wanda and seeker all advance is the conflicting interests of the humans and the aliens. I do, however, agree with the reviewer who noted that the human survivors seemed to be primarily men. Does that not seem realistic when humans are basically prey to the aliens?
Message posted on 2014-04-24 21:16:39

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