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]] Iron Man 3 (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests (although dubious). It was entered by Saga on 2013-04-25 12:36:36.



Saga said:
There is a scene where Maya Hansen and Pepper Potts talk about Mayas boss and about The Mandarin, but in the middle of the conversation they talk about Mayas work wich, in this part of the conversation, har nothing to do with men.
Message posted on 2013-04-25 12:36:36
Hawkingbird said:
I agree. Although I still think it's petty that there is one tiny moment where they discuss something other than a man. Marvel is indeed very slow with this sort of thing. They need to make a Captain Marvel film. I'll give them a bit of credit for having Pepper save Tony-but again, it's still a small achievement.
Message posted on 2013-04-28 12:40:19
Nyssa said:
Hawkingbird, that would be cool but I fear there would use any of the male forms of Captain Marvel, let alone the DC Captain Marvel.

Unless we could convince Joss to make a Wasp Captain Marvel film with Jewel and Summer
Message posted on 2013-05-03 00:48:43
James said:
Yeah, this is a clear pass early on through Maya and Pepper's interactions. The case could also be made for the female Extremis terrorist and the mother of the dead solider before the action sequence in the bar. But I can't remember what their names are, so they probably don't count.

The tough "I don't need to be saved" romantic interest character is officially a trope of Marvel's movies now. We should be thanking the high heavens Pepper will never devolve into Mary Jane in the Spider-Man movies but her action sequences here felt obligatory. Oh look we have a girl kicking ass too even though that was never built into the story before. That worked with Black Widow in Iron Man 2 because the character was a spy and not a Fortune 500 CEO.

The ideal approach to female representation, is female representation. The lack of overall notable female superheroes and supporting characters therin is the issue.
Message posted on 2013-05-04 15:35:38
Sledge2071 said:
I hope you will pardon me, but Captain Marvel is part of the DC cannon, not Marvel.
Message posted on 2013-05-04 20:26:18
333 said:
I agree as well. Maya and Pepper have a moment where they discuss the corruption of ideals on the bed in the hotel room. It was brief, but I'll take what I can get.
Message posted on 2013-05-05 00:12:37
Hawk said:
I think this movie totally passes. The point of the scene is about Maya's working for people who make weapons. It's not about any of the other things that are mentioned in passing.
Message posted on 2013-05-05 08:48:57
Rob disagreed with the rating and said:
It is a full pass and there is nothing dubious about it. The conversation in question discusses her work which is central to the plot.
Message posted on 2013-05-07 23:04:51
Alberto said:
I wonder if some are forgetting that this movie is called Iron Man and is based on a comic book originated in the 60's, that women DO anything at all in the movie is a pretty big deal and, while the writers did not decided to marginalize their title character and focus a majority of screen time on the female characters, that one is responsible for the foundation upon which the action is build and that another is responsible for saving the "hero", seems to me to be a bigger deal still.

Just seems to me that this movie could have done so much less with the female characters and not been out of step with the categorical norm. I agree with Rob that there is nothing dubious about giving this movie a pass.
Message posted on 2013-05-10 20:29:15
LazyLemming disagreed with the rating and said:
It's not a pass. There are 3 scenes in which Pepper and Maya talk. The first, in the Stark house, they talk about relationships with Tony (The scene is mainly Tony and Pepper arguing).
The second scene comes in the car. In this scene the conversation is about Killian other than the one sentence in which Maya describes her job. This is even prompted by Pepper's line "Tony say, you're a botanist."
The final scene is in the hotel room. Maya begins the conversation talking about Wehrner Von Braun, using it as an allegory to discuss extremis. However she constantly refers to "We" rather than I, and brings up Killian again.

One or two sentences do not make up a conversation. At no point in the film do the women have a meaningful conversation that does not involve men as part of the subject.
Message posted on 2013-05-10 21:42:35
reba disagreed with the rating and said:
Not only does this film not pass, but it's prtrayals of women is gross and embarrassing. Pepper and Maya are just terrible. Pepper is especially awful since she acts as a partical servant to the whims of her boyfriend. She has no agency whatsoever in these Iron Man movies.
Message posted on 2013-05-14 19:27:48
Foggen said:
Marvel also has had several Captain Marvels, one of which was a black woman in the 70s. That's why DC's Captain Marvel is technically called Shazam now.
Message posted on 2013-05-15 17:23:23
Dyionisiac said:
One thing I've been looking at is to say, in one sentence, what the conversation is about. for instance in the car they talk about where they are going and what Maya's field of study is, but the one sentence description is - "Pepper asks why Maya came to see Tony." So that is a fail.
In the room they talk about a dead scientist dude and mention Killian and the Mandarin but the one sentence for what the conversation is ABOUT is "Maya tells Pepper she's afraid her work could become evil." Not about a man.

Oh and as too Captain Marvel, I would LOVE to see either Carol or Monica headline a movie, and the work Kelly Sue DeConnik is doing writing Carol right now makes me think it's got a strong chance of being made.
Message posted on 2013-05-16 01:21:21
GB said:
Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel, aka Captain Marvel is a current Marvel character who is an Avenger.
Message posted on 2013-05-16 05:07:59
JoeRevolution disagreed with the rating and said:
Iron Man 3 passes in both the literal sense and the spirit of this test.


1. Maya Hansen is introduced twice by full name, while Pepper Potts was already established.

2. Both women are the most significant supporting characters. Maya actually has more depth than the primary villain(s), and nearly as much facetime.

3. The primary vehicle for the plot is Maya's invention. She and Pepper share an establishing scene talking about Maya's work and, more importantly, the corruption of "pure" science by ambition. (Yes, she mentions Wernher von Braun, but allegorically and in passing, and refers to "we" clearly as herself and scientists in general.) This scene sets up the third act and its dialogue is referenced at the end, an emotional montage that would otherwise make no sense.

Both female characters have independent jobs and functions (Pepper has essentially taken over Tony's company), both are manipulated by the same men, which is the vehicle for bringing them together, but there's no implication that they're foolish or stupid. Their lives clearly don't revolve around male characters, they're simply intertwined (Pepper and Tony are in a "committed relationship," while Maya's relationship with the villain is not indicated to be sexual and is out of convenience.)

Aside from the gimmicky but important twist on the "damsel in distress" trope (which occurs immediately after a powerful male character needs saving), another significant detail that sets this movie apart from the previous entries (as well as comic book movies/movies in general) is that the primary female characters are regarded as useless trophies ONLY by the villain. The distinction of use vs. respect is made drastically by the end, and Tony's respect for women becomes a theme of his character's development. Tony even cries/reacts with emotion other than anger when both male and female characters are harmed.

Yes, this is Iron Man, not Iron Woman, and the main character is given main character treatment, but for an action/pop-corn flick, it stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. Hell, it towers over most of the whole genre!

And, no, I'm not an Iron Man fanboy. Never cared much for the comics, and the second movie royally sucked, including its denigration of women. I'm a humanist, sex-positive male, who believes in giving credit where it's due.
Message posted on 2013-05-17 01:06:01
Hobbes disagreed with the rating and said:
I think of two conversations between Maya and Pepper, both are about men, men's work, and men's actions, putting women is a passive, reactive role.
A third conversation is between unnamed women--the AIM agent and the soldier's mother. This conversation is also about a man--the dead son.
Message posted on 2013-05-17 03:02:37
daenerys disagreed with the rating and said:
All of their conversations revolve around men, their entire purpose revolves around men, their character development relies heavily around men. This movie and all other superhero movies are just a pure disgrace to the feminist cause. Real women with self respect would not support this garbage.
Message posted on 2013-05-19 05:06:17
Gaith disagreed with the rating and said:
>>>Dyionisiac said:
"In the room they talk about a dead scientist dude and mention Killian and the Mandarin but the one sentence for what the conversation is ABOUT is 'Maya tells Pepper she's afraid her work could become evil.' Not about a man."

Agreed. Full pass.
Message posted on 2013-05-19 20:36:06
Neon disagreed with the rating and said:
One sentence does not equal conversation.
Message posted on 2013-05-29 03:32:32
Gerald disagreed with the rating and said:
For the third test to be passed the entire conversation must be about something other than a man. That includes referencing the evil plans of the villains, mentioning a man's work as a comparison of her own, and things of that nature.

Why bring up Van Braun, except to give legitimacy to her own work? And why can she not show how good her work is without comparing it to a man?
Message posted on 2013-06-03 21:28:28
Marzipan said:
@Gerald: I don't agree with your interpretation that "For the third test to be passed the entire conversation must be about something other than a man" - if that were the test, it would be worded differently, to make that clear. In this case, I can't remember clearly who says what; I'll need to pay more attention next time I see the film. But, as far as I'm concerned, the test only requires them to talk, at some point, however briefly, about something other than a man. If the film included a ten minute conversation between Pepper and Maya about how great Tony Stark is, that ended "I also really enjoy yoga," - "I prefer pilates" it would be a pass, as silly as that sounds - the fact that so many films still don't manage to pass, even though it's that easy, is why it's important.
Message posted on 2013-06-05 21:19:25
Wake up People said:
Some of you people need to wake up and understand why Werhner Von Braun's name is mentioned in this movie. Do the research, its no coincidence.
Message posted on 2013-06-10 20:16:26
Rob said:
I'd like to rebut Hobbes, danaerys, and Neon. The test does not specify that the two women have a "conversation" about something other than a man. Nor does it establish minimal length of conversation. It simply states that the two women must "talk to each other" about something other than a man. So long as a single sentence exists that fits this requirement, the test is passed. If that is not satisfactory, you need to measure the film with a different test.
Message posted on 2013-06-13 18:27:32
the Don said:
"Why bring up Van Braun, except to give legitimacy to her own work? And why can she not show how good her work is without comparing it to a man?"

Hmm, I don't know, maybe because Wehrner Von Braun's concerns and career are a great analogue for the theme of the damn movie, and more specifically for the character who mentions him??? Von Braun's penis isn't what makes him relevant, and your impression that the only reason to mention one of the greatest scientists in human history whose story happens to be extremely relevant is because we're all just misogynists is absurd.
Message posted on 2013-06-14 13:06:02
AF disagreed with the rating and said:
For me it's a pass with no doubt.

That conversation about the ethics of science between two women in the middle of an Iron Man movie was mind blowing for me.

Also Pepper kicking ass and saving the day at the end was good to watch.
Message posted on 2013-06-22 23:32:02
Hayley said:
Can I bring up the fact that Maya Hansen doesn't die in the comics, and is actually the main "bad guy" within the Extremis Origin comic. 'Cause Iron Man 3 seemed to ignore that part.
Message posted on 2013-07-17 17:15:48
James said:
Maya wasn't the main "bad guy" in the comic. There was just a twist (think Sam Jackson in Unbreakable) at the very end where you find out she was really behind the Extremis attacks
Message posted on 2013-07-23 12:05:48
Neil said:
I suppose I agree with the rating, bearing in mind that simply rising to this incredibly low bar is hardly something to celebrate. Marvel Studios needs to make major strides here. We'll see what the addition of the Scarlet Witch means for Avengers 2.

And for the record (since it came up in the thread), both DC and Marvel have characters called Captain Marvel. In Marvel Comics this has often been a woman. More likely upcoming female Avengers are Wasp and Ms. Marvel, the latter being seriously discussed for her own feature. Let's hope.)
Message posted on 2013-10-26 04:49:21
Jack disagreed with the rating and said:
This is a full pass. Maya and Pepper talk to each other about the ethics of science. That is certainly "two [named] women.... [w]ho talk to each other... [a]bout something besides a man."

"Besides" means "apart from" or "in addition to."
Message posted on 2013-11-06 13:54:57
A Comic Collector said:
If everyone talking about Captain Marvel would just pause for a moment. Captain Marvel is Marvel Comic's female character and has been explicitly stated in the comics to be one of, if not the strongest official Avenger. Although it's true the Kree who granted her powers is male, and was a captain mar'vell, he was not a major character and could not square up to Carol Danvers (the current Captain Marvel). Her non-blood brother held the title of "Captain Marvel" for a while whist she went with "Mrs. Marvel" but her brother later also admitted he could non compare to her power. The current and official Captain Marvel is a female named Carol Danvers. She is getting an on screen rendition in 2018, and is being played by Bree Larson, a long time reader of the comics. I recommend everyone read her comics, they are incredibly well written and very open-minded, as Captain Marvels mentor is revealed to be lesbian and some of her friends featured in the comics are LGBT+ as well. Not to mention, her love interest Kernel Rhodes (Rhodey in these iron man movies) has already admitted to being not half as strong as her and always calls her Captain on duty, she is never belittled by her love interest and really their relationship is barely a plot point, its a side story at most. All in all, she's one of the most brilliant female characters in comic history and has immense canonical respect and power. Captain America, Thor and other men easily look up to her. (Also she's drawn realistically most of the time by cannonical artists and is muscly and wears full body protective armor, rather than something sexy or appealing)

The DC Captain Marvel was a bit of a jab at Marvel comics and for legal reasons, his name was changed to Shazaam. He is completely unrelated
Message posted on 2016-11-02 06:06:53
abc123 said:
Oh, shutup. We watch movies to enjoy them, not to see how many 'underprivileged' characters there are in the movie. Even if you do watch a movie for that purpose, Pepper saved Iron Man so what are you complaining about?
Message posted on 2018-05-17 15:06:09

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