Supergirl vs. Bechdel

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Posted by RazzaTazz (11948 posts) - - Show Bio

The news probably passed over a lot of people last month, but I heard about an interesting new way of rating movies, called the Bechdel test (it is actually a lot older than last month.) This is a test which is probably going to be called "feminist" but for the wrong reasons. The test is actually feminist for the right reasons - it is not trying to promote a bunch of movies with an overwhelming number of women, or even female topics. Rather it is trying to promote a more accurate representation of women. It works by three easy steps - 1. Movie must have two female characters who ... 2. talk to each other ... 3. about something other than a man. It is a pretty simplistic scale, as it just means that two female characters at some point have to discuss something ... anything other than men, but it is interesting just how many movies fail this test.

I had mostly forgotten about this until reading today's Supergirl (#27) in which Supergirl is once again in the Block where every character has become a DNA replicate of Dr. Veritas. This means that everyone at the Block is in effect a female (though their original memories have been saved.) While it was a little cliched from old sci fi, it was a new enough concept, but the concept failed the Bechdel Test in one panel.

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Granted there are two female characters discussing a lot of other things other than men, it just seems strange after it all to get to a point where that is what they end up discussing again anyway. Maybe in the future writers might consider something like the Bechdel test before writing dialogue which is mostly pointless and pandering to a portion of the readership.

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#1 Posted by cbishop (15714 posts) - - Show Bio

If I'm understanding your explanation of the Bechdel test correctly, then the Supergirl issue doesn't fail the test by one panel alone. What I understood you to say in the beginning is that at some point in the story, two women have to talk to each other about something other than men. If the clones of Dr. Veritas are doing that in plenty of spots other than the one panel you showed, then the issue passes the test.

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#2 Posted by RazzaTazz (11948 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop: Yes for sure, I did mention that, it was just strange and reminded me of it when I saw it in that one speech bubble.

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