Magazine article New Internationalist

Sexism Movie Ratings

Magazine article New Internationalist

Sexism Movie Ratings

Article excerpt

In 1985, comic-book writer Allison Bechdel proposed a test to assess films for gender bias. Nearly 30 years later, the test is officially in use for the first time.

To pass - and gain - a Bechdel A-rating, films must have at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. It comes as a shock to learn that of the 10 highest-grossing films of all time, only three score a pass.

'Wouldn't it be great if all movies passed this simple test?' says Ola Nilsson, a board member for advocacy group Equalisters who helped launch the rating in Sweden. 'It can be a way for people to see films a bit differently, to stop and think about what we want the industry to look like.'

Four cinemas and a TV station in Sweden announced that they would introduce the Bechdel test last October. They are part of a growing trend of applying tests in order to highlight gender inequality across the global media. …

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