Tweet of the Day: On Writing – Tropes vs. Women
This post was brought to you by the letter A for Aheïla (see the Tweet of the Day), B for the Bechdel Test, and the letter F for feminist. I’ll let the lady explain what I mean:
In order to pass, the film or show must meet the following criteria:
- it includes at least two women*(some make the addendum that the women must be named characters)
- who have at least one conversation…
- about something other than a man or men.
As the TV Tropes page points out, as does the video above, it is an easy enough test to pass.
Or is it?
Think about it for a second.
Good, now that you’re back we can proceed.
Whether in movies, television, books or video games, if we apply this test, well we would have to write off something like 70%-95% (0r more) of all media out there.
I don’t dispute the self-evident fact that most writers, producers, editors and media owners are men. Or that there is a disproportionate number of media produced for men by men. But even in media markets dominated by women (on both sides of the producer/audience spectra) most if not all fail the test as well. Even more so today when you have the new phenomenon of creating “new” sub-genres by sticking the word romance to an existing genre/sub-genre.
Clearly shoehorning female characters into a narrative won’t make them any better, especially if their presence doesn’t advance the plot in anyway, shape or form?
So what is the usefulness of the test, if any?
As a conversation starter?
A way of framing an existing, readily apparent trend?
So ladies, please lend a hand to a poor misguided male writer by answering the following question: What is it all about?
And now for something completely unrelated: