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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The Top 5 Most Adorable TV Characters

They Have Ruled Our Hearts, Gave us Tears of Joy, as well as Hysterical Fits of Laughter with their Charming Screen Presence

Well, they have ruled our hearts, gave us tears of joy and hysterical laughter with their wit and charm, so let's take a look at some of the most lovable TV characters.

1.) Stewie Griffin ("Family Guy"):

He's a baby, everybody loves babies, you might think that but it's not that simple. He's got the IQ of a rocket scientist, devilish designs, and his heartiest wish is to kill his mother, so he's nothing like a baby. He shares a beautiful bond with his dog which is heartwarming to watch. There are so many interesting angles to his personality which makes it worth it to root for him despite his primal instinct - kill his mother and world domination.

2.) Jake Harper ("Two and a Half Men"):

We have another kid, but he's completely from another dimension. This one can win a contest for the dumbest yet cutest kid. He was the half man from the title but had an equal share in making this show what it was - watchable. He was the butt of many jokes in the show due to his general lack of smarts, understanding of words, and self-confidence, as well as being oblivious to the fact he was being made fun of.

3.) Sheldon Cooper ("The Big Bang Theory"):

You have to give it to the 22-year-old theoretical physicist who played this character to perfection. He is freakishly genius and he knows it, but most importantly he doesn't mind letting others know even if its a cop, a judge, or his friends who suffer the most by his quirky mannerisms including his love for "his spot", details, and trains. His devotion to science is so deep that he is oblivious to social cues, women, and even sarcasm. Although these traits make him intolerable for his friends, strangers or even anyone who crosses paths with him, the same faults make him the reason to watch this show.

4.) Barney Stinson ("How I Met Your Mother"):

We have the man himself - Barney Stinson, the guy who eases "awesomeness" and "legendary" into his character and the show like butter onto bread. He's not just a man- he's a religion, he has his own set of rules, codes, costumes, and theories... about getting laid. He's a God to every loser who sees himself dominating/ pretending to be an Alpha male of society- the man that every girl desires to be with. He is immune to disease, fashion disasters, and even a bad photograph. He has crazy theories that he backs up with fake history tales lied to perfection. His concept of lie is something which defines how awesome he is- "A lie is just a great story ruined by truth."

5.) Joey Tribbiani ("F.R.I.E.N.D.S"):

It wouldn't serve justice to this listicle or to the word adorable if I didn't include Joey Tribbiani- the man who made " How you doin'?" what it is. He is the only person who can be dumb, cute, and funny all at the same time. He was the only character out of the six who had a smile on his face no matter what the situation was. He also senses the emotional needs of his friends and does everything possible to fulfill that need. He is the best character to be with when the chips are down, he can cheer up even Droopie. Joey is funny and he doesn't have to put in any effort to be just that. Maybe the fact that he owns an array of expressions which spill out humor and pour directly into our hearts, is the reason he doesn't have to try to be our favorite.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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Everything To Love About "Love, Simon"

"Everyone deserves a great love story."

Love, Simon, a film based on the book, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli came out on March 16th. Since then, it has received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews from movie goers. I went to see the movie last week and was extremely impressed. This movie is exactly what our society needs.

Years ago, the concept of being gay was a taboo and anything involving homosexuality carried a strong stigma. Many creative closeted individuals did not have the freedom to write stories or screenplays with queer characters. After members of the LGBT community became more normalized in society, we started to see the slow rise of films with characters reflecting different sexualities. I have watched multiple movies with queer characters, and ALL of the other ones I’ve seen have been tragedies.

While it is true that the process of coming out and living an authentic life can be difficult for queer people, it is not always tragic. Watching these movies makes people feel like non-heterosexual people cannot have happy endings. Imagine being a 14 year old kid in the closet and watching all these films that end with suicide, depression, or murder. It is easy to see why someone would not want to come out after being exposed to such horrific things. LGBT movies have also always been highly sexualized. Most of them center around the sexual relationships and lack substance. I feel like the writers think that the only appeal LGBT movies can have has to be sex.

The beauty in Love, Simon comes from the fact that none of the things I mentioned above were in the movie. Instead, it was hilarious, emotional and real. The story was raw and relatable for so many people. Simon was a normal high schooler, with best friends, a loving family, and homework to do. He did not fit the “gay” stereotype at all. His clothes were masculine, his voice was deep, and he didn’t love shopping. Simon was not the “Gay best friend” he was just the best friend. Simon was fortunate enough to have all these positive things in his life, which not everyone has. I think that this presentation of his life shows people that their coming out does not have to be tragic.

Simon’s coming out could not have been more realistic. He was outed to his school on an online platform, something that can happen easily in our technological age. He was very affected by this and knew he had to come clean to his family. His sister asked him if he wanted to deny it and he said he was tired of hiding.

His announcement shifted his family for a bit, something completely normal. Some movies have kids come out and show the parents instantly start a pride parade. This is usually not the case, especially when loved ones do not suspect anything. Love, Simon showed his parents trying to adjust to the news. They did not love him any less, but they needed some time to process the information, so that they could do their best for their son. There were days of silence in the family, but the silence was broken in memorable ways.

Simon’s talk with his mom had me in tears. His mom told him that for the past few years, she had felt like he was holding his breath, and tells him, “You can exhale now, Simon.” He could finally breathe and she was letting him know that she wants him to be happy and himself. His father apologized to him for making a lot of gay jokes before his coming out. He did not realize that his words may have been hurting his son, and he tears himself down for not realizing his son was gay. Simon tells him that he has nothing to be sorry about, because his coming out was something that could not be assumed.

Simon’s friends did not treat him any differently after his coming out, meaning that they did not give him any special treatment. They were upset with him for things, and worked it out later. His sexuality was not the issue.

At school, he was bullied by idiots, but he stood up for himself. I think that is something so important for the youth to see. Movies typically show gay kids cowering in a corner while being made fun of. Simon and the other out gay kid (a black character) in his school both stood up for themselves repeatedly, throwing out witty remarks and comments on occasion.

Simon’s online relationship with the other closeted kid in his school exemplified many relationships today. Kids will go online to search for people who they can relate to. With the touch of a button, they can connect with millions going through the same things they are. When Simon meets the person behind the screen, everyone is overjoyed.

The entire film was a masterpiece. Two LGBT characters were people of color. The rest of the cast was diverse as well. The movie did not feature an array of white people, like most movies do. Although there were many serious scenes that had me in tears, there was plenty of levity. The humor was current and made the entire theater laugh.

The representation for queer people in this movie is superb. Multiple members actually came out during the filming of this movie. If that doesn’t show you how positive and powerful this movie is, I don’t know what will. This movie is exactly what LGBT kids needed and I applaud the talented cast, the writers, and everyone else who had anything to do with the creation of this life changing movie.

Cover Image Credit: Pedestrian.tv

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