Feminist Tests To Judge Your Movies By

Feminist Tests To Judge Your Movies By

When you're not quite sure how to describe that pesky bit of sexism that drove you crazy all through the movie.

How many times have you sat down to watch a movie, full of excitement and love for the silver screen, and then walked away feeling hurt and devalued because of one thing in particular: the women? Or rather, the women as written by men. Or lack of women. Whether she was reduced to a nameless sex symbol, seemed to do nothing but support the man, or just wasn't there at all there's many reasons why a woman might walk away from a movie feeling hurt and unappreciated. With all that sexism to contend with, there's no reason to not educate yourself on exactly what it is that's upsetting you. Finding a name for the way the movie failed you can help you explain to others why it's so harmful. Luckily, there's a few tests you can use on this summer's latest blockbusters to see just how well they treat their female audience.

1. The Bechdel Test

A test near and dear to the hearts of sapphic feminists everywhere, Alison Bechdel's test originates from a comic published in the '80s, which details a three part rule. Firstly, the movie must have at least two women. Secondly, the two women must talk to each other. Finally, the conversation must be about something besides a man. The importance of this rule is that in the media women are often portrayed as only there to support the man with no story of their own. It also addresses heteronormativity. Many modern movies fail this test such as "Deadpool," "Kung Fu Panda 3," and "Ex Machina." If you want to know what movies pass and fail, there's a website dedicated to telling you just that.

2. The Mako Mori Test

Named after a "Pacific Rim" character, the Mako Mori test proposes an alternative to the Bechdel test. This test focuses not on women conversing with each other, but with the story of at least one woman. The rules of the test are that the movie must have at least one female character, that character must get her own narrative arc, and the arc cannot be about the man's story. While people still argue over whether or not "Pacific Rim" was feminist or not, the test hold a great potential. Think about female characters you've seen in movies recently, how many of them had stories outside being romantically involved with the male lead?

3. The Sexy Lamp Test

Comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick is credited for first mentioning this test, quoted as saying: “if you can remove a female character from your plot and replace her with a sexy lamp and your story still works, you’re a hack." This test determines whether or not a woman is treated as a literal object throughout the movie. While watching the movie, think to yourself, "is this women important to the plot, or could she easily be removed or replaced?" If she can be replaced by a sexy lamp then that movie has officially failed the test.

4. The Furiosa Test


The Furiosa test is a simple and enjoyable test. Named after Imperator Furiosa from "Mad Max: Fury Road," the test demands a movie do one thing and one thing alone: make men upset. Just as upset as they were the day it was revealed that the newest installment of the "Mad Max" series focused on a woman saving other women from rape and servitude. If the movie has men's rights activists moaning about "women taking over" or "ruining everything" or "political correctness winning over good writing" when none of these things are true, then this is a movie you might wanna see over and over again. One movie that has recently passed this test is the new "Ghostbusters," which had men saying "you can't do that! What if men did to women movies what you did to our "Ghostbusters?"" The answer, of course, being: you've already done that to every movie ever, so we're going to enjoy the ultra rare female dominated cast.

There are many other tests out there for feminists to judge their movies by, such as the Finkbeiner test. Every day women come up with new ways to point out the flaws in the movies that fail them and celebrate the movies that treat them like human beings, instead of lamps. It may be hard to only watch movies that pass these tests, so don't feel like you have to limit yourself to only the purely feminist. We're making progress now even if we don't have perfection, so feel free to sit down and watch "The Avengers" guilt-free. Just keep in mind that Black Widow sure isn't being treated well by the men that write her.

Cover Image Credit: Vulcan Post

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Why Cool Girl Isn't So Cool

The implications of Cool Girl aren't as cool as she is.

Cool Girl--you've definitely heard of her. She's everywhere. She first became known after Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl made the term popular, but she has subtly and dangerously crept into our social consciousness for years now. In basic terms,

Cool Girl is the manifestation of the male fantasy (that is, the heteronormative male fantasy that it spoon fed to males daily), a girl who is both naturally hot and sexy and seemingly into all things sports, video games, etc. She does not ever complain, she loves to hang with the "bros," and she always wants to have sex. Boy, what a woman!

But Cool Girl isn't all fun and games. Yes, many women do love the aforementioned things, and there is no judgment surrounding women that love what our still very binary culture deems as "masculine," but what is problematic is the woman who is solely an extension of the male desire, which is what Cool Girl really is.

A woman who feels afraid to express how she is truly feeling in fear of losing her partner. A woman who is constantly performing. The insidious thing about Cool Girl is that she doesn't actually have a mind of her own--instead, she is a formula meant to be devoid of real human emotion and flaws. Cool Girl may exist, but she shouldn't.

Women no longer should feel the pressure to conform to the ideals that Cool Girl has laid out. The idea of her must no longer be fed by us. Why should we have to be her anyway? She is impossibly constricting, sucking out one's ability to think autonomously. So I say F*CK COOL GIRL.

I am not Cool Girl--instead, I am a woman who believes that her inherent worth is not reliant on the ability to please a man. Instead, I am a woman who has her own wants and desires, who refuses to be another cog in the misogynistic machine.

And yes, I can do this whilst eating a hot dog and watching football and loving sex, but no, I will not be doing this for the sake of any man. I will be eating and watching and fuc*ing because I want to.

The work of eliminating Cool Girl does not rely solely on women. Men are equally responsible for perpetuating this performative model, and this needs to come to a stop as well. If everyone is aware of her dangerous presence and what she actually signifies, then maybe we can start putting an end to her for good.

Eventually, the woman of "Gone Girl" cracks at the pressure of having to constantly be the perfect wife, the perfect cool girl. May we learn from her breakdown that Cool Girl is, in reality, not even that cool.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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11 Binge-worthy Shows on Netflix for a Date With Your Bed

On these cold winter nights what sounds better than being in bed?

Everyone knows what it is like when the weekend rolls around and you are so excited to do something fun. Everyone also knows how easily this feeling can be ruined when you look at your phone and see that the temperature is going nowhere above freezing all weekend. I'm sure most people can agree at this point that they just throw in the towel and plan a hot date with Netflix in bed. On days when the weather is just not enjoyable, these are some awesome binge-worthy shows that cover all genres

1. The Office

This show is great for random and nonsense humor and since they are only 20-minute episodes, you could easily go through a season in a day!

2. Grey's Anatomy

This show is filled with drama, humor, love, loss...pretty much anything you can think of. If you want to cry tears of laughter and sadness, start Grey's. Not to mention McDreamy will forever be the love of your life...

3. Law and Order: SVU

If you want to see a boss lady solve some crime and take down all the bad people in NYC, this show is for you. Mariska Hargitay is such a girl boss that you have to keep watching...all 19 seasons worth! Bonus points for you once you memorize the opening dialogue!

4. Jane the Virgin

Wow, this show is everything! If you want all of the drama and scandal that comes from a true Telenovela, look no further! Jane is the cutest and Rafel is also quite nice to look at as well!

5. Gossip Girl

This show does such a good job at making you wish that you grew up these characters on the upper east side as well! The real question is, when will Serena ever learn her lesson?

6. Master of None

Aziz Ansari. Enough said.

7. Friends From College

This show brings together a bunch of your favorite actors and actresses all for one hilarious comedy. My only complaint is that there is only one season!

8. Cosmos

Now if you actually want to learn something and not just rot your brain completely, cosmos has some pretty interesting fact about the universe we live in!

9. Orange is the New Black

While this show can be a little more mature than others, OITNB brings together such an amazing cast of girls for this dramedy.

10. American Horror Story

This show can be quite graphic and I do question the writers sometimes as well, I am beyond hooked on this show. With new storylines each season, you turn into a true detective when trying to see how they all tie in together in no time.

11. Big Mouth

This show may have just come out this year, but if you don't mind more raunchy comedy, I highly suggest this one! The characters are so funny and their version of "The Electric Slide" will forever be stuck in my head!

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